Why oh why does our culture glorify busy-ness so much? We’re supposed to struggle, to push through our comfort zones, to do, to achieve, to climb the ladder. Blah, blah, blimmin’ blah. Whatevs. We’re not meant to want to relax in calm contentment.
Well do you know what? I can’t be bothered. It all sounds way too overwhelming and tiring for me, sensitive soul that I am.
I’m not lazy. I work hard – and yes, I find myself pushing too (and wind up exhausted when I do).
So I’m standing up for slowness. For gentleness. For kindness. For sensitivity. For time to relax and notice the simple pleasures in life.
Thanks but no thanks
I’m choosing to say “thanks, but no thanks” to the hustle, and pressure, and judgmentalism of our culture.
All this running around, pushing to achieve, competing, chasing our tails: it’s too tiring. It wears us out and wears us down. We lose our connection to ourselves and our needs and we disconnect from others and compassion fades.
This push to do, achieve, show is ultimately based on fear. Fear that we are not good enough. Fear that we are not enough as we are.
And when we come from a place of fear and lack the result is unkindness, insensitivity, indifference and aggression: directed inwards to ourselves, and then back out into the world.
Oh dear, what a state. What are we to do?
Enough is enough. Slow down!
Say, enough is enough! Slow down. And choose love over fear.
It is inner stillness which will save and transform the world ~ Eckhart Tolle
I passionately, wholeheartedly agree!
So let’s slow down, withdraw our senses from the constant bombardment of external stimuli and look within.
Courageously face our thoughts and our habits and our demons and face them with compassionate mindfulness.
Become the loving witness of all that arises within us we will slowly but surely come to a place of self-acceptance.
Yes, it’s challenging work, but worth it: for your own peace of mind and for greater peace within our world.
Listen to your soul
Fear is the ego talking. We need the ego which to set boundaries, to give us a sense of self. But don’t let it run the show! Because it will never be happy. It always wants more.
So, slow down to hear the loving voice of your soul (or spirit, heart, inner guru – call it what you will but don’t ignore it!).
That inner feeling and stillness that knows we have everything we need and only wants what is truly best for us.
When we slow down and do this inner work, we can come to a place of stillness and compassion and grace-filled strength. And we speak and act with love.
That’s why I practise and teach calming yoga and meditation: to become the impartial observer of my thoughts and fears and emotional and mental habit patterns and to connect to that place of inner stillness where all is possible.
So, let’s stand up for calm, kindness, gentleness, sensitivity and connection.
Here’s how we can make a start. Will you join me?
A manifesto for calm contentment
- Stand up for slowness, gentleness, kindness, sensitivity.
- Know that self-care is not selfish. It’s essential for your physical and mental wellbeing.
- Practise daily gratitude: be content with what you already have in your life and who you are now.
- Make time to relax: seek out opportunities to calm your nervous system.
- Do what brings you joy.
- Appreciate the simple pleasures in life.
- Let go of the fear of missing out, let go of comparison and competition.
- Choose your thoughts wisely.
- Meditate daily – in whatever way works for you so you can connect to stillness.
- Love and accept yourself. Know you ARE enough.
I believe that in our stressed, pressured, busy culture we need space and time to be; to reconnect with our bodies; to reconnect to our breath; to reintegrate body, mind and soul; and to quieten the din of external stimuli and our anxious, analysing noisy mind so we can hear the inner, intuitive voice of wisdom guiding us along the path to the best version of ourselves.
… So excuse me a moment, while I go and gaze out of my window and watch the birds in the garden and the clouds floating across the sky.
Over to you
What would YOU add to this manifesto? Do you want to live a life of calm contentment? What works for you? What are your challenges? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Calming yoga in Southampton/Eastleigh: come to a weekly class for regular calming, mindful movement and relaxation in a supportive atmosphere. I teach several classes a week and monthly classes and workshops – check out my yoga class timetable and workshops schedule to find out more and make a booking enquiry.
If you would like regular tips, insights and wisdom delivered to your inbox, and to receive a 17-minute guided relaxation, then please leave your name and email address.