Do, do, do? No, no, no.

If you’re like most of my clients, you will chuckle when I ask how often you allow yourself some downtime to pause, refuel and reflect.  

You’ve got a calendar that is filled to the brim with obligations. You don’t stop until your head hits the pillow at 10 pm.  You’re building a business or career. You’re navigating relationships at home and at the office. You’re raising children and taking care of aging parents. The list goes on and on. 

Your chuckle may turn into hysterical laughter.  

Well, I am here to tell you from experience that continuing along the path of do, do, do will lead to burnout, stress, strained relationships, and missed goals.  

Finding fulfillment is only possible while moving forward with intention and discernment. That requires you to allow moments of silence, solitude, and stillness into your life.

Embracing silence, solitude and stillness give you a break from distractions, frenzied energy, and constant input. Allowing yourself this time gives you energy, insight, and discernment, which are all necessary for reaching your goals.  

In fact, practicing silence, solitude, and stillness is so important for goal attainment that I have included it as one of the core components in my DIY Professional Retreat

MAKING IT WORK

For most of us, embracing silence, solitude, and stillness does not come naturally. It’s a learned skill that takes patience and repetition. Here are four ideas to bring this practice into your day:

  1. Start your mornings out slowly. When your alarm goes off, don’t immediately grab your cell phone and check your emails. Allow yourself to enjoy your coffee or tea in the quiet morning looking out the window as the sun rises. If you have children who need your attention, wake up 30 minutes earlier to just enjoy your own peace.
  2. Get out in nature. Walk, hike, ski, snowshoe, or bike ride all by yourself. This is what I call “active meditation.” Two of my clients expressed getting in the zone as they run or bike ride. That’s when they have their best ideas.
  3. Bring yourself back to the present. Continually focus on what you’re doing right here and now. When you let your mind run away with all you have to do, you’re not bringing your whole self into the moment. This means that you are not present for what the moment has to teach you.
  4. Begin a meditation practice. Start with guided meditations. It took me a while to get to the point of not needing the guidance, but now meditation has become my single most important practice for peace and clarity. Block a few minutes a day to close your eyes and listen to build your mediation practice. When you are able, sit and focus on just your breath for a period of time. 

LISTEN TO YOUR INNER COACH

Everyone has a mentor and coach who is available at all times. That’s your Inner Coach. Your Inner Coach knows the answers to all of your questions, gives you inspired ideas, and leads you to success. It may manifest itself as a gut feeling, vibe, intuition, or recurring thought.   

But, your Inner Coach becomes very quiet if the loudness of life becomes overwhelming. Do, do, do is loud, loud, loud. Silence, solitude, and stillness, however, allow your Inner Coach to come out and play. Silence, solitude, and stillness set up the perfect conditions for you to hear the guidance of your Inner Coach. Embrace it.