Day 7: The Calm Pause

You’ve made it a whole week! Welcome to Day 7: The Calm Pause

We are yet to cover anything related to meditation or mindfulness, but now it’s time.

There’s a lot of information out there, so I don’t want to waste your energy going over something you already know.

Let’s start with a thought experiment.

You may have heard the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

This is somewhat aligned with a lot of the rhetoric in Eastern Spirituality about being in the moment and not worrying about the past or future.

I’m going to propose something slightly different.

Happiness is in the journey AND the micro-destinations along that journey.

Imagine that our goal is to run a marathon, but right now we can’t even run 3km. Well, we should just enjoy getting out in the fresh air and running for the sake of running. But we’re also going to want to appreciate the days when we reach 2km, and 3km, as well as those where we run 5km, and 10km, and eventually the marathon itself.

But when we shrink this down into our daily lives, we almost never find the time to pause and celebrate the micro-destinations. Exercising in the morning, eating breakfast, dropping the kids off at school, getting to work, making progress with projects, getting home, relaxing in front of the TV. There are dozens of transitions throughout our day, and we almost never pause to appreciate them. Nor do we allow our minds to relax and recharge, even if only for 30 seconds.

There are two things that can get on my nerves about the modern world.

  1. We aren’t given enough time throughout the day to take breaks and stop our minds from roaming furiously.
  2. Many of us just accept that fact as an inevitability and make no effort to pause throughout the day and calm our minds.

I think number two probably annoys me a little bit more.

No matter how busy your life is, there is always time to take AT LEAST 10 x 30-second breaks throughout the day. It may seem like nothing, but I promise you even just one day of these breaks will significantly reduce the monkey mind chatter.

So here’s your exercise for today.

  1. Every time you ‘transition’ – change rooms or activities, take a short break, minimum 5 seconds.
  2. During this break take a few deep breaths and try to relax all tension in your muscles.
  3. Continue on with your day and appreciate how quickly this change can influence you.
  4. If you’d like, you can download this ‘Breathe’ Wallpaper for your mobile phone below and every time you pause you can look at your phone, take a deep breathe and relax.

Ben

P.S. Just three more days left! If you’ve made it this far, awesome. I’d love to hear what you have thought of the challenges so far, which was your favourite? What didn’t you resonate with? Send me an email at ben@projectmonkeymind.com.