Excerpted from the book: The Goddess of Happiness, A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss by Debbie Gisonni
Do you remember those lazy summer vacation mornings when you were a kid? I used to stay in bed after waking up and just stare at the ceiling, listening to nothing. As the rising sun splashed on my bedroom walls, I felt so peaceful and happy lying in bed, soaking up the silence. It was the only time during the day when my mind wasn’t cluttered with the noises of the external world. For most women, those quiet summer mornings have been long forgotten and replaced with the never-ending morning noise of phones ringing, kids screaming, dogs barking, and TV blasting. Being still, even for a moment, seems totally unnecessary and, even more so, detrimental to the constantly moving treadmill of life we run upon as if we’ll lose our place in life if we stop. In our technologically advanced culture, filled with stimuli to keep us going twenty-four hours a day, there is no encouragement for silence or reflection—unless you’re a three-year-old child in time-out! Most of us shun silence, opting instead to spend whatever time we have alone drowning in the constant din of the TV.
While I was in between careers, I spent a lot of time doing nothing, which led to an interest in meditating—in essence, the same thing as doing nothing. Yes, me . . . the person who used to wake up in the middle of the night to add to my “to do" list for the next day. Once I started meditating, however, I found I wasn’t as anxious at night and was able to rekindle the feelings from those peaceful quiet childhood summer mornings at any time. And, in the silence of meditation, I hear the most profound things.
But don’t take my word for it. Technology (it does good things, too) can now prove the actual benefits of meditation. Advanced brain scan imaging has shown that meditation can rewire the neurons in the brain, with numerous life-improving benefits—it can help boost the immune system, reduce stress, extend life, slow disease, manage pain, and alleviate depression . . . to name a few.
You can find silence anywhere—in a raging crowd or a quiet forest. It’s not about what’s going on outside of you—it’s what you create inside. In as little as ten minutes you can become the calm in the center of a hurricane that’s whirling around you. Start with a few deep goddess breaths. The Buddhist spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh suggests a breathing technique to help quiet your mind. While taking a breath in, say to yourself, “Breathing in, I am aware of breathing in. " As you release the breath, say, “Breathing out, I am aware of breathing out. " All you need is a little practice and commitment, and you’ll be well on your way to having a more peaceful goddess existence.
Debbie Gisonni, aka The Goddess of Happiness™, is an author (The Goddess of Happiness: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss and Vita’s Will: Real Life Lessons about Life Death & Moving On), speaker, happiness expert and columnist for iVillage.com. Contact: http://www.goddessofhappiness.com
Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Debbie Gisonni