I believe all of us need to practice something we enjoy that will bring us closer to ourselves. Something that gives us joy. Something that gives us peace of mind. As we grow, we tend to forget to do this because of the responsibilities and tensions life hands us. We slowly, but surely lose touch with the child we once were. Children know joy; they aren’t preoccupied with the restrictions, etiquette, and responsibilities of life.
If we, as adults practice something we enjoy, the rewards we will reap are immeasurable. Although some adults, me included, thoroughly enjoy working our jobs, I don’t mean this. I mean a hobby; something we do for ourselves. Don’t know what to do? If you had one hour what would you do; you have no pending professional work, no housework, and no friends online, or even available, what would you do? This is just YOU time.
I’ll give you my example: in 6th grade we were given creative assignments and I choose to remember and recite “If” by Rudyard Kipling. I was an avid reader and enjoyed writing (homework and assignments), but this was my first experience with poetry. My first poem was written in grade 7, and thereafter became my preferred creative process for assignments and such. I realized that when writing poetry I would lose track of time, block out noises and other disturbances, and enter the world of the poem which I was in the process of writing. This process gave me so much pleasure, that I looked forward to any chance I got to write poetry. When I write a poem, I lose track of time and continue writing until the work is done. Being inspired, trying to rhyme phrases, and writing aesthetically can be 1-8 hour process, but when you are in the Flow it seems minutes.
Another activity that forces me to lose myself is listening to music. I am a type A personality: very anal. As such, I am very particular about time and feel the need to be early to every appointment: classes, movies, meetings, doing assignments early, and the like. In my 1st year of college I had a statistics class at that I had to be driven to. Apparently, one day I got ready a little early so my mom had me wait; I decided to listen to music for the time to pass. I switched on my 60 cd player stereo and stated listening (and singing along with) the soundtrack of “A Walk to Remember’; I got so caught up in the emotions of the music that my mom had to come to me and tell me I was late.
Things I do to calm, center, and give myself joy: 1. Writing 2. Listening to music 3. Chanting 4. Meditating/ yoga 5. Reading
So, in the one hour you have for yourself, do any of my meditations interest you? Do any of these things give you joy such that if someone comes knocking you will be irritated? Will these or any other activity be so pleasurable and centering that it will put you into a trance like state?
I invite and urge you to spend some time to go back to your simpler life and remember something that gave you joy. Plug this activity into your hectic and busy life and see the wonders it will do for you. Spending time investing in this activity will provide to you the same fruits as meditation provides.