Fanning the Flames
Finding Your Peace
 
If you're like me, you need to recharge and refresh every now and then. In today's society (At least in the West), we're expected to always be "on", always be productive. When we're not on or productive, it can bring up feelings of failure, discontent, and even guilt. Things we read simultaneously tell us to chill and also shame us for not doing enough. We're torn between "take 5 to come at it with fresh eyes" and "Git 'er done!" Sadly, that's not humanly possible and neither is it healthy. Just as our bodies can't exercise without eventually resting, our minds and spirits need to take a break.
 
What is healthy and necessary is finding that quiet place within that allows you to refuel and to just breathe. For some people, it's listening to their favorite music. For others, it might be a walk in the park or sitting quietly with a cup of tea or coffee. However you can relax is best for you. you might even need to experiment or try something more than once to see if it works well for you. You're not expected to be an expert at this overnight.
 
My favorite way to find the peace I need to recharge is to sit with a cup of tea, maybe some nice incense, and meditative music. Even if it's just for 3 minutes, I just sip my tea, breathe calmly, and focus on just the present moment. Any thoughts that come in, I acknowledge them and let them pass through. The music is easy to find on YouTube (of all places!) under terms like meditation, delta waves, zen, music for yoga, music for study, focus, etc. Very calming and non-vocal stuff. The tea is delicious and warms my hands, as well as being delightfully fragrant. I engage all my senses to keep me in the present moment. When I'm done, it's like coming out of a wonderful nap. I feel relaxed and yet energized for whatever I need to do next. It clears out the cobwebs and lets you recover like the cool-down part of working out.
 
The act of taking a break can also be used as inspiration for the next creative cycle. If you act or write, how might a break or chilling look like for your character? If you're a visual artist, how can you convey that sense of peace in your media? (And if you're super busy, try taking one minute to just doodle anything. It's great for cleaning out the brain.)
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Fanning the Flames, copyright 2019 Meghan O'Connor, all rights reserved.
Photo by Kate Macate on Unsplash
*The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)© by Jill Badonsky
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