Putting pressure on myself is probably what I’m best at. I never feel like I’m doing enough—I should be prepping for work the next day, I should be at the gym, I should write, I should read, I should take the time to tend to some of the relationships in my life, etc. I am not good at relaxing. I like to always be on the go, checking something off my to-do list, accomplishing something. I know where I want to be in a few years, so if I’m not constantly plugging away at my goals, I feel like they’re slipping through my fingers.
But that’s not true.
I’m reading Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell and there’s a mantra/poem that I will insert below, called “You Are Already Doing It.” The one line that really struck me was, “The person you admire / The woman you long to become / You are her and she is you, / And you are closer than you think.”
I’m already there. I’m already that woman, I’ve already reached my goals, it’s all mine for the taking—so enjoy life. Truly enjoy it. Let yourself relax. Get rid of the should’s. This book is really helping tame my nerves. And it reminds me that I need to be prioritizing recentering myself just as much as I prioritize everything else.
When I have these moments of clarity, I reach the realization that I need to recenter, listen to my inner voice, and quiet all of the should’s. I have a few tools in my mental toolbox I grab for. Here are 5 ways I recenter myself and quiet out the noise:
- Guided Meditation. This is something I need to do more of—I realized around Thanksgiving last year that nothing bothered me or penetrated my calmness in life–even people who were purposely trying to–when I was meditating on a regular basis. I felt centered, at home, and at peace at almost all times. I use the Meditation Studio app on my iPhone, and I like to listen along to the visualization meditations available. Guided meditation really helps me control my thoughts and silence any doubts I may have. I meditated today for the first time in awhile and I forgot how powerful the mind is—I had some extreme tightness in my chest that immediately released itself through meditation. Definitely a huge aspect of recentering my soul.
- Exercise. I wish I loved exercise as much as my father and sister, and while I don’t love it by any means, I’ve become dependent on it. I try to hit the gym 3-4 times a week. Running helps me pound out negative emotions and thoughts, and allows my energy to release pent-up energy. I always feel more peaceful and happy after a good workout.
- Tarot Cards. Putting on some smooth jazz music and practicing tarot always helps me recenter myself. I’m still learning how to do readings properly, and interpret them. I’ve become more open-minded through tarot, trying to listen to what the cards are telling me without forcing it. Whether or not you believe in tarot, I think it’s a fun, soothing way for me to have a few minutes each day and connect spiritually. Maybe you can find the same solace through praying, or reading about good energy. Which takes me to my next point—
- Reading. Reading is so, so good for you. I always say it’s a workout for the mind. We’re always staring at screens, and it actually sickens me a bit. From staring at my computer at work all day, then doing freelance editing on my laptop after work, using my phone, working on my blog and watching Netflix/YouTube, I realize that my eyes are strained on screen time for so many hours of the day. I have a lot of eBooks, so I guess that’s even more screen time, but there’s nothing like picking up an actual book and reading away. I’ve been having one fiction book and one nonfiction book going at a time, and I also made a goal in 2018 to read 35 books in a year. I’m at 28. I gotta pick up the pace. But having a goal always centers me, and I truly enjoy the escapism of reading. Reading takes you to another world and also silences any troubling thoughts in the mind. A nice break from reality helps my soul relax.
- Nature. Being in nature centers me like no other. It’s one of the reasons I really want to move to Tampa, Florida. I want to be able to experience and appreciate the ocean and nature on a daily basis. Up here in Jersey, once winter comes, I feel trapped and inside way too often for my soul’s liking. Long walks at my local park help, as well as trips to the Poconos or Upstate NY. Escaping to the basics, like nature, calls our souls to recenter themselves as that is where we are truly home.
Everyone has different things in life that help recenter their souls. Whether it’s through sports, art, spending time with loved ones, or baking a beautiful cake, we can all relate to the strong emotion of inner peace even if different avenues bring us there. I have more tools for recentering myself than just these five, but they are my first go-tos. What are some aspects of life that bring you peace?