I often ask students whether or not they have a way to center themselves, even a minute or so in the morning or evening, perhaps just sitting still in silence or meditating or praying. Very few do so. Most say their lives are so busy with school, family and work, they don’t have the time. “Not just a few minutes every day?” I usually respond. And then I suggest they take stock of their time and see how much time they really have and what they do with it (most admit they spend a lot watching TV). And then I suggest they go out and buy a three minute egg timer and start using it once a day. I advise them to find a place where they get away from cell phones and other disturbances and start the egg timer and just sit there for three minutes. “If a thought comes to you, just dismiss it lightly, breathe deeply; focus on your breathing.” The ones who try this often report they feel more centered throughout the day and have more energy. It is a very old and simple prescription for the stress of life each one of us feels, more so in this age of email and texts and a hundred sounds and sights hitting us.
Few of us can go off to retreats. Not many have leisure days. But each one of us has a few minutes every day to spend doing nothing but staying in the power of silence, restoring ourselves, gaining strength for the day.
You can begin today to take time for yourself. Look at the picture below for a minute and be quiet. That’s the beginning. Take care of your soul, even if you don’t believe you have one, because no one will do that for you.