“It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.” ~ Donna Karan
Life is So rich, so stimulating, so amazing! I love how life thrives in me and around me. There are opportunities and activities going on everywhere around me and I feel like a kid at a carnival, wondering which game to play first. Its an amazing feeling to be immersed in the wide tapestry of life and enjoy its colors fully. There is wonder and awe everywhere if we choose to see it that way.
But, while life can be full of all things amazing, it can also be full of unmanageable tension when our mind is going so many places at once. That’s inner chaos for you. On the outside, it all feels doable, approachable, delicious even…but on the inside there is indecisiveness, stress, anxiety and tension.
Is Busy really the new awesome?!
A world in which Busy is the new awesome…we find it hard to simply sit and do nothing. Let alone do nothing, we don’t even know the last time we sat and just took a breath and focused on our very basic breathing. We live in a state of constant overwhelm and then wonder where our life went. Or right now, where the year 2021 went. We are at the fag end of 2021 …and we will introspect on the year gone by as soon as December hits the calendars. Which is a good thing, the introspecting I mean…not the time that has gone by in the chaos(pandemic sized!) of it all.
How on earth do we live a fulfilling life if we cant find that sweet spot between what we want to do, and what is humanly possible? That sweet spot is the Calm. And that calm is a necessity in today’s ever fast paced world.
The Too Much of a Good Thing Factor
While being immersed in a world full of opportunities and activity is beautiful, we must understand that too much of a good thing is not necessarily great for us. Years back I learned this lesson from my grandma’s kheer(sweet rice pudding). My grandma was an amazing cook. When we would visit her on the holidays, she knew just what to make for us to keep us all satiated and happy. Kheer being one of her specialties, was always a family favorite. As kids we were allowed to have one small helping of it and no more. Mommy’s orders! But one such holiday night, when all the family was fast asleep, I snuck into the kitchen and had a lot more than one helping. Well that went from a “good yummy thing” to a “bad tummy thing” in no time! Lesson unhappily learned But never forgotten.
Although our world is full of many good things today, we need to know when too much is just that “too much”! And, even though there is so much to achieve and so many opportunities, yet there is always that feeling of ‘burn out’ we all face. That is because there is no calm in our life. The calm within the chaos needs to be found and nurtured.
4 Ways of Calming Life’s Chaos
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” ~ Pema Chodron
While the external weather(chaos) never really calms down, the inner chaos can be calmed easily. Here are a few Positive ways you can use to stay calm in the chaos:
1} Carve out Mandatory “Chill Time”:
As busy as our lives are, and as much as we have to DO on a daily basis just to keep up with life, it can get supremely exhausting. I know I have had times even after doing everything on my list, I still felt like crap. My energy was zapped. I thought I would feel good after doing what I needed to get done, but on the contrary I felt exhausted and dissatisfied. It took me a while, but I realised that it was because I never allowed myself any down time aka “chill time”. In the need to get things done, I forgot how to enjoy the little accomplishments, because I really wasn’t allowing myself any room to breathe. So, to calm the inner hamster wheel, I decided to carve out 10 minutes twice a day to simply sit with myself. I call this my “chill time”, where I do nothing. I just breathe and savor the moment. This chill time not only calmed me down, but also recharged me to accomplish more and added the satisfaction quotient that was missing in my life.
2} Manage your Energy:
Time management has always been the biggest challenge for me. I often think, what if the day had 36 hours instead of just 24, basically running by the clock always stresses me out. As it does most others. While we all have the same allotted 24 hours in a day, our personal energy level is a different story altogether. If we can manage our energy, by utilizing it smartly, chaos won’t strike. Like instead of making a to-do list, I have a to-don’t list. I make it a point to NOT do the things that will zap my good energy, unless life threatening ofcourse(like a dreaded doctors visit)! But first, make a list of all the things that zap your energy, identify them. That, in itself, is half your chaos gone.
3} Allow yourself to say “NO”:
With all the shiny distractions we have in front of us at all times, its easy to go into overwhelm mode. And, if you end up saying “yes” to every o ne of those shiny options, you will most definitely be saying NO to your inner peace of mind. So while you must have a “Yes to Life!” attitude, you need to limit the amount of energy you spend on the unnecessary ‘yeses’. Analyze the situation and then allow yourself to say NO to those shiny distractions that will shake your inner calm.
4} Live in the Moment:
We are all living the day by to do lists, and 24 hours clocks. But are we truly living? If I asked you what you ate for breakfast yesterday, how quickly will you remember that detail or will you need to think hard? If you remembered instantaneously, then you do savor each moment and live life fully. But, if you had to jog your memory, then really you are just going by the routine of the day, not enjoying each moment. That’s the difference really, when we enjoy and live fully, we remember those moments instantaneously. But when we are in a routine chore mode, everything just passes by. The moment and in turn life just passes by. Strive to savor each moment, no matter how small or trivial the task at hand, BE IN IT and give it your all. Live in the present, not in a hypothetical future/past that can only agitate without rhyme nor reason. Where is the calm in that?!
While the shiny opportunities and options that life offers us moment by moment are not going away, what we need to truly change is our attitude towards the effect those distractions have on our inner calm. The external chaos, will never really become still, but we can maintain our inner stillness, our calm simply by using the above four ways.
There are many more ways that work for different people. Its all a matter of personal choice. What is your favorite way of calming the chaos in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to learn from you.
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