On Facebook, a writer I know, Jennifer Haupt, asked how you quiet your mind. She's getting some really good responses...thoughts such as shut off the power (electricity, lighting, etc.) at home, turn off the radio when in the car (I do this a lot!), and some obvious thoughts (yoga, meditation). You can probably guess my response. I get on my bike, of course. That's exactly what I do to quiet my mind when the quiet doesn't want to come.
Her question inspired me to think about this a little longer.
Bike riding relieves stress
The repetitive motion of riding my bike not only helps relieve any stress I might be feeling but really does help slow things down. It allows me to think about a challenge that's getting to me or to not think at all. If I ride long enough, time won't even be an issue. I'll get so lost in thought or motion that an hour will have passed before I realize the time. If you're the type who thinks you can't spare that half-hour to exercise, you'll be surprised by how quickly time flies when on the seat of your bike. That might be a good enough reason to ride, if you're looking for one.
And when I need to slow down my entire world, meaning there's just too much to do and I'm feeling way off balance, my bike is a godsend. It allows me to connect with what exactly the challenge is that I may be facing and focus on listening for the answer. We all have them inside of ourselves. We just need to listen for them. That does mean we need to quiet the mind. A really long walk alone can be equally as helpful.
Hiking is a form of meditation
And I love to hike. Hikes through Arizona's wilderness really help me find focus, peace and quiet. That's why I love hiking with my boyfriend. We just returned from a long weekend in Greer, Ariz., where we spent two days hiking near Mt. Baldy (home of Sunrise Ski Resort). The wilderness is one of the few places where I don't mind not engaging in conversation. And he likes that, too! In fact, I want it to be as peaceful out there as possible. Words come only when necessary. Thoughts don't have to be shared. And the sounds of nature finally get to have their say. I like that.
Asking for help slows down your world
Another thing that helps slow down my world is asking for help when I need it. I've been doing that a lot lately. Promoting my book has taken up so much of my time that I finally realized I needed to slow down. The ideas are running so rampant, and I want to do them all, and I was trying to do it all--by myself. But it became too much. And I had to admit I'm unable to get it all done. So I ushered in some help--a marketing pro, a public relations pro. They're helping me with my brand, with publicizing my book.
Yesterday, after a long chat with the public relations gal I hired about what I needed to accomplish--and she told me what she needs from me in order to do that--I hung up the phone and immediately sent her all the information I could. And then I felt such relief.
"Whew!" moments create room for growth
It was one big "whew!" moment that opened up room for a renewed energy. And that, in turn, allowed me to do other work I need to focus my attention on as well. Slowing down in one area of life means you can speed things up in others--wherever it counts most at the moment. And my PR pro has already sent out one PR notification. That's amazing to me, as I wouldn't have been able to get that done today. Overwhelm just wouldn't let me.
Have you found this ever to be true in your own life? Is there an area of your life right now where you could use an extra hand? Are you asking for that help? According to BIKE, that's using your Expressive voice. As the holiday season begins to approach us, I bet there will be plenty of tasks you could use help with. Do yourself a favor and don't forget to ask for it.
Next on my agenda? Get a housekeeper. I definitely need help with that. How about you?