The world is busy. Long to-do lists, endless extracurricular activities, and plenty of prime-time television abound. And yet, when there’s much to do, value still abides in zipping our lips and just being for awhile.
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Here are five ways to help you do just that.
1. Be quiet.
It’s a short commitment that can have bountiful benefits. Try to take a few moments in a calm environment and commit to not speaking. If thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them and dismiss them. Focus on your breath, or, perhaps, a sentiment or a word. Be patient with yourself. When the voice inside your head quiets down a bit –even momentarily– you might find yourself listening in a whole new way.
2. Take a break.
We’ve written before about how important it is to get in touch with nature. Whether it’s a walk outside, an intentional listen to a song on Youtube, or taking a moment to smell a windowsill plant, getting your mind off of your surrounding environment is crucial to reaching within. Find a space that is relaxing to you – perhaps a beautiful view or an exquisite piece of music – and allow yourself time and solitude in it.
In addition to the spiritual helpfulness of removing yourself from everyday life, taking a break bears practical pros, too. If you’re able to fulfill yourself and your own needs, you can pour more of yourself into your everyday work.
3. Go solo.
While others can be a solid source of support and learning, your spiritual journey is ultimately your own. Taking some time to work on it alone is important; supplementing the solo time with group sessions might be a worthy follow-up.
4. Be intentional.
What did you get out of your tasks today? How were you present in them? How is this part of your ministry? Finding the joy, gratitude, and ministry in the small bits of each day can lead to an intentionality that infuses our lives with greater purpose.
5. Switch it up
When it comes to being contemplative, there’s no one right way to do it. The secret is to find what works for you. God can be found in everything from an exchange at the grocery store to nature walks.
Indeed, setting aside time to be contemplative can make us better participants in all areas of our lives. Go ahead and spend time in quiet and being intentional today. You might find that the result is a whole different you, beautifully.
Gina Ciliberto is the Digital Media Journalist for the Dominican Sisters of Hope: 160+ Catholic Sisters who live hope in fifteen states and Puerto Rico. More about the Sisters’ lives and ministries at www.ophope.org.