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Discover Serenity

Too Much Information

We live in a noisy chatter-world, constantly bombarded with information, advertisements and advice. When you can answer the phone while going to the washroom, being connected all the time might seem more like an invasion of privacy than an advancement of technology.

We all have chatter going on inside our heads - the worries, the shoulds, the if-onlies. This inner babble can be distressing, making it hard to relax, release and let go.

Finally, we have the economic turmoil. Everywhere we turn someone is talking about how bad things are, leading to feelings of fear and devastation.

Quiet the Mind

Do you want to relax? Enjoy life more? Access your inner wisdom?

You can improve your life. You can experience peace. You can find your own path to triumph. All you have to do is quiet your mind.

A quiet mind has definite perks. When you remove the distractions in your life and focus on the present moment you create a space for discovery, a space where you can find the way to move forward and make your life better.

Some of the benefits of a quiet mind are:
* You are more relaxed.
* It builds self confidence.
* You improve your concentration.
* It can help you find creative solutions.
* It will increase happiness.

How to Quiet the Mind

To deal with fear and stress that are a normal part of life you want to create opportunities to rally the relaxation response, a state of deep rest. The relaxation response brings your body, mind and spirit into balance.

The relaxation response may be achieved by breathing deeply, through progressive relaxation, or by being fully focused on the present moment.

Breathing is something you do every moment of every day, it is automatic. In deep breathing you pay attention to this activity of inhaling and exhaling. You completely experience your breath, the movement of bringing oxygen and the energy of life into your lungs and then you let go, releasing this energy.

In progressive muscle relaxation you tense and relax different muscles in your body. Often you start with tensing and relaxing your toes and move upward. With playful practice you discover what tension and relaxation feels like.

When you know what tension feels like you become aware of when you are feeling stress. Once you become aware of this feeling you can then choose to perform activities that help you relax, thereby reducing tension.

The mind is only able to consciously focus on about 5 to 9 pieces of information at a time. When you are fully aware of the present moment you can choose where and what to focus on. For instance, the way your body moves when you walk, the feel of fresh air on your skin, the smell of flowers in the air. This mental state of concentrating on your thoughts, actions and motivations can lead to enlightenment.

There are several strategies you may employ to quiet the mind. Today, let's focus on three:
* Meditation
* Mindfulness
* Flow


Meditation is the practice of concentrated focus to increase awareness of the present moment to enhance personal growth. There are several ways to meditate. You can take a class, visit your local Buddhist temple, or do yoga. Or you can also listen to a meditation, creative visualization or guided imagery CD or MP3.

Meditation is something you can do at home for free. Find a comfortable spot and wear loose clothing. You can sit cross legged on the floor or sit in your favorite chair or even lie down. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Breathe out. Continue to focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale.

Do your best to empty your mind and perform detached observation. If thoughts cross your mind, that's okay, just return to the present moment and your breath. There are many ways to meditate. Play with several techniques and use the ones that work for you.


Mindfulness is about paying attention on purpose in a nonjudgmental way. It is about being fully and consciously aware of the present and noticing the nuances and details of this moment.

Mindfulness helps you to appreciate and enjoy the gift of this moment. Mindfulness can bring awareness of what is going on within you.

Often when you do an activity you go on autopilot. Mindfulness means choosing to pay attention and noticing the activity you are doing right now. Next time you take a shower (or bath) or brush your teeth focus your attention fully on this activity. Notice what you see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel emotionally.

Some people use an electronic device, such as a cell phone or PDA, and set an alarm to go off during the day. When the alarm sounds, they choose that moment to become present and aware for a few minutes and take special notice of the activity they are engaged in.


Flow is the experience of being fully immersed and involved in an activity for its own sake, which leads to feelings of joy, energy and success. Sometimes people refer to this as being "in the groove" or "in the zone".

In flow, time and self disappear as you create a balance between ability and challenge. Flow tends to occur when there is a clear goal and you are able to fully concentrate on the activity. You feel a sense of accomplishment as you victoriously cross the finish line, even if the goal is small.

A way for you to experience flow is to find an activity you enjoy. One reason many people choose to be creative and make time for creativity is that flow often occurs while pursuing these endeavors.

Accept Imperfection

Start with about 5 minutes a day, twice a week. Slowly, over weeks and months you can lengthen the time given to quieting the mind and move to a daily practice. Remember, start slowly with a short time frame and feel success with each small step.

Give yourself permission to be imperfect while quieting the mind, especially in the beginning. You will get better with playful practice.

Finding serenity is about finding a few minutes each day to be good to yourself. You are worthy and deserving of peace and happiness.

Dare Kent, Right Brain Coach