Four Minutes of Stillness! How to Achieve It…

I have heard it said many times, slow down. Or, rest is as important as exercise. And I have even participated in 21 day meditations where each meditative time is about 20 minutes… and they were a challenge! So why can I not turn my brain off? Why can I not be still for a few minutes? What can I do to solve this so I have the health benefits touted with meditative practice … although I actually would not mind going to a mountain top!

The years I backpacked alone in the Adirondack Mountains, or jogged/ran long miles during my 5km, 10km training days, or cross country skied on fresh snow at golf courses before others arrived, or whacked the crap out of a golf ball on Sunday mornings during my high school principalship years… those were the times my mind was still! Now, I am loving every minute of tennis, bicycling and volunteering, but I am not having moments where I can turn my brain off. And I decided that I really do need to solve this personal dilemma….so….here’s my plan……

Each morning I use my Mr Coffee maker and brew a cup of coffee. Simple. So, during the time the coffee brews I will focus on my breathing, and only my breathing until my coffee is brewed…I think the brew time is about 4 minutes…. What do I have to lose, nothing! And I always gain my cup of coffee, so it seems like it could be a win-win. Does this mean I actually have to do it for 21 consecutive days before it is considered a meditative success? or a crazy start to a habit? or simply 4 minutes of silence in the kitchen?

I hope I have success for 4 days; now that would be a start! Yet I will brew on and can always come back to the morning coffee/meditative challenge…or maybe I will take up running again?

When’s Your Golden Hour?

I am figuring this “golden hour” out for myself because my time seems to fill and often burst with to many things to do in short time. I think I should have a golden hour … what would it involve and/or look like? I wondered too if others have a “golden hour”, or does time just fill with no special acknowledgment, but instead the usual work, play, cocktail hour?

Within my American Red Cross course, I am reminded of the medically-referred golden hour: when prompt medical care must be provided someone within an hour or less of their medical emergency to hopefully prevent his/her death. And then too, within my photography work its reference to the golden hour: time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when a photographer hopes to capture a softer, redder daylight compared to time when the sun is higher in the sky.

That’s it! I need an hour or less when it is imperative to react to a behavior, or to act on a regular basis to a specific time of day. When working, I had limited time in a day so I felt there was little precious time for myself… just do and do … and occasionally catch my breath for the relaxing moment. Now with so much available time, other things fill my time: volunteering, tennis, road bicycling, tai chi, reading, etc and yet I believe I should have a golden hour each day. Does anyone agree?

My golden hour may be time to think with no interruption. A quiet, reflective time; maybe even meditative. I am not sure yet, but I plan to chisel a time per day, at a minimum, to listen to my brain. I have ideas that need sorting; thoughts that need encouraging; nonsense that needs deleting. I do not want to do these things while I fall asleep at night. I need a golden hour.

When’s your golden hour? Are you a reactor creating your time, or do you act each day at the same time with a special activity? Please feel free to comment. I am interested in your ideas.