Why fill the spaces?

It seems as though autumn has arrived and with it the passing of three-quarters of the year.

A time for reflection, I thought, so here goes….

This year I have spent quality time with someone who has nothing and someone who is a billionaire.  The story really is true: if you don’t have some kind of inner peace then you really don’t have much quality of life.

I have noticed, through seeing many clients, that people are fearful of the “spaces” in their lives – the quiet moments that are opportunities to listen to our inner, guiding voice or simply relax and enjoy some time out – some peace.  These spaces are filled in so many ways: working every hour god sends, smoking, drinking, drugs, mindless TV, endless activity until falling exhausted into bed at night, possibly/hopefully so exhausted that sleep arrives instantaneously, preventing the need to encounter any spaces at all.

So what is the fear?  What might our “little voice” in the head say if we give it a chance?  Perhaps, “You are not good enough” or “How can you live with yourself?” or “My life is so unsatisfactory” or one of many other?  The thing is, if we don’t find the stillness to listen and let go then the disturbance will always remain.

In a session, I often assist clients in finding their own “perfectly peaceful place” though this doesn’t have to be done in hypnosis.  Just taking a few minutes to relax and visualise a known or fictional place that fills you with peace is a beginning to a deep relaxation. Close your eyes and follow/notice your breathing. Observe it becoming slower, steadier, and calmer.

Comfortable and uncomfortable thoughts may come and go and this is the nature of thought.  You can become the observer and not get tied up in knots by the thoughts.  A thought never killed anyone.  You can take the time to be gentle with yourself, refresh your body and listen to whatever may or may not come to you in these quiet moments.

I end with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, one of my favourite teachers:

“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”

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