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Coaches Corner by Ellie West: Finding quiet

It seems all too common that we have difficulty turning off our thoughts when we go to bed at night. Our minds keep racing…How do we quiet our minds and hearts?

We think about many things, an event, a situation, or the stuff we didn’t mark off the do-to list.

We are a tired nation. We live in a fast-paced environment, and we are constantly moving. Our minds race, our calendars are packed, and we are digitally connected. Keeping up with this pace and striving to perform each day causes us to become exhausted.

It may be time to permit ourselves to stop. How do we do that? We set our intentions daily of pure solitude, even for just ten minutes.

Having your phone readily available has the potential to distract you or interrupt your quiet time. I have my special place in our home where I spend nearly one hour every morning uninterrupted with no distractions. It is my time to journal, read my devotions, and pray. My phone remains in airplane mode, and I have “do not disturb” on until I finish my morning routine.

If mornings don’t work for you, find a way to create stillness in your day and quiet your mind. Perhaps you drive to work…use that time to be silent. Practicing this will give you more clarity and a new perspective as you start your day. There will be temptations to minimize being quiet and still…take note of what is happening in your mind and heart. Write them down even if you feel vulnerable. Be honest, as you may have difficulty realizing some things about yourself.

I was chatting with a good friend the other day, and she told me that one of her kids has moved back home as he and his family transition and look for a place to live. That is always difficult when you are empty nesters and your kids return home for a season. But I love how she prioritized her time and space. She has set aside one hour daily, goes to her special quiet place, and locks the door. Her family knows they cannot knock on the door or disturb her during this time. This is her time to be quiet before she begins her day. She has set a boundary and cares for her well-being, allowing her to be her best daily. Some may think she is being selfish, but she is practicing self-care. Self-care activates the deep inner voice of your true self to be heard.

You may find it hard to be silent and still for even a moment. But, as you practice this daily, you will soon realize that some areas of your life need restoration and healing, which is a gift.

During your quiet time, pray and ask God to show you places in your life, heart, and mind that may need healing and acknowledge those areas that are out of sync. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

God, your creator and the creator of the universe, wants to have a relationship with you, but when we are constantly bombarded with all the chatter, we can not hear His voice or even our own. Allow God to interrupt your day and take time to understand your thoughts and the condition of your heart.

Once a month, my husband and I meet with others for a Torah study. In this past study, a question was asked, “In making decisions, do you listen to your heart or mind?” That is such a great question. My first thought was that we listen with our hearts as our intuition is strangely accurate. But do we listen to it when making crucial decisions? Our minds will get in the way as we begin to feel overwhelmed, weighing the many options. When we become quiet and still, we will find the best answer lies within. Do we always like the response we receive? Sometimes not, but we must learn to trust and listen to that still, small, quiet voice.

Learn to disconnect for a few minutes each day, and you will soon discover that you enjoy your time of rest. Quiet your mind and heart, and be purposeful and intentional with your time, as being still and in solitude with your time is an act of self-care.

“It is no easy task to walk this earth and find peace. Inside of us, it would seem something is at odds with the very rhythm of things, and we are forever restless, dissatisfied, frustrated, and aching. We are so overcharged with desire that it is hard to come to simple rest.”

~Ronald Rolheiser

To connect with Ellie FB/IG @coachelliewest

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