Finding calmness

In our normal lives, we are surrounded by stress. When you walk the Path of the Hero, you will face not only the stress of this normal life, but also the fears that come by walking a different path.

How can one manage this? How do you find calmness in a world that seems designed to keep you anxious and stressed?

Here are some of the techniques I use, and which have helped me:

(i) Meditation and yoga. Meditation and yoga are part of my life. I love doing a yoga session, and then spending an additional 15 or 30 minutes after the yoga is done to meditate. Sometimes, I’ll just do breathing meditations. Other times, I will do visualization exercises and use the meditation to help me visualize the emotions, experiences, and reality that I want to see manifest in the outside world.

Try and meditate or do some yoga at least 10 minutes every day. I do it first thing. Even just 10 minutes is an investment in how your day will unfold. You may have heard of the “butterfly effect”: the idea from Chaos Theory that the flapping of a wings by a butterfly in the Amazon will affect storm systems in Europe. If that’s true, then think about how approaching the day with the power of calmness in your heart will affect not only your day, but also your entire life, and the lives of others as well.

(ii) Being outside. We are a part of Nature, not separate from Nature. Connecting with the sunshine, with the trees, with running water -- we relearn how to activate our senses and to find a real “home” outside of the stress and bustle that accompanies modern life.

(iii) Sensory deprivation / floating. I have “floated” in a sensory deprivation tank occasionally over the years, and I find it to be an amazing way to really relax and find calmness. The calm that comes from a one hour session might last you a few days, after which time, it will slowly wear off and you can go back and float again. I also find that I have amazing meditative visualizations while in the float tank.

Give it a try if nothing else seems to work for you, or if you need a deeper type of relaxation.

(iv) Working with animals. Working with animals -- whether on a farm, at a shelter, or an outside reserve -- makes us learn how to use other forms of communication in order to connect with forms of life that are operating at a different wavelength. I am particularly fond of horses, and over the years, horseback riding has taught me how to use my energy to communicate with other living things.

Animals also react back to you with the energy you bring, so you learn quite a lot about yourself when spending time with them.

(v) Unplugging. Take time off and away from everything. Take a vacation. Turn off your phone. Do things where you can sit with yourself, away from from stress. The stress isn’t going to go anywhere. So make sure you have the time you need to restore and recover.