What does your reset button look like?
Plus a simple trick to quiet the mind when you can't get to your full reset.
We all have one. Some of us have more than one. You know what I’m talking about, that thing we do to get our minds and bodies right again after a long period of being out of whack. I have several little resets, my nightly bath and the Daily Mail UK come to mind, but my ultimate reset button is a mountain bike ride with plenty of daylight and nowhere to be afterwards.
I don’t get as many of these resets as I used to now that I work for myself.
Many of us get into solopreneurship for better work-life balance, but it’s more difficult to turn things off when you ditch the standard 9-to-5 life. I’ve had to set all kinds of boundaries with myself in the last year, and I can’t say I’m actually doing too well with any of them right now. I suppose admitting the problem is the first step.
One thing I have been doing to help reset is to proactively practice turning off my mind when I don’t need it.
Yes, you read that correctly, and at times I fail spectacularly.
Just when I think, “Brain, you’re no longer ruling me. I’ve totally got this,” something happens and—boom!—I’m right back in negative thinking.
But am I really? Even in my worst doom mind spiral now, I have more awareness than ever that these are just thoughts and that I am not my thoughts.
This is a practice, one you have to work at.
I picked up the concept from Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now,” which emphasizes the importance of distancing oneself from the constant chatter of the mind:
“This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being. It also creates a false mind-made self that casts a shadow of fear and suffering.”
A few weeks ago I shared an exercise to apply the principles from “The Power of Now” when we’re unhappy with our bodies, but today I am talking about turning off the thoughts.
When you can quiet the mind in moments of downtime, the payoff is being more refreshed and more focused when you need it most.
To do it, you have to begin to cultivate awareness of yourself separate from your mind. It’s a radical concept for most of us, especially the intellectuals who have made their intelligence their identity (yes, I am guilty of this). But when you divest yourself—your being from your brain—it creates a healthy separation. That distance allows you to see your thoughts simply as thoughts, disconnected from the essence of you. This is helpful for clearing the mind noise and negative looping we are all prone to.
It’s like a little power nap for your brain when you can’t push the full reset button.
5-second trick for quieting the mind
AN EXERCISE TO TRY
If I need to get into Zen mode right here and now, I use a technique I learned from Martha Beck a few weeks ago. It’s so simple that it doesn’t need lengthy instructions, and after you do it once, you’ll find yourself doing it over and over again.
Here’s the drill: Close your eyes, relax your face and imagine the space between your eyes.
Now enjoy the nothingness!
I first tried this exercise in a ballroom full of hundreds of women led by the aforementioned Martha Beck, and the peace and calm that came over the place was stunning. Since then, I do it all the time, every time I need a quick reset.
I’m a big fan of meditation teacher Tara Brach, and she normally begins her meditations by guiding practitioners through a scan of the body and asking them to feel various parts from the inside out. Last week, while doing one of her meditations, I noticed she asked us to “imagine the space between your shoulders …” Yep, you can do a full body scan using this technique for the ultimate unwinding or just keep it simple.
You don’t have to be in full meditation to try these, although you definitely shouldn’t do it while driving or mountain biking. If you’ve never done it before, try it and let me know what you think!
More links to lift you up!
I enjoy reading what other people are reading. It’s like a little peek inside other people’s minds. I took a little hiatus from rounding up the most interesting reads and listens from the last week, but I’m back and trying a new format.
The radiantalludes to her secret past as a hockey player and also talks about the spiritual piece missing from most of our practices.
My friend and non-diet nutritionistfollowed up our workshop with a full podcast on how to navigate the challenges of eating, body image and diet talk around the holidays.
I’ve bookmarked this one!provides a practical tips you can use when you encounter weight stigma at the doctor’s office.
An important reminder fromthat when we disagree with someone we care about, we can still treat them with love and acceptance extolls the virtues of liking yourself first.
How many of you have heard of Dressember? I’ll admit I had never heard of this movement to raise awareness about human trafficking through fashion until I started reading. I highly recommend her interviews with other Dressember participants.
What have you been reading and meditating on this week? What’s your ultimate reset button and how often do you get to it? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also, just a quick reminder that I’m still inviting folks to opt in to No Diet Talk December. I’d love to have you join along!