I discovered Quiet Time by accident. I was listening to the radio interview and quiet time was mentioned - it piqued my interest because it would only take 20 min. I can handle 20 minutes of quiet! So, I tried it for the first time and immediately fell in love. It was like a mini spa for my brain and body - giving both a nice relaxing break. Afterwards I felt more alert, focused and alive. I began practicing QT every day and it has become a favorite part of my day.
The immediate and long-term benefits of QT have been great! I feel more relaxed, focused, clear headed, alert, able to handle stress better, get lots of creative ideas and inspiration, enjoy better memory. Now, I actually miss it when I'm not able to have my morning QT!
If you would like to try it, below is the description of this very simple practice. It's not spiritual or religious but you can add your own elements, like repeating a prayer or a word during your quiet time. Often, Bible verses will float to mind during my QT. Sometimes I say words like: peace, love, joy, abundance - any word that feels good to you will work.
It is recommended to take early in the morning while your brain hasn't kicked into "high gear" of daily activity. It can more easily enter into the slower brain wave patterns, which actually allow it to work at its optimal speed and make new neural connections. I take it later in the morning, after my family has had breakfast and moved on to their morning activities. However, I try not to engage in any "heavy duty" thinking, no problem solving, telephone conversations or Internet.
Here's what you need to Take Quiet Time:
(this practice comes from one of my favorite books "Three Simple Steps to Success in Business and Life" by Trevor Blake)
Be alone - you don't want to be interrupted or distracted!
Sit in a chair with your back supported and your feet firmly on the ground - this assures you do not fall asleep and are comfortable.
Make sure you are sufficiently warm and hydrated - you want to be comfortable enough during your QT to stay alert but not too comfortable, so that you fall asleep.
Relax - take a few deep breaths and let all tension out, repeat if necessary. Let your entire body relax start with the top of your head, your eyes, cheeks, jaw, neck shoulders, arms and hands, chest and back, abdomen pelvic area, thighs, knees, calves, ankles and down to your toes. You can also let out a sigh out loud - this helps your body to relax.
Ground yourself - close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and imagine energetic roots growing from the bottom of your feet and penetrating the floor of the building you are in, through the foundation, down in to the ground and deep into the center of the earth. You are connecting to the grounding energy of the earth and receiving beautiful balancing energy from it.
Notice your breath - while breathing normally (no deep breathing here), bring your attention to your breath and notice it entering and exiting your body. Keep your focus on your nostrils, where the oxygen-reach air enters, imagine it going down to your lungs and carbon dioxide leaving through the nose. It helps to mentally say words In and Out as the air enters and leaves your body. Continue noticing your breath for the next 20 minutes.
Stay still - remain still and relaxed during this time, so both your body and mind have a chance to quiet down.
Distracting thoughts - if you start noticing a lot of mental chatter happening in your mind, don't get discouraged, being aware of it actually helps the process. Notice it and let it go, imagine it as a cloud of mist that dissipates into the air, or a balloon going up and disappearing in the clouds above. Gently, bring your focus back to your breath and notice it going in and out. Continue for 20 minutes (or more if you'd like but 20 minutes is a minimum time recommended).
Stretch - at the end, take a nice stretch as you open your eyes and re-engage with life around. You will feel refreshed as if awakened from a nap.
That's it - it looks like a lot of steps here but in reality they all take mere seconds to complete.
Continue with this practice for a week or a month and do let me know if you notice any difference in your day. I bet you will be very pleasantly surprised.
Some helpful tips: I usually set a small timer for my quiet time so that I'm not tempted to be constantly checking how much time has passed - it helps me to relax in to the practice and not worry about the time.
If you are not able to take Quiet Time first thing in the morning - try fitting it into your day whenever you can. Some potential places for taking quiet time could be your car (while it's parked!) before you head to work or an empty conference room at work or even library. Some people are able to relax and do this in public places such as on public transit. etc. The key is to make it your own and adapt it to your situation. The most important thing is to actually do it!
I would love to hear how practice is going for you and if you are noticing any difference in your day. Please leave a comment below.
Have a great quiet time!
The practice of Quiet Time comes from one of my favorite books "Three Simple Steps: a Map to Success in Business and Life" by Trevor Blake.