It was beautiful. One of the last sunny, warm days before winter hits. A great day for a hike in the hills. 

You could almost forget that the bitter cold and short days are about to descend.

I stopped walking. I closed my eyes.

And then I noticed it. The intense scents of cedar and pine flooded over me.

Keeping my eyes closed, I breathed deeply and just stood in the silence.  

When I continued along the trail, I noticed that I hadn’t smelled this earlier in my walk nor did I smell it as intensely now.

My sensory ability seemed to increase when I closed my eyes and got still. I wasn’t focusing on where my feet were landing on the trail nor on how long I had left to hike. But taking in everything in that present moment. I soaked up my surroundings.

As I continued along the trail I wondered how much I missing out on in my everyday life because of the external crap getting in the way.

*Pro-tip: Crap would be the official term for anything that is taking you further away from your desired state of being.

I was amazed to discover how much my senses were dulled and how much I missed out on when I introduced other stimuli to what I was doing.

What passes you by when you split your energy and aren’t focused on the here and now moment you are in?

This world we live in today is more chaotic than it has been at any point in most of our lifetimes.

There is more distraction to take you away from what really matters to you.

That, my friend, is why you are so exhausted.

Women began multi-tasking not because we found it invigorating or fulfilling or relaxing, but because we were given no choice.

It seems that when there is slack to be picked up, whether that is in household chores, relationships or childcare, culturally, it always falls to the feminine to make sure it gets done.

That’s why creating a morning practice – a moment in time for stillness – just for you to serve as a source of grounding for the day is not optional anymore.

It took me forever to be able to still myself enough to meditate. And, admittedly, every so often I go through spaces of time where I can’t seem to settle enough to get into it. I’ve discovered that usually happens when I have emotions that I am trying to avoid – which is the real reason why most of us avoid sitting in silence in the first place.

We tell ourselves all sorts of fun little excuses like we don’t have time and we don’t know how but that isn’t it. We don’t want the self-reflection that ultimately happens.  

Rather than lecturing you on the benefits of meditating – ’cause that never works – I want to offer some alternatives to get that stillness in your life for even 5 minutes a day.

I suggest the mornings before anyone else is up. And that is coming from someone who is as a recovering night owl and “not-a-morning-person”. Six A.M. is now my favourite time of day!   

Here are 3 meditation fake-outs that you can try that give you a few of the same benefits as meditation but might be more palatable to you:

  1. Adult coloring books. These are just fun! I have them and I love it. Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Make a nice cup of tea, grab the crayons and book and get coloring. It’s very meditative and calming. Gets your creativity flowing. It’s a gentle way to ease into your day.
  2. Morning pages. I swear by this practice. If you don’t know, essentially, it is writing 3 pages worth (about 750 words) of whatever comes to mind. Basically, it’s a brain dump. They say that writing it out longhand is better, but if I did that, I would never do it. I always write more when I type. I’ve used 750 Words, an online journal, for years now. But there are plenty others out there. Just sit down and write whatever you want about anything you want. Could be about the mindless stuff rolling around your brain taking up space. Could be something you are angry about and you need to move that stuck energy through your body. Could be about the life you want to create for yourself. It’s up to you. There is no wrong way to do this.
  3. Move your body. This doesn’t have to be anything coordinated, planned or sweat-inducing. Find some music you like, preferably no words. Just sounds that move you – then get up and move! The key is to close your eyes while you do it (much like me in the woods). You will feel the music more and just follow how you are guided to move (it’s also a great way to teach yourself to trust your intuition).

Here’s the thing: if you want to live a happier, healthier life, you are totally in charge of that. And you absolutely can have it.

But you can’t just TALK about it; you have to BE about it.

Five dedicated minutes a day is nothing. You spend 5x that mindlessly scrolling social media a few times a day.

So, the only thing you need to do is decide.

Is a calmer, more collected, contented version of you something you want? 

Because you can totally have it. 

Now over to you!

Let me know in the comments below how the idea of creating space for yourself every day feels to you…

Do you have resistance? Do you welcome it? Are you going to give it a try? I read all your comments and I love hearing from you!

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