Turn down the noise!
Before you start running on the treadmill of a new year, have you explored deep enough to determine what you truly want for yourself in 2020? If you’re not 100% sure yet, read on. Today we will be exploring ways of tapping into the richness of your inner cave where clarity and creativity are waiting for you!
A cave is not just a physical space. It can also be a metaphor for your mind, or your creative center. This other sanctuary, like the cave you created in your home, is inside and beneath the surface. The physical cave is a kind of host…it is the external environment that nurtures pathways to your inner world, and that is where the real creativity happens. It’s easy enough to enter a room. But how do we get to the inner cave?
One of the most essential components in accessing your inner cave is reducing noise – quieting down that loud cacophony of external and internal messages and pressures in order to make room for creative thoughts. Noise can be defined as anything that interferes with our clarity of mind. Achieving this clarity can be challenging. We are accustomed to being on autopilot, performing tasks all the time, being inundated with distractions…and the noise doesn’t stop until we either drown it out with something else, or learn how to turn down the volume. Let’s explore a few noise-reduction strategies.
8 ways to lower the volume
Here are some of my go-to favorites for turning down the noise and opening up channels to my inner cave:
1 – Take a warm bath by candlelight with a soothing cup of herbal tea, such as chamomile. I consciously recognize and put aside any stressful, circular thoughts for another time when I am better equipped to deal with them (think of the song Mojo…’why do today what can be put off till tomorrow’). Let all toxic thoughts drain out with the bathwater. Works like a charm.
2 – Fire up the tealights when the sun goes down for home beautification and relaxation. Turn off all overhead lights. This is utterly transformative – an everyday ritual for me – and sets the tone for entering my cave
space. The rest is mine to create.
3 – Cook dinner with my partner and unwind from the day (after firing up the tealights, of course). This is a relationship-builder too. Don’t forget the relaxing music. It’s a great way to shut off the noise and soften the landscape of your inner world.
4 – Eliminate the use of back-lighted electronic devices shortly after dark (TVs, cellphones, computers, etc). They emit “blue” light that interferes with the brain’s ability to produce melatonin, a hormone that makes us restful. Rest – in particular, sleep – is essential for boosting mood, energy and creativity. Do your online work, texting and TV watching early – set yourself a cutoff time and honor it. Tell friends and family that you are offline at a certain time. This establishes good boundaries with people as well as devices, and models (instead of preaches) healthy patterns for those you love.
5 – Get thee to the cave. Our Brumbylon Cave is the fun room. Just going there immediately connects me to my inner world because the space is set up as a creative ‘engine room.’ What is essential is to block off an hour or more – make a time commitment for creativity to emerge and take form. Steep a warm cup of tea and hang out in your newly-created cave. Once you have settled in you will begin to feel peaceful and open, the portal to your creative center.
6 – Meditate for 15-30 minutes (there are countless meditations to explore, but in winter I really like yoga nidra). Sometimes I just sit in silence and focus on the movement of my breath. This is effective for clearing away excess internal chatter. Sometimes, if I’m in a real funk, I do some yoga stretches first to work out the tensions of the day.
7 – Maintain a gratitude journal. In particular when I’m feeling depressed or depleted I write down everything that I am grateful for. I spare no details. Gratitude increases the production of feel-good hormones (like endorphins and serotonin) and clears away negativity. Sometimes I also process what is troubling me by writing. Once I have identified the true nature of a problem, I consider that I have made a breakthrough, and my thoughts begin to run clear again. If writing isn’t your thing, find a source of inspirational gratitude quotes and connect them to your life. There is so much to be thankful for if we only choose to notice.
8 – Chill with the cats. Animals can teach us so much…and cats are inherently good at all things chill! It is wonderful to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures, like connecting with other gentle beings (the rodents in our neighborhood may disagree on this point!). Pets offer unconditional love. Feel the stress drain away – it can be a gateway to your creative process.
Can YOU envision other ways for opening the channels to your inner cave? I’d love to hear about them!
I’d like to share one more thing…a BIG one: I will be climbing a new mountain in 2020! I plan to work toward this goal from January through July – a six month commitment!
Would you like to JOIN ME on this challenging adventure? Soon I will be sharing with you an exciting idea that I’m hatching! In the meantime, here is a bit of homework to help prepare you for what’s next. Go into your cave and ponder this question:
What is MY mountain in 2020?
Thanks for hanging out with me – have a great week!
“The seed that grows toward the light begins in darkness.”