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Relax and Chill Out
You got a full-time job, a side hustle, some badass kids, a mortgage, and you are stressed out. Just trying to get ahead, you find yourself Linking-In and tweeting, all the while coveting your communications center provided via iPhone, crackberry, or Droid. Your chaotic life is affecting your sleep, stress level and maybe your sex life. Do something!
Some have an intrinsic sense of self-expression and self-actualization that does not revolve
around besting the guy in the next cubicle, for the rest of us; we have to work at it. Consider this concept of a retreat which is to remove you from the normal stressful activities and hectic environment, physically or mentally. Get into a peaceful, clear space, allowing time for you to reintegrate, reflect
When you are able to embrace the gift of “quietude” and reflection you give yourself, you will find the internal battery charging like never before. It’s a time to slow down, tune in and right our course.
When we re-enter the fray, we return with clarity, having dropped the excess accumulation of baggage of the previous stressors. We return with strength centered in the core of our being and ready to begin again. We return focused, eye on the prize and single minded. Retreats are necessary and should be built into your daily routine. The more you take time to drop out, the better quality of life you can experience.
Baby steps to “retreat” in your personal life:
- Use a portion of your meal time to retreat. Don’t just rush down your food then rush back to your work station. A focused, sincere prayer before eating is the ideal retreat. After your meal, a casual walk with no “next” destination on your local streets or a park is an excellent daily constitutional.
- Incorporate internal exercise time into your day. Practice 20 min. of yoga, tai chi or qi gong or some other internal art. If you are not yet a practitioner. Take a class 1-2 sessions per week and practice on your own.
- Choose a poem, scripture or passage and absorb its meaning in your life. What does the passage mean to you? How does speak to you personally? What can you take from it to improve your life and the life of those around you?
- Consider a Sabbath day. A day that is focused on connecting to the source of your being. A day devoted to inner labor. A day to let the cares of the world fend for themselves.
- Create a new habit, like a nature walk family and friends. A lake, a park, on a hike, a hot spring, a waterfall. In inclement weather go to a spa and allow the sauna and steam rooms to melt your stress and eliminate your toxins.
There is too much data that speaks to the risk of stress, mortality rates, and black men. By being proactive in reducing life stressors, the quality of your life will improve but it just may extend the quantity of your life as well. Take the first step today and get a friend to join you on the journey.
Ib’nallah S. Kazi is the founder of My Body Temple – Health, Fitness and Adventure, a service that employs lifestyle transformation as a catalyst for self-healing and personal development. He is a contributor to healthyblackmen.org.