The philosophy behind Working it Out, Within, comes from the idea that in order for us all to create and live our best lives externally, we must have a certain level of understanding of who we are internally. What I mean by this is what our values, beliefs, needs, boundaries, abilities, and priorities are. When we become clear on these various characteristics, we can then go out and actively pull into our lives things that reflect these qualities. For example, we will choose careers that are in line with these internal characteristics, we will form relationships that honor these qualities, and we will participate in certain activities and behaviors that are extensions of who we are and what is important to us. We will set boundaries around these qualities in ourselves so that we will be better prepared to protect and honor ourselves.

There are four components to Working it Out, Within: quieting the mind, listening to the heart, strengthening the body, and trusting the soul. They are each important individually, yet it is impossible for them to remain separate. In this article, I am going to focus on each individual aspect as well as how they are each an important part of the whole.

Quieting the mind is about creating mental wellness. Many of us live in very fast paced worlds where our minds are constantly spinning to try and keep up. We have appointments to keep, bills to pay, children to feed, money to make, ladders to climb, it seems like it never stops. Especially in this age of technology and the speed of which the information we are to learn and understand is growing by leaps and bounds. It can become very challenging just to keep up. Most of the time while we are trying to handle all of these challenges the one thing that does take a back seat and suffers is our personal health and wellness. Learning how to quiet the mind is the first step in putting our health back where it belongs, at the top of our priority list.

Quieting the mind teaches us how to focus more on the present moment, instead of on the future or on the past. It is said that 80% of our thoughts are spent on the future and on the past. Worrying about future events creates stress, anxiety, and depression over things that have not yet happened. Thinking about past events causes us to criticize or judge ourselves for how we handled certain situations in the past, instead of letting them go and moving forward. By replaying these events again and again in our minds, we create the stress each time as well. Learning to live in the moment and enjoy the moment for what it is can be a very empowering skill to learn. Not only does it help lessen our stress and anxiety, it also teaches us to appreciate what we do have, instead of worrying about what we don¡¯t have.

Quieting the mind also helps us create more awareness around our own minds and the thoughts that we have on a regular basis. We all have certain thoughts that we think over and over again. These thoughts are usually negative or judgmental in nature and they are tapes that were recorded long ago and even though they may not longer be true, they continue to play over and over again. Usually, these thoughts are things that were said to us by significant figures in our lives or they came from certain situations that we experienced. It is important to learn how to identify what these tapes are saying, and then to differentiate between the thoughts that come from these old tapes and what you really believe now to be true. When this awareness becomes clear it is the beginning to creating healthier mental wellness. As we identify these negative thoughts and learn to stop them, we can also learn to replace the negative thoughts with more positive ones. The result from this is th! at we begin to believe the positive thoughts and those help propel us forward, instead of believing the negative thoughts that hold us back from creating the life we want.

The tool I have found to be the most helpful for quieting the mind is meditation. Meditating means to simply spend some time alone in a quiet place, focus on your breath, which ties you to the present moment, and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings that come. Your mind will wander and when it does, gently return it back to your breath. This practice will cultivate mindfulness, which is a useful tool that will help you live more in the moment even during the more hectic parts of your life. This is a practice however, that must be done on a regular basis in order to see the results. This is not a quick fix, it will take time, but being patient is another characteristic we all could use a little more of. There is a wonderful book that is very helpful in learning how to practice mindfulness and it is called Wherever you go there you are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He says that ¡°[mindfulness] has to do with examining who we are, with questioning our view of the world and our place! in it, and with cultivating some appreciation for the fullness of each moment we are alive. Most of all, it has to do with being in touch.¡±

I believe this is very profound and something that many of us in this day and age do not spend enough time doing. Try quieting the mind. Take the time to learn about yourself, create awareness around why you believe what you believe, where do your thoughts come from, and what core values are at the heart of who you are. If we each took the time to do this and lived our lives according to what we discovered about ourselves, we would all be so much happier. This would then create happier families, communities, society, and the world at large. Do yourself this favor, as well as everyone else! Take care of yourself first, and you will create a reserve of love, time and energy, that is necessary in giving the best of yourself to others in your life. Quieting the mind is the first step towards creating and living your best life!

Author's Bio: 

Kim Eickhoff, Coach
Create your best life from the inside out!
Working it Out, Within,