Transcript from Stirred By Words Episode 007: Tranquility
Chrissy Holm (00:05): Do you love words? Are you passionate about diving into meaningful conversations? Hi, welcome to Stirred by Words, a podcast that focuses on words and questions that impact our daily lives. I'm your host, Chrissy Holm, health educator, writer, curious creature, and now podcaster. Today we'll start with a health tip. This week's tip is meditation. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation helps you gain a new perspective on stressful situations, helps you build skills to manage your stress, increases self-awareness, helps you focus on the present, reduces negative emotions, and increases your imagination, creativity, patience, and tolerance. There are many different types of meditation, but ultimately it's focused on attention, relaxed breathing, a quiet setting, a comfortable position, and an open attitude. Now let's take a quick moment to meditate. Sit or lay down in a relaxed position. Close your eyes, breathe gently, and take a moment to think about what you're feeling and experiencing right now.
Chrissy Holm (01:34):
During this quick meditation, if your mind hops on a train and wanders around, let it happen, then come back to what you're feeling and experiencing right now. First, listen to the sounds around you. Do you hear kids? Crickets? Sirens? Do you hear water running? Dogs? Or just the sound of my voice? Hone in on all the sounds, and think about how they make you feel. Breathe in for 1, 2, 3, 4, and breathe out for 1, 2, 3, 4. Let's do that again. Breathe in for 1, 2, 3, 4, and breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4. Now let's focus on the smells. Do you smell food cooking? Maybe you smell fruit or sweet smells. Do you smell minty smells, or woodsy smells? How do they make you feel? Breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4, and breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathe in for 1, 2, 3, 4, and breathe out for 1, 2, 3, 4. Acknowledge any thoughts or feelings, or maybe if your train has moved on, and bring it back to your breathing. Now notice your body. Are your shoulders tensed? Your eyes squeezed tight? Is your jaw clenched?
Chrissy Holm (03:48):
Find some place in your body where you can relax a little bit more, and breathe in for 1, 2, 3, 4, and breathe out for 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathe in for another 1, 2, 3, 4, and breathe out for 1, 2, 3, 4. Let's wrap up this meditation. Now take a moment to think about what you're feeling and experiencing now. How does it differ from when we started? Take a deep breath or two, and then come back, open your eyes, and smile. Now it's time for today's word. Tranquility. Dictionary.com's definition is a quality or state of being tranquil, calmness, peacefulness, quiet, and serenity. Fun fact, the word tranquility was the first recorded in the late 14th century. Some words that are related to tranquility are calm, serenity, stillness, inaction, inactivity, lull, peace, and quietness. So the question that I'm pondering today is, how do you find peace and tranquility in your life? For me, it's meditation like we did in the health tip, but it's also yoga, and breathing, and really just making space for myself.
Chrissy Holm (05:44):
Some of my favorite things to do, like for example before bed, I like to throw on a guided meditation to fall asleep. There's a ton of them on YouTube, and it just puts me right to sleep. I typically get a better night's rest, and it can be a little bit of a deeper sleep too. Another thing that I like to do is when I'm writing, I like to put on the sounds of nature. It really helps keep me calm and focused. I used to do yoga daily, though I've fallen off track a bit. My husband and I did a yoga session way back in our honeymoon, and it almost felt like I went into a new dimension, and I've been really hooked since. Yoga with Adriene on YouTube has been one of my favorites, and I really do enjoy going to classes in person. Then the first episode of Stirred by Words, I talked about breathing. If you haven't heard that episode, make sure you go back and check it out, or feel free to just replay the first two minutes to get grounded again.
Chrissy Holm (06:43):
Same with episode four when I talked about guided imagery, those are a few different ways that have helped me stay calm, and peaceful, and have that tranquility in my life. Finally, making space for myself. I feel as a woman and a mom, and trying to start a business, and doing podcasting, and doing all these different things, self-care always tends to be the last thing. As you can hear, I'm a little sick right now. For me, when I get to that space of tranquility is when I have that chance to write, to clear my head, and it doesn't have to be about anything. It can be just journaling, or creatively writing. That's how I know in a day I've made time for myself. Peace and tranquility for me is meditation, yoga, breathing, and just writing, and making space for myself. Today we'll hear from one listener, Julie T. on her thoughts to this question. How do you find peace and tranquility in your life?
Julie T. (07:52):
I find peace and tranquility when I'm able to pause, and be still, and recognize the current circumstances that I'm in. When I'm able to see what I'm truly resisting, when I can let go of resisting that suffering, peace comes. In that stillness, I can see more clearly what I'm trying to fight. I can remove that suffering by accepting my current conditions. It's with that clarity that tranquility comes, and I'm able to move forward, instead of fighting what I cannot change.
Chrissy Holm (08:52):
Today's book recommendation is One Blade of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, a Zen Memoir by Henry Shukman. One Blade of Grass tells a story of how a meditation practice helped Henry to recover from the depression, anxiety, and chronic eczema he had since childhood, and integrate a sudden spiritual awakening into his life. Humorous and moving, this beautifully written memoir demystifies Zen training, casting its profound insights in a simple, lucid language, and takes the reader on a journey of their own into the hidden treasures of life that contemplative practice can reveal to any of us.
Chrissy Holm (09:33):
Before we wrap up the show, I encourage you to ask yourself a few questions. How do you find peace and tranquility in your life? How often do you make time to find tranquility? What's a new way you want to try to incorporate peace in your life? If you have any thoughts on this episode, suggestions for the show, or want to be a future guest, contact me via my website at www.chrissyholm.com. That's C-H-R-I-S-S-Y H-O-L-M. Thanks for listening to another episode of Stirred by Words. This has been your host Chrissy Holm. Until next time, keep learning new words, always ask questions, and stay curious my friends.