Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Dr. Debbie Palmer, author of the new Mindful Beauty.
Most of us are connected to our phones 24/7. It’s a fact of life in the modern world. But how do we nourish our souls in the midst of all of this? Our inner selves, which thrive in a quiet, introspective environment, are suffering today in a cacophonous digital world. We may have lost a sense of who we are spiritually, but it doesn’t have to be permanent, as I discuss in my new book Mindful Beauty. There are ways to feed our souls while still having a presence on Instagram!
One of the most important things we can do is scheduling quiet time every day: phones, computers, TV, Netflix, Pandora, you name the device or program, should be shut down during this time. Deep diaphragmatic breathing during this reflective time slows down the heart and the body and allows our minds to quiet so that we can hear our inner voices. Shut down devices at night, at least an hour before bed, as this helps not only to nourish the soul but to prepare the body and mind for restful sleep. It’s also a good idea to keep your phone off at night while you’re sleeping so you’re not distracted by texts or alerts. Deep sleep is important for our souls, as I discuss in Mindful Beauty.
It’s in India’s ancient Upanishads—a collection of fundamental spiritual teachings that are central to Hinduism—where deep sleep is said to offer “a deep state of utter peace wherein Awareness rests unto Awareness, without any egoic sense of body, mind, or world.” This stage of sleep is when we let go of the body, mind, ego, plans, and concerns and are free in deeply peaceful contentedness. This may be why the Dalai Lama calls sleep “the best form of meditation.” In fact, some believe that it’s during deep sleep that our conscious selves leave the body to reconnect with our higher selves. It’s why this stage of restorative sleep, some people believe, is the most important for body, mind, and spiritual restoration each night.
Spending time in nature—without snapping pictures or talking on the phone or listening to music—is also essential to our inner balance. This can be walking in nature, sitting quietly outdoors, and/or gardening. So many studies have shown that being among trees and the earth and in the fresh air is good for our physical health, but there’s a connection we have with nature that is also soul-nourishing. There’s a powerful energy in nature that sustains and nourishes our life force. When we spend too much time indoors, it’s natural to feel restless because our souls are out of balance with what they need.
Meditation is also one of the best ways to get in touch with our inner self—and nourish it. It slows the body and quiets the mind so we can hear our voice from within. We’ve slowed down our ability to hear this voice because there’s so much “noise” around us, but regular meditation—even just five or ten minutes a day—can help. I suggest some modern meditations to do in Mindful Beauty, as well as many other suggestions about how to drown out the digital and manifest the spiritual. Doing so brings harmony within—and also a balance of mind, body, and spirit.
Our thanks to Debbie for her guest post! For more from Dr. Debbie Palmer, read her article, “5 Ways to Manifest Outer Health, Inner Peace, and Beauty.”