Feeling totally exhausted at the end of a work week, I went in search of tips for rejuvenation that went beyond the usual get more sleep, take a hot bath variety of advice. What I discovered surprised me.
Mary Jaksch wrote about the kind of exhaustion I was feeling in a post entitled, How to Find Islands of Ease in the Chaos of Life. A Zen Master, Jaksch says that sometimes it’s not our body but our soul that is exhausted, and she recommends five simple approaches that can help to heal this kind of weariness. We will address three of those approaches in this post.
Jaksch suggests creating an environment for both outer and inner silence, even if only for short periods of time. To provide for outer silence, she says to avoid playing background music or the television unless you are actively listening to the music or watching TV. To provide for inner silence, she recommends spending at least 5 minutes per day doing nothing.
According to Jaksch, mindfulness is being present with a clear mind and an open heart. Being mindful enables us to be present in the moment and give our full attention to what is right in front of us. She says that even if the task at hand is a mindless chore, we can use it to give ourselves an island of ease.
While most of us walk on a daily basis, as part of our commute to work or other activities, Jaksch says we can actually use walking to heal our exhaustion. Her tip? She suggests that while walking, touch your forefinger and thumb together as a reminder of the present moment.
The two remaining tips she lists to heal the exhausted soul are meditation and retreats.