Step 8: Cultivating Calm and Still; Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle

Calm and still. These are two things that are extremely difficult for me to cultivate—particularly as a working mom. I once worked with a coach who labeled me as a “generator”, someone who can go, go, go until they fall into an exhausted heap at the end of the night. It was a surprisingly accurate description and something that many times helps me get things done.

The problem is without cultivating calm and still, we are depriving ourselves of valuable time to renew our energy and often connect with our best ideas. In our stillness we can reflect, process, and create in a way that we cannot do otherwise. We know this to be true, but as author and high performance coach Brendan Burchard says, “common sense is not common practice.”

So how do we make this a more common practice in our lives? The answer is simple; schedule it. For years I have been resisting making meditation a part of my day. I even scheduled it but I found that even if I did end up making time for the meditation I’d fall asleep immediately (remember: I’m a generator). I’ve finally been able to make this happen by meditating first thing in the morning and investing in an app that tracks my minutes and goals.

I’ve also recently been inspired to wake up earlier to have more “me” time. To be honest, I had to train myself to do so in 5 to 10-minute increments but I am now waking up at 5AM each day. This allows me to be more intentional about my day, about my goals, and how I want to show up in my relationships. It primes me to be in a better mood and to organize my time more efficiently. I realize it sounds counter-intuitive to add something into your schedule to increase your performance, but I swear it works.

Find your own way of cultivating calm. It doesn’t have to be mediation or journaling. It could be a quiet walk by yourself, taking a hot bath, listening to calming music for 5 minutes before going to work, or enjoying a cup of tea. Make it simple, make it doable, and make it enjoyable.


*Brene Brown is the creator of the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living*