Updated: Oct 29, 2019
by Rio Matlhaku
The search for clarity is a constant and ongoing journey. It is a journey in which one’s path is usually tempered by either indecision, lack of confidence or the inability to answer the existential question of what one’s purpose in life is?
As a long- distance runner and a person who loves hiking, I have found that these two activities provide me with time to reflect on my life and its direction. It is during long and lonely runs that I get a chance to do a lot of reflection. Hiking in beautiful and scenic places also does the trick. Spending time listening to the sounds of birds, the gurgle of a river snaking its way around a lush valley and the effort of walking through an undulating, yet scenic environment takes the mind off the hustle and bustle of city life.
Most if not all of us lead highly stressed and busy lives. There is always a danger of either being distracted by any number of things from a task that one has set. How often have you started the day with a clear plan of what you need to achieve and the steps it would take to complete the task only to be distracted by other, much smaller things?
Deepak Chopra, world renowned pioneer in Integrative Medicine and personal transformation advocates the power and efficacy of meditation in helping take your mind to a level where clarity is natural and effortless. Chopra uses the analogy of a river which on the surface is fast flowing and whips up waves, tidal pools and eddies. Beneath the surface, the river’s flow becomes slow and steady and at the bottom, the water may be so calm that it hardly moves at all.
It is the calmness at the bottom of the river which represents clarity for most of us. Personally, my running and hiking has helped provide these. In the last few years I have with the help of my coach, Jenny Leclezio, learnt the art of meditating. Meditating has for me become a useful tool to still my mind if I cannot get away from the hustle and bustle of the city or go out for a run for whatever reason. It has become the most effective way to start my day to prepare for the rigours of work and life in general.
As Chopra puts it, meditating creates a beautiful balance between relaxation and clarity. I can still imagine the gurgle of a flowing river, visualize running up the beautiful Chapman’s Peak or simply taking-in the sounds of my neighbourhood whilst sitting at home. Try it, it will do wonders for your calmness and ability to clear your mind.
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