The Value of Taking Time for Tranquility

Time for TranquilityThe Value of Taking Time for Tranquility

Now that’s a word you don’t often here in our hectic modern world — tranquility.

In my last post, I spoke about composing a daily “To Be” list prior to putting together your “To Do” list for the day.  I’ve been trying to do that first thing in the morning before doing anything else — well, not before going into the kitchen and getting my glass of orange juice (my version of most people’s morning coffee).   I’ve been coming up with words and phrases such as productive, grateful, organized, at peace with my life, working toward true prosperity, patient, content, satisfied, feeling good about my future, feeling abundance flowing, clear minded, self aware.  Some days several of these might repeat themselves.  It’s been an interesting exercise, to say the least, and, I must admit, quite satisfying (uhp . . . there’s one of my words).

On Sunday morning as I sat down to jot down my “To Be’s” for the day, only one word came to mind.  Tranquil.

I was sitting comfortably in my wicker chair, the windows were open, it was foggy and cool outside.  I simply wanted this day to be a time for tranquility.  It was the perfect day for such, and I decided I would keep it that way.  Just for today.  Not even a “To Do” list.  “Tranquil” would be my one and only “To Be” word for the day.

I found myself wondering how much time we take on a regular basis to simply be tranquil.  Wondering how many people even use that word anymore?  How much time do I take, myself?  Time to not focus on goals, things I’ve convinced myself need to be done, stuff to be accomplished, chores just sitting there tempting the worker in me, people I probably should call, Facebook posts that I should be publishing, e-mails to be read and answered, and so on and so on ad infinitum.  All those “I shoulds”.

No, this was going to be a day to simply enjoy and appreciate what Eckhart Tolle refers to as “the power of now“.   To quote author Kheled Hosseini from his novel, The Kite Runner

flying a kite“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.”

 

When was the last time you took a day to just push the off button and shut everything down?

According to the Genesis story, even God apparently did that for a day after creating the Universe.  Every day it seems each of us is so busy creating our own universe that we forget how important it is to take time for rest — time for tranquility.  If the creator of the universe could do it, do you think we might be allowed to do the same every once in awhile?

The word “sabbath”, which we normally think of as a strictly religious term, actually comes from the Latin sabbatum, from Greek sabbaton, from Hebrew shabbāth, literally, rest. There’s something to be said for taking a weekly “sabbath” — that one day a week to simply rest.  Doing so helps refresh both our mind and our body so that we actually become more productive during our working hours.  Rather than spending all of our time spinning our wheels, trying to get everything done and not doing so in the process, we actually spend much less energy and fewer hours getting more done if we simply take time to rest, be tranquil, and regroup.  In the long run, this, I believe, affects our personal sense of abundance, prosperity and success.

TranquilityWhat a wonderful word. Tranquility.

Just the sound of it brings a sense of peace and quiet to the mind.

The Mariam-Webster Dictionary defines tranquil as . . .

      • free from agitation of mind or spirit <a tranquil self-assurance>
      • free from disturbance or turmoil <a tranquil scene>
      • unvarying in aspect : steady, stable

I like that.  Steady, stable.  Gives us a whole different perspective on the word, doesn’t it. Finding ways to experience tranquility on a regular basis has a way of bringing balance into our lives, helping us more confidently weather the storms and handle the challenges of daily life with a sense of calm stability.

So . . . how did my Sunday turn out?

Well, I can’t say I didn’t do anything all day.  As a matter of fact, I ended up spending several hours that afternoon, thanks to the technology of remote computer access, helping a friend of mine on the other end of the country install some much needed software and providing a few basic lessons on how to use some of it.  Not my idea of what I would typically picture as a day of tranquility, but it was something I had promised to do, and guess what.  It actually turned out to be a rather enjoyable time, because I kept that sense of peace and tranquility inside throughout the process.

foggy morningI had had a very peaceful and quiet morning, reading a couple of chapters in one of my favorite inspirational books, taking a relaxing walk, enjoying a nice breakfast, and simply savoring the quiet foggy morning.  That evening I enjoyed a relaxing time with a friend over a quiet dinner and sharing some time on their patio.  It was tranquil, indeed.

An added bonus

Today I received a follow-up call from my friend whom I had helped with the computer. She thanked me profusely for my time and efforts on what otherwise should have been a relaxing day off and said, “Steve, you were just the person I needed to bring a bit of tranquility into my day.  I could use a dose of you every day!”  You can only imagine what that meant to me!

So . . . it appears that making a conscious effort to take time for tranquility has value not only for ourselves, but potentially for those around us, as well, even if they’re hundreds or thousands of miles away.  How nice.

I think I’ll do this more often.

Here’s to living a life of abundance and prosperity, with a little time for tranquility along the way ~

Steve Vernon photo

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4 Responses to The Value of Taking Time for Tranquility

  1. Lynn Jones says:

    Steve, I felt tranquility just reading your post. I love the idea of living a tranquil, peaceful life. In fact, noise is very scratchy to me, like fingernails on a chalkboard. When you have raised your children and it’s just the hubby and me, it is most often very quiet around the home. THEN our precious 4 grandsons arrive and all sound barriers are broken! lol Ya gotta love them…..and prepare for their visits! 🙂
    I hope you have many more days of peace and tranquility…
    Lynn

    • Steve Vernon says:

      Hi Lynn! I’m glad you got a sense of tranquility simply from reading my post. That in itself is a great compliment. Perhaps one of your goals might be to find ways of teaching your grandchildren how to set aside times for tranquility during their visits by finding quiet things to do together or encouraging them to go out and discover something new in the yard. Dealing with today’s children in that way can be a serious challenge, I’m sure, but the payoff could be worth it! 🙂

  2. Adrienne says:

    A day off, what’s that! Man, it seems like I haven’t had a total day off in ages Steve.

    Okay, last Saturday I spent the entire day with family and just enjoyed their company so does that count? I was just fun and pure enjoyment.

    I actually miss Sunday’s off. I wish we still recognized that day as the sabbath. People need to slow down and be still. Easier said then done I know but you’re right Steve. We all need to take this time for ourselves.

    I appreciate this reminder.

    Hope you’re enjoying your week and so sad to hear you left the group. We miss you.

    ~Adrienne

    • Steve Vernon says:

      Hi Adrienne – So sorry for the extremely delinquent response on this, but good ol’ computer issues that have taken up so much of my time over the past month or so! But . . . on the good side, it has forced me to take time away and find more tranquil things to do beyond the computer screen, and it has actually been rather refreshing. As for your comment about recognizing Sunday as the sabbath, I wonder if that is as important and vital as each of us finding ways to set aside our own time of personal sabbath, which the dictionary also defines as simply “a time of rest”. When we do, we find that we actually accomplish more during our time of work.

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