How 30 Minutes Of Sacred Time Could Transform Your Life

The art of mindful rejuvenation

Photo by Fezbot2000 on Unsplash

Within the cocoon of solitude, you’ll find a wonderland of infinite bliss

If you’ve ever been on vacation, then you’ve experienced that moment of unbridled euphoria. You’ve just arrived at your hotel. You’ve expelled the tension and stress of the travel experience.

You take a deep breath, smile, and look forward to an entire week of freedom and pleasure.

That’s a feeling of bliss — perfect happiness and joy. We traverse life and experience fleeting moments of it; then we long for it when it’s gone. That ends now. No more waiting for vacations or special occasions. You can achieve that state of mind every day.

Sacred time, where you let go of the tethered connection to your emotional world, can provide you with that same feeling of blissful freedom. Carving out 30 minutes of your day for sacred time rejuvenates your soul, makes you more forgiving, understanding, and more resilient against the tension and strain of modern life.

I started this practice two years ago, after decades of constant low-grade anxiety. And now my brief respite of sacred time buys me hours of calm well beyond my 30 minutes of bliss.

We need more solitude and bliss in our lives

I started hiking in the mid-1990s, before the dawn of cell phones. Before my hike, I would tell a friend or family member the trail route and expected time of return. “If you don’t hear from me by then, call me.” That was the rule.

Today, I get cell phone reception throughout my entire hike. We are surrounded by constant pressures, stressors, and demands of modern life. These stressors keep us anxious and on alert, sapping our energy and inhibiting us from achieving true bliss. You cannot experience mindful rejuvenation in a state of alertness threatened by distractions.

Sacred time acts as the base to neutralize your acidic state of mind. It cleans up the mental toxins and allows your inner peace to flourish.

The expectation of constant availability — not to mention the addictive allure of social media — interferes with your ability to disconnect from the world and relax. The mere possibility that someone can interrupt you impacts your flow and peace of mind.

Sacred time acts as the base to neutralize your acidic state of mind. It cleans up the mental toxins and allows your inner peace to flourish.

To reap the full benefits of sacred time, you need to eliminate that little voice in the back of your mind. It’s the voice that questions your ability to get through an entire 30 minutes without an intrusion.

Sacred time builds on solitude, not loneliness

Solitude and loneliness share similarities but differ where it matters. Whereas loneliness is the unpleasant emotional state that stems from not wanting to be alone, solitude is simply the physical state itself. We often seek solitude to unwind.

Voluntary solitude provides a multitude of benefits, including freedom, creativity, and productivity. Some of the world’s most exceptional creatives and thinkers produced their best work in periods of solitude — Picasso, Edison, and Thoreau to name a few. Thomas Edison wrote that “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.”

Sacred time expands on solitude. You disconnect from the world and engage in something that brings you peace and heightened awareness.

Humans once practiced this in abundance. We had no choice before the industrial age because we lacked the connectedness and population density of the modern world.

Advancements in technology have chiseled away at our rejuvenation time. Today you must actively create the conditions to achieve this state of mind. When you allow your mind and body to rejuvenate, you protect yourself from the stressors of the world. In this way, sacred time enables you to become less reactionary.

How to achieve sacred time

Sacred time relies on four principles.

1. Total solitude — Temporarily isolate yourself from the presence of others. If you must cross the path of other people, there should be no expectation of interruption.

2. Eliminate the possibility of a disruption — Put your phone on airplane mode. If you stay indoors, carve out time when you’re certain nobody will interrupt you.

3. Movement — Engage in a light physical activity you enjoy. It sounds simple, but our environment makes it hard to achieve.

4. Freedom from production goals — In periods of solitude, we may impose a goal on ourselves: write a specific number of words or create something of substance. Sacred time imposes no production goals. You can take notes as ideas form in your mind — and they will — but treat that as a side-effect of the experience, not the objective.

Dedicate 30 minutes a day

Most of us have slots of poorly allocated or wasted time. Borrow from that. If you can’t find 30 minutes during the day, wake up a bit earlier. Do your 30 minutes when nobody expects anything of you.

Pick an activity

Choose an activity with movement, but avoid anything physically exhausting. Walking, hiking, and recreational cycling serve this purpose. Modest physical exertion allows your brain to roam free.

I prefer to walk. It’s simple, safe, and the health benefits are well known. Unlike other light physical activities like yoga or stationary cycling, nobody can knock on your door and demand your time.

Set your phone to airplane mode

Yes, I know it’s painful. Sheltering yourself from the outside world feels scary. You may suffer from FOMO for the first few days, but soon you’ll look forward to your temporary invisibility.

You can put on headphones, but avoid the news, politics, or anything controversial. Silence, music, or fiction are the best soundtracks for your sacred time.

Avoid heavily populated areas

This will be more challenging if you live in a dense city, but even New York City has its pockets of isolation, like Central Park.

Begin your period of sacred time

If you follow the above guidelines, you’ll start your 30 minutes free from the pressures, demands, and expectations of the outside world. You’ll finish your 30 minutes feeling recharged and ready to attack the rest of your day.

Pulling it all together

Sacred time was once a common practice among our distant ancestors. Today, we save it for special occasions like vacations.

You can and should experience it daily.

All you need is thirty minutes of time, solitude, disconnection from the outside world, and freedom from expectations to experience that euphoric blissful feeling.

Experimenter in life, productivity, and creativity. Work in Forge | Elemental | Business Insider | GMP | Contact: barry@barry-davret dot com.

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