There is a challenge that I set myself that I now do on a regular basis. I also challenged the people who receive my 100 day “A little piece of peace” emails. (You can sign up here if you are interested.)
It sounds simple and it is. But it’s not easy.
The challenge is to sit (relatively) still, without any distractions for 20 – 30 minutes. I allow a cup of tea (or whatever) but no eating, no watching TV, no music, no scrolling through Facebook or chatting.
The idea isn’t to meditate, meditating is more about letting go of your attachment to thought, it’s just to allow yourself to be still and let whatever thoughts come up to come up and just notice. To be OK with being a little bored even for a while.
Commit to a length of time, set a timer on your phone (then put your phone across the room so its out of reach) and then just sit.
I often find though that I have a little voice that starts listing jobs I could be doing in that time or that I could just have a cheeky flick through Facebook or find something on Netflix. Isn’t there a better use of my time? It’s a very compelling little voice and I often want to follow it’s suggestions.
If I can get past that little voice, that is where the magic happens.
It’s just behind that little voice that I find I start to notice things I haven’t been paying attention too. That perhaps I have been using busy-ness and distractions to hide from.
Sometimes it’s that I’m actually really tired, or that I feel a little sad, or that I haven’t drank enough water for a few days.
Sometimes I get inspired, ideas to write about, things to try with up coming clients, places I’d like to visit or activities I’d like to do.
Sometimes I just stare out the window and wonder what the birds are so busy with.
All I try to do in that time is notice and be curious about what comes up rather than trying to solve any problems or find any answers.
I think to build that kind of stillness into your life is so important. We’ve all been made to believe that success is being busy, is getting stuff done and completing the to do list and going faster, faster faster.
But maybe the key to success can be being peaceful. To having less on the to do list to begin with. To enjoying a more leisurely pace.
I hope you give it a go. If you do, let me know how you find it.
If you’ve done it before, let this be a reminder to you to do it again and to keep doing it, even if it feels a bit hard sometimes.