“Even when we are doing nothing, we are doing something.”
-New Skills Academy
Think about it. How often do you actually sit and do nothing? I mean absolutely nothing, other than the necessities of life that your autonomic nervous system takes care of for you?
Although our various gizmos and gadgets are supposed to make our lives easier, we’ve become slaves to them. Who’s guilty of checking their various social media accounts as soon as they wake up?
Sigh. I know I am, and I hate gadgets! Don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and place for all of them, but when it replaces time spent with friends or the family members you live with, that’s where the problems start.
But, this post isn’t about the whole “unplug” movement. I mean, it can be, if that’s what you take away from it, and it is a step in the right direction.
I’m talking about after you’ve put all your devices away. And, ehem, I’m sure I’m not the first person to note that the word “vice” is embedded there in “device”, right?
Back to my point; you’ve put everything away, and perhaps you’re sitting outside one beautiful morning, listening to the birds, having your morning coffee or tea or warm water with lemon or whatever strikes your fancy. I’m not here to judge. Drink your green goo, if that’s what makes you happy. Because, really, this post is about finding happiness.
Let’s return to our peaceful outdoor setting. Is your mind quiet? Is it at peace? Or, instead of enjoying that beautiful moment, are you mentally conducting your to-do list, planning your day to the last detail, or reliving old hurts, arguments, issues?
So, really, you’re not doing nothing, are you?
I’ve been meditating for just over two years now, in various ways. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the matter, but I do know that who I am today, I owe largely to meditation.
Lately, I’ve been out of whack. I could feel myself spiralling, feeling frazzled, coming unglued. Full moon? That could have something to do with it. But I know myself enough to know that something was going on but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Getting back to our gadgets for just a minute…there I was, on my gadget, scrolling for some meditation music. Sometimes, I like music, sometimes I like nothing. There’s no right and wrong, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
But what was wrong was that I then started scrolling through my social media feed. On my yoga mat. Bam.
This wasn’t me- not the me I wanted to be, or thought I was! Ironically, what made me become aware was a social media ad for an online mindfulness meditation course.
I read the course outline and it was then that I realized that at some point over the last couple of weeks, I’d stopped doing nothing, and was multi-tasking even during those rare few minutes when I attempted to do nothing.
And I felt it.
Of course I signed up for the course. I read the first module at 11:30 that night, in the dark (on my gadget). There was something magical about reading it in the dark, as it truly eliminated all other distractions and I could focus fully. All that existed in that space were the words that I was reading. Words that reminded me to do nothing, to notice my thoughts, then let them go, not to attach myself to them.
This isn’t anything new; I knew this already. My yoga teacher often says those very words at the studio that I attend. The first time he did, during my second time there, I bawled my way through class, and many times thereafter along my healing journey. Luckily, there are numerous boxes of tissue scattered strategically around the studio.
No, it wasn’t anything new. I had simply forgotten. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything that we sometimes forget how essential self-care is. Self-care for your mind.
Do yourself a favour; if nothing else, set aside one day this week where you will try to spend just ten minutes doing nothing. Nothing. Hear the sounds around you, smell the smells, exhale it all out, let it go, and do nothing.
A whole lot of nothing.
Namaste, sat nam, cheers, my friends.