How often do you sit still?

In our crazy modern lives, it’s easy to gogogo! dawn to midnight with nary a pause or moment of silence. We are perpetually connected, tuned-in, and inundated with input.

When we live like this, it’s easy for our little inner voice to get steamrolled and squelched. The little voice that says, “Hey wait a minute, I need ________.” Or, “This job (house, relationship, pair of shoes) is not working for me right now.” Or even just, “I need a nap.”

Silence can be scary. The first time I tried meditation, I thought the instructor was bonkers. You want me to sit still and breathe for 20 minutes?! Are you insane? Ninety seconds into that first session I was crawling out of my skin with discomfort.

Don’t worry – I’m not asking you to meditate. Though if you want to, it’s a great tool. I’m just asking you to sit still for five minutes. Set a timer if you like. Focus on your breathing.

Objectively notice what’s going on in your mind. Are you off and running, replaying the past or planning the future? Return to your breath each time you notice your colorful thoughts leaping headlong into some distraction or other.

After your five minutes, write about the experience in your journal. Do you feel irritated? Refreshed? Was the experience scary? Boring? What did your little inner voice say? Did it specify some needs? Anger? Exhaustion? Bliss?

If you prefer visual journaling, make a collage or art page of how the silence makes you feel.

Do you think a daily break like this of five minutes could contribute to your well-being? Give it a shot and see how it goes. In my experience, the more resistance I have to sitting still in silence like this, the more I need to do it.