How long can you sit still? I’ve tried it and must confess that I can’t do it longer than a few minutes. My mind is racing, making my to-do lists, estimating how much time it will take to complete my tasks, and although I am sitting in the middle of the floor, everything quiet around me, my mind won’t shut-up for even a few seconds. This restlessness is my shadow, following me around wherever I go. When I am writing, I am thinking about the groceries I need to get, the laundry that needs to be folded, and the dinner that isn’t going to cook itself. When I am doing the stay-at-home mom and wife duties, I am worried that I am not writing enough. I am never in the moment. I am always two or three moments ahead.
I am also multitasking, something that the efficiency pundits discourage, because it means you aren’t really completing any task very well. I am making my grocery list, talking on the phone, and checking my e-mail on my computer. The technology around me doesn’t help either. With the advent of phones that do just about everything, I am always checking my facebook updates, new emails, and text messages. If I am at home, I am checking websites on my computer, everything from MSNBC to blogs that I like to regularly visit.
It is, for lack of better words, mind clutter. There is so much talk in the press about “de-cluttering” the environment we live in, but little attention is directed to reducing our mind clutter. I think most of us don’t know where to begin. For me, I’ve tried to meditate, but I get discouraged because I can’t get to that quiet place quick enough. I’ve tried yoga, deemed it too slow for my taste, my mind looking at the exit door, wondering when I can go home.
There isn’t an easy solution here and I realize that. The concept of stillness is something deep, something that transcends us from the physical to the mental to the metaphysical, a feeling of nothingness. In writing this post, I promised myself, that today, sometime, I will start with one minute of stillness, one moment of being in that moment. I challenge you to do the same. Sit down. Pause. Take a breath. Just for one minute.
How do you get to your quiet place? Any advice? Please share your thoughts. We could all learn to be a little more quiet.