Don’t just do something – sit there. Thich Nhat Hanh
That right there is one of my favourite sayings, especially as it flies in the face of, and is in fact the complete opposite of what we are usually told.
We’re all always so busy and if we aren’t busy we are creating busy-ness in order to keep ourselves that way. I’ve written many times about how we are now not even able to sit for a short time without checking our devices or doing something, we find it difficult just to sit, to be, to take it all in. Just take a minute next time you are out to observe everybody around you, and while you are at it, observe yourself and see if you are automatically reaching for your device, I know I do.
When I used to study and teach yoga the most challenging pose for many people was savasana (corpse pose) where you need to lie and be. At first I found it incredibly difficult as the urge to move, squirm and follow my monkey mind was enormous. It also happens to be one of the most rewarding poses and for good reason, and once I practiced more regularly, it was the one is also one I used to look forward to at the end of every class.
I’m in Bali at the moment and everywhere I look people are scrolling through their feeds, and I do mean everywhere. Staff, in between customers, people in restaurants, people waiting for taxis, it doesn’t matter where, it’s a universal sight. I too am guilty, very guilty and I am really wanting to stop. I never get a sim card when I’m here so that I can only check things when I have wi-fi but I do miss the days when I used to leave my phone in Australia and be out of contact the whole time I was here. I used to travel with my little pocket camera and share my photos when I got home.
On our third day here we did almost nothing. Had breakfast, came back to read for a bit, had a snooze, a long massage and something to eat. I loved every second of it. In the back of my mind was this niggling thought that I should be doing something, after all I am in my favourite place and I am on holidays, isn’t it a waste to be doing nothing. I mean couldn’t I do all of those things at home? Yes I could, but the reality is that I wouldn’t. There would be so many things that needed my attention that I wouldn’t take the time just to be.
Today is similar. I am going out for my favourite experience at Chill Reflexology, but not until 2pm, so I have been reading, lounging and relaxing and loving it. The little voice is still there, but I am ignoring it and the more I ignore it, the softer it becomes. I am being. I am taking each moment as it comes and I am loving how it feels to do that.
Now not everybody has the chance to travel for many reasons, and I am eternally grateful for the fact that I do get to travel so often. One of the things I want to work on for myself and for others is the idea of creating a retreat at home. We should be able to find a way to drop in to our hearts, see what we really need to engage in for our highest good and self care and make it happen. It’s not easy when there are household chores, responsibilities and endless distractions that take our attention away from our needs, but it can be done.
So, what is one thing you can do today to just be? Could you go outside and put your feet on the ground, take a walk, have a long bath, read a book, colour in, journal or maybe just maybe do nothing at all??? If you are unsure of what you need, perhaps switch off the device you’re using now and take a minute to listen to your heart, it always knows your needs.
I’d love to know what you choose to do, to just ‘be’ today?
Much love from me to you.