I spent part of the weekend at a breathing workshop. That’s right, people, I paid actual money to have someone spend four hours telling me how to breathe. (You may be right to pause and question why you read my writing or associate with me any way whatsoever right now. I’ll wait while you re-group.)
It was frickin’ amazing! By the time I walked out the door of the workshop, my whole body was vibrating, and I was high as a kite. From breathing.
And then I promptly ate pizza (because I had a vision of a slice of pizza floating by my face while I was in this meditation, so I took it as a sign that it needed to happen). Maybe I got the meditation munchies…is that a thing?
After that, I didn’t have any plans, and I didn’t feel tired, but I decided to lay down and just let things sink in a bit, and I fell asleep at 6:30p.m.
And slept for the next 12 hours! (I never do that!)
At some point during the workshop, a friend of mine said, “I don’t remember the last time I gave myself two hours to just do nothing, not distracted by anything, to just be with myself.”
You can’t rest! You’ve got problems to solve, goals to achieve!
Do you spend most of your waking hours solving problems, and working towards goals (which is really just a more positive way of saying solving problems)?
I get it. Places to go, people to see, shit to get done – so you can you have the life you really want.
Is this how it goes in your brain? (I’m gonna run with simple, just so you can see you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make problems more complicated than they are!)
Problem: What to do for dinner tonight?
Brain: Hmm, what sounds good? Pizza. No, we had pizza on Sunday. Pasta. Well, Johnny might come over and he doesn’t eat gluten. What does someone eat when they don’t eat gluten? Dang, I’m eating so many carbs these days. I really need to eat better…and get my ass to the gym. Oh man, I’ve been meaning to sign up at that CrossFit gym that also offers yoga, because my hamstrings are so tight. When am I going to fit in CrossFit and yoga?! I’ll get up early! Yes! I can do the early CrossFit workout, and then do yoga after work. Ok, but if I want that to work, I’ll have to get to bed early. Holy crap, I’m tired…I really just want to sit on my couch and look at Facebook.
Seriously, do you do this?
And don’t get me started on how much bigger the spin out is when we’re talking about life-changing problems to solve!
Like a good wine, let the problem breathe.
What if, instead, in the morning, I think, “hmm, I wonder what I’ll make for dinner tonight?” and then move on with the rest of my day. Chances are good that at some point during the day I’ll get an idea.
And then I can run with it. (Kind of like the pizza slice that floated across my mind in meditation. It wasn’t complicated or profound, just clear.)
Putting your attention on action causes a need for more action.
So, when we’re actively focused on all the problems we need to solve (and all the problems that come up as a result of those problems), it can get really crowded up there!
If you intentionally take space for not doing (and ideally, not thinking), the thoughts that hold the answers will have space to come through.
It’s true, right? The problem you’ve been thinking about for months has a solution suddenly come to you in the shower, or while you’re on a walk, or right upon waking up from a nap. It happens all the time. Surely you’ve heard the saying “when I least expected it” once or 8,000 times in your life?
And doesn’t that sound so much easier than working at them all the time?!
How good are you at doing nothing? What thoughts get in the way when you try? Leave a comment below and let me know!