Just shut up and sit still?

I remember, many years ago now, lying on an airbed, on a sweltering day in August, in a camp site in Spain. I was staring up between the trees, not a cloud in sight. Endless blue. One of the camp site wardens was repairing a fence with his radio playing Louis Armstrong’s ‘Wonderful world’.

That blissful moment will stay with me forever. That moment when, for the first time in my adult life, there was no thought of the past nor the future. The contentment of being me in this beautiful place. Nothing else.

Such a rare thing!

Being with a friend of mine last week, the conversation reminded me of that memory. She is at a very good place in her life. She has achieved a lot. Now she has found herself wondering what’s next? There are things that she would like to do, Dreams to chase.

A quote by Albert Einstein that I love “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in the silence, and the truth comes to me.”

A lot of people like myself get frustrated with doing nothing. We want something and we want it now. We have been told that if we want something we have to go and get it. That being still is a waste of time and time is precious.

Striving for something, I believe is valuable. It’s how humans have evolved. But before we jump into the next ‘thing’, have we stopped to reflect on where we are heading? Let the silence in so that we can truly hear what’s inside us. Will the goal make us truly happy? Is the goal the best thing for us?

If we don’t know which direction we are heading, instead of giving ourselves time and letting inspiration find us, do we do things just for the sake of moving forward? Maybe out of frustration? Or do it for another’s praise, for our egos?

Sometimes there are periods where we constantly go over the past in our heads, reliving it. The outcome doesn’t change. We experience the same emotions each time. When a similar situation happens we react in the same way. The outcome is the same as the previous time. No wonder things never change.

We obsessively worry about the future. Imagining the worst that can happen. Getting upset with the thoughts themselves not the reality.

If we are totally in the moment, there is peace. Focus on colours, sights, sounds, tastes, textures. Observe and slow down what you are doing, concentrate on how you’re doing it. Try not to have an opinion about it.

We can get joy out of every single moment. We might discover our true selves instead of chasing what we think we should be. Perhaps afterwards we can look at problems with a fresh view. Or maybe we will find nothing. That’s good too, at least we’re recharged.

If the little voice is there trying to shake you into an opinion, action or reaction, don’t try to shut it out. Observe it. Realise that you are observing the voice and therefore separate from it.

“The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”  Eckhart Tolle.

This is my ideal and I am far from it. Trying to practice a moment of stillness every day. You never know, I might get further in life occasionally by doing nothing!


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