Day 16 is all about practicing pausing.
Whenever I think about someone being a busy bee, I think of my mother. She works almost every day, and never stops running around. But I realized that many of us do this.
We have a problem with staying still.
Just a minute ago, I wrapped a couple presents I almost forgot, wrote in some cards, and let the dog outside. We’re guilty of doing multiple things at once, or what a friend of mine likes to call “squirreling.”
Why do we move around so much? One reason, that’s also connected to why do we check our phones so much is boredom. Stillness is known for being synonymous with boredom, but the main difference is that boredom carries the element of feeling trapped, while stillness offers an opportunity for peace.
Stillness also gives your mind the space it needs to be creative and come up with new ideas.
Identify several situations in which you regularly find yourself reaching for your phone to kill a little bit of time. Examples to get some ideas stirring are using your phone on the elevator, using in the bathroom, waiting to cross the street, taking an uber, having lunch, etc.
Seven of my top situations (most of these I am starting to break and it feels good).
- Eating a meal
- Doctor’s office/appointment
- Waiting for a friend
- Using in the bathroom
- Waiting in line
- In the passenger or back seat of a car
- At a party
Next, choose two or three of the situations from your list, that you think you might encounter today, and commit to being still. Tomorrow, choose a few more, and do the same thing. Throughout the rest of this program, try to make small doses of stillness a regular part of your day.
Since there is a Christmas Eve party tonight, I am going to focus on eating a meal, using the bathroom, and at a party for my 3 situations to commit to pausing.
There are many ways to be still: Stare at the ceiling, notice the people around you, taste what you’re eating, look out a window at the sky. The point of this is to relax your mind, and not grab for a distraction.
For anyone who celebrates the holidays, Merry Christmas Eve and I hope everyone has a great day!
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