Silent inactivity regenerates us
From "The inwarders Podcast" serie n°13, available on all major podcast apps and providers or listen via: https://www.theinwarders.com/podcast
In this new serie, I will share why all of us need a break or holiday from time to time. If you haven’t been bored during the holidays, you haven’t had a proper break.
As a fulltime mom, my life fluctuates with my kids’ agenda. When they are in holidays, my planning has to adapt. So the summer break wasn’t a choice. But I happily welcomed it.
Here is what I found:
Breaks are important. They allow us to witness the cracks that would not be seen otherwise. Too much agitation and doing, it’s like painting a wall without repairing the cracks first. It seems a good idea as esthetic is prioritized. But in the long run, it takes longer for the cracks to be seen and addressed.
Of course it is nice to plan activities that we often disregard during the rest of the year. Seems like the perfect timing. Our agendas quickly packed up again until I felt a pressure in my chest. The Presence made itself clear. Less would be preferable.
First, less allows us to keep some free time aside. The peace and quiet time children fear the most when they come to tell us “Mom I am bored”. That’s literally what we, as adult, miss the most.
Second, less allows us to appreciate better the activities that have been selected for the holidays. I have watched enough Joshua Becker’s videos or read Marie Kondo and alike books to know more doesn’t mean happier. It just mean busier until we burn out.
If you cannot remember what activities you have done over a certain period of time, that’s a sign they were too many.
When it is time for free time, silence is preferable. Doing nothing at first is challenging. Thoughts appear, lists of things we should be doing right now pop up in our minds and are soon followed by our very close friend, guilt. Or the feeling we are missing out.
It seems doing nothing in silence is like indulging in the most expensive and luxurious spa we can find in this World, when we cannot afford it. Or we will miss the best moment of the holidays…
After some internal struggles about this ‘free time’ booked in our agenda, our mind quiets down. Almost like it understood we were not going to give in.
This apparent quietness is precious. First, it is pleasant. Second, it allows the deeper thoughts and feelings, those we never give time to, to come to the surface.
If nothing surface, congratulations, you have mastered your mind. If like me, things pop up, well, it is time to give them our full attention.
And that’s why I call it “apparent quietness”. Because the long lasting quietness is hard work to obtain.
Thoughts, feelings and sensations come and go. Push us to react. The urge to quickly react should be ignored. We just stay present. It works best for me to give my attention to the presence itself, the awareness of the thought, versus the thought itself. But whatever works best for you.
After sometimes, we find true silence. That’s real silence. Not the one from suppression, but the one from patient observation.
I found that kind of rest and silence so profound, it regenerates me better than the most expensive and luxurious spa I could indulged in. But thankfully, that’s not exclusive.
From this silent place, what matters to us the most can be found. Those precious stones should be extracted and valued against the multitude. Usually, after a real break, we know better what to focus on for the period ahead of us.
That clarity comes handy for me as before my break, I tended to do too many things and expended my “to do list” beyond what was right for me. That tends to happen when we lack perspective. When we act according to our thoughts and feelings, not from our presence found in silent contemplation.
It seems that I often lose track of what matters and recurrent breaks should be incorporated through the year. At least that’s my excuse.
In my case, summer breaks tend to be the longest break I have during the year. So half of the year is gone before I check in. That’s why it is so important to be present all the time and to incorporate regular breaks in our agenda. Like meditations. If it is not a priority, soon there will be no time left for it.
We will end up running everywhere telling people we are so busy and….that is a clear sign a break is required.
When I am present to myself, I find there is always time to do what matters the most. And what about those extra activities left aside? Well they cluster our agendas as surely as too many tee-shirts cluster our closets. They should be thrown away or recycled.
Contact Annabelle Foussier, "The inwarders Podcast" host, coach and author via www.theinwarders.com.