We live in a world filled with input from television, radios, the Internet, social networks, email, news broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, white papers, books, Kindles, movies and more.
Our society is fast paced and we are proud of our ability to multitask. We begin our days by listening to the news as we get dressed in the morning. On the way to work or school, we listen to the radio in the car and use ear phones to listen to music or talk on our cell phones.
Our days are filled with talking, doing, accomplishing, gathering, spending, earning, and accumulating facts, relationships and material things. We are fast becoming human doings rather than human beings. All this doing is exhausting and it depletes us of our energy and leaves no time for wonder.
It is possible, however, to find stillness, no matter how busy our schedules are. By taking time for reflection, by being silent, we can find the stillness of inner peace.
Take a moment to recall what it is like waking up on a winter morning after a night of snow falling on the earth. Without even looking outside, there is a palpable stillness – it is so delicious, so full of wonder.
If you have ever been in a kayak or canoe when the water is smooth, the air is fresh and the sun is warm, or skiing along a snow covered path in the woods, you know about stillness.
We can bring that same stillness to our lives by taking time to meditate and reflect, to quiet the mind and listen to the language of the heart.
Pablo Neruda says: “If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the world can teach us as when everything seems dead but later proves to be alive.”
Here are five ways to “do nothing” as we “prove to be alive”:
1. Before getting out of bed in the morning, take a moment to listen to what surrounds you. Perhaps it is very early and the only sound you hear is the ticking of the clock.
2. While eating breakfast, do not talk, but enjoy the taste and texture of your food.
3. While on your way to work, do not put on the radio or listen to a CD.
4. Take a day to do only one thing at a time, silently, a “no multitasking day”.
5. Before you enter your house after a long day, pause in silence to leave the work day behind and bring an open heart to your family.
Try bringing stillness to your life and experience its benefits.