Don’t just sit there. Do something.
There are times where we are all guilty of thinking this to ourselves, either about ourselves, or about someone who seems to be lounging slothfully in our midst.
So much to do, so little time is our usual refrain.
As time passes and I share my practice and experiences with yoga “off the mat,” I am beginning to turn the title saying, on its head.
Don’t just do something. Sit there.
I have recently begun (a few times a week) taking a few moments first thing in the morning to just sit. I roll myself out of bed, and sit on a meditation cushion for anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes. I feel the benefit even when I do this for 2 minutes! It starts the day off with an intention of peace and of introspection. I most often ask myself how I want to feel today, what I want to offer people, how I want to show up for them, and how I can make every interaction with clients, with family, with strangers, a positive one? I remind myself that in order to offer anything to anyone, first I have to see myself and love myself for the whole package; the qualities, the “flaws”, and everything in between. I also remind myself that in that moment, all is the way it should be. There is nothing to change. I just practice accepting the way things are. I offer gratitude for all the good that surrounds me, and I try to see every challenge, every difficult situation as something I can learn from. I ask myself what the lesson might be in the discomfort I may be feeling.
When we begin a practice of meditation, the gift of sitting for even a few moments of peace and quiet is immeasurable. It’s like when you start practicing yoga and you marvel at how amazing it feels just to stretch. Sitting, allowing ourselves to just be, helps us connect to our inner Self, before we start our day and start focusing outwards.
I must admit that I don’t know how people meditate for hours, or days on end. I’m fascinated by it, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. More importantly, it doesn’t matter to me if I ever do. The practice I have is one which I am cultivating. It was born out of intention, with a heartfelt belief that it can only be beneficial to me, to what I offer, to how I present myself.
These small moments of feeling grounded, these specs of time where I feel connected to myself, are like that big juicy stretch for my mind. It feels amazing and makes me want to get up and – share.
Consider the next time your morning alarm rings, rolling out of bed and starting your day off just sitting in silence for a few moments. Don’t expect a specific outcome. Just see how it feels to be awake, yet calm. Count your breaths if that helps you or simply notice the expansion and contraction of the belly with each breath. We won’t be seasoned meditators after one “sit.” We shouldn’t expect a specific result. After all, we don’t sit down at a piano and just play. It takes practice like anything else. The only question is, does it feel good in the moment, and does it affect your mindset and your day in a positive manner?
Don’t just do something. Sit there. ♥
Postscript: for those of you who still find “this stuff” hard to believe, and even harder to make time for, consider what many (busy) CEOs have told Harvard Business Review about the benefits of meditation on their productivity levels, their ability to focus, their levels of anxiety, their creativity etc. Read about it here.