There’s been a lot of talk about self-care lately. A lot of people are stressed and worried and freaking out (rightfully so, but that’s not what this is about). So a lot of other people are writing about how to care for yourself to alleviate the physical effects of that stress and worry and freak. Go for long walks, get a massage, drink, treat yo’self, or as the millennials like to say “Live your best life.” My version of self-care is a little less “best life” and a little more “no life”, but it works for me.
I love to sit and do nothing.
Not watch TV, not read, not browse the internet or scroll Facebook. Just sit. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like; the responsibilities of daily life don’t leave me much time for just sitting. Usually, someone climbs into my lap or throws something at me or yells for me to wipe an ass before I have a chance to really get into my sit.
I’m not talking about meditation, either. There’s no lotus position on the floor. No uncomfortable little cushion. There’s no visualisation, no counting. My mind wanders as freely as it wants and I don’t correct it or chastise it or try to rein it in. All daydreams are welcome. It’s time for creative thinking or honest reflection or silent musing. Whatever you want to call it, I like to call it sitting. I just sit.
My husband doesn’t get it. He can’t sit. He needs to have some distraction. TV, phone, something. Just sitting is weird to him. He thinks it’s bizarre. He always asks me what I’m doing. “Just sitting here,” is my rote response. He can’t wrap his head around it. To sit and be still and quiet is completely alien to him. He falls asleep if he sits and does nothing.
Our screens impede our mindfulness and get in the way of being fully aware. When we’re glued to our screens, we feel protected, but we’re communicating to the world that we are closed off, unavailable; that we don’t want to interact with our surroundings.
We have so many distractions, so many things we can use to occupy our minds, that very few people are willing to just sit and do nothing. Walk through any public place and the majority of people who are alone (or even those who aren’t, more’s the pity) are looking at a screen. Just sitting has become unusual, bizarre.
Why is that? I don’t get it.