There is a lovely quote by the French mathematician, physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal that states “All of mans problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
I tend to agree.
When I look back at my most challenging experiences, my mind, my self talk, the what if she did this and he did that, compounded to make the experience far more challenging than it needed to be. I had all sorts of scenarios imagined in my own head, horror stories that left me feeling fearful and anxious.
My wants and wishes also kept me wound up and stressed, seeking some sort of satisfaction. When I get that new kitchen I will be happy, when I move house, when I am in relationship, when I am free from a relationship, my constant mind chatter egging me on.
Blaise Pascal lived in the 16 hundreds, I wonder what he would make of our lives today with mobile phones, computers, social media and the constant sensory overload. I often have conversations with people who are stressed because of a text message on their phone, facebook post, someone unfriended them- I offer the same advice each and every time – switch it off – spend some time in silence.
Easily said, however HOW do we sit in a room quietly when our mind is leaping around like a monkey.
- The first step is to make a commitment to sit still, no movement at all, resist every urge to move.
- Next bring your attention to your breath,- every time you find yourself in any other thought notice it and gently bring your attention back to your breath.- Feel the breath as it comes in through your nose and moves down expanding your body, then feel it as it moves out through your nose, feel your body softening as the breath releases.
Rise early every morning and sit quietly in a room alone, spend some time with your breath.
Let me know how you go.