Remember when summer used to be a time when we slowed down? Days were longer and often more lazy? It was a time when taking it easy, or at least easier, was expected and accepted.
Where did that go?
I have been noticing over the last few weeks how many people are not taking down time, even in the summer, and how stressed we are. Everything moves faster now—that is the price of technology—and we have become so accustomed to this acceleration that we don’t slow down like we used to. We are on a trajectory that hurtles forward on its own momentum much of the time.
The problem with too much busy-ness is we can lose track of ourselves—our own thoughts, our own pace, our own creativity, our own being the way we want to be, based on who we each are in our original and unique and full selves. There is natural ebb and flow to human rhythms, necessary for balance, and down time is required not only to restore the body, but also to stay in touch with the sure wisdom of our own inner sense and navigational support system.
Where is your rhythm right now? How can you feel more comfortable in the flow of your life?
To find out, take time to stop and listen to yourself. By this I mean to move past the chatter of your mind, and settle into feeling the slower, quieter sense of where you are and who you are and what you need. It is important to take time for yourself in this way, time to do nothing. Time to simply be with yourself to create space and relaxation in your body and mind. And find the space between your thoughts. It is in that space that the answer to your balance resides.
This is not a big or difficult undertaking. It doesn’t take much time or require learning a method. Indeed, the point is to do less, not to take on yet another obligation. Just take the time to slow down and see what comes up!
The “gap” between thoughts is a concept well known in meditation practices, and much is written about it in the context of accessing present moment awareness as a means of finding joy and contentment. Eckhart Tolle writes in A New Earth: “Discover inner space by creating gaps in the stream of thinking. Without those gaps, your thinking becomes repetitive, uninspired, devoid of any creative spark…” and Deepak Chopra teaches “to center yourself in that silent space between thoughts” as essential to success. But you don’t need to follow any particular format or practice to do what I am suggesting.
You just have to do nothing.
Find time to let go of demands, whether imposed by others or by you. And then see what percolates to the surface for you. From the quiet space of nothingness you will start to feel something, perhaps catch a glimpse of what will nourish you. You may want to follow that thread. You will stir your creative resources.