Jamie Ridler is doing the Joy Diet by Martha Beck as a book club and I am joining in the reading.
I’ve been trying to implement 5 minutes of nothing into my quiet time for some time now. I get so antsy. But I felt I needed space where I was not thinking, reading or even praying. Just being. Listening.
Before I’ve even been able to handle the 5 minutes regularly, the book the Joy Diet, gave me a push to try 15 minutes. Martha Beck suggested different ways of doing nothing for 15 minutes.
So the first day I tried a walking meditation – I walked quietly in nature and felt refreshed. But, it didn’t feel like nothing. There was too much for me to notice.
The next day I experimented with a guided body relaxation meditation. I felt relaxed afterwards, but again it didn’t feel like nothing.
Tuesday I decided to really do nothing. I sat with a meditation timer. After 5 minutes I was completely antsy. My mind was all over the place. And I jerked awake a few times after almost falling asleep. I was not refreshed. I was agitated.
Wednesday I figured out what works for me. I did what I always do when my mind is racing. I wrote it out in my journal. Once my mind has calmed down I was able to do my 15 min of nothing peacefully.
Thursday I started with writing than did nothing till my phone rang . I ended up answering it and playing solitaire on my phone after the call. Lesson: turn off the phone, pick a time you are least likely to be disturbed and it’s very difficult to get back into doing nothing once you are interrupted.
Today I wrote for a few minutes in my journal then fell into my nothing. I ended up feeling comforted for something that happened a long time ago where I felt alone at the time. Then I felt a couple promptings of things to do. I don’t expect this to happen every time, but I certainly felt God’s presence during this time.
I am looking forward to doing nothing in the future.
Photograph by D Sharon Pruitt