Thanks, For Nothing.

Have you ever experienced the miracle of nothingness? Of giving yourself empty space?  If the earth glides and rotates gracefully within the freedom of vast amounts of space, can we occasionally do the same?

A recent experience caused me to pause and experience “nothingness”. It challenged me to walk even more firmly and confidently in the talk I ask my clients to walk along side of me – one of listening and trusting my body. Instead of reacting and reacquainting myself with a bunch of cookies like I did in my frantic eating days, I became still and explored my inner world.

For two and a half weeks, I spent time with myself. No judging the anxiety, the afternoon naps, the skipped work-outs, the neglected to-do list. No apologies. I awkwardly tried to find footing in this newly discovered galaxy.

Giving myself this time to slow down, to be versus to do, was a gift. It was a radical act of self-care. One, that as a business owner, grad student, and general non-trust fund life participant, I hadn’t done in more than four years – if ever (had I done this back when I was 13 and diagnosed with cancer, would I have spent the next 12 years fixated on food?).

Reflecting-moon

The first couple of days were uncomfortable in their slowness. By the end, I decided that slow is the new black. It looks great on everyone and, will make you thinner– a topic I plan on exploring further in subsequent blog posts. The shift in my clarity, confidence and grace were miraculous. How had nothing but everything changed?

My external decisions were smarter, more effective. Turns out the invisible wisdom in nothingness crystallizes with focus. It’s like those 3-D prints peddled at malls in the 90s. You have to tune out to tune in. Despite reading mindfulness books, taking meditation courses and having a 12-year yoga practice, it was the challenge to actually live the teachings that now has me committed to bringing slowness back.

As Thanksgiving reminds us this month, we should be grateful for everything that fills our lives. But it’s also important to be thankful for the emptiness, the soulful connection we get from nothing but space.

Feeling reinvigorated with my new normal, I recommend gifting yourself space this holiday season.

It’s equally as important as what you eat and will change the quantity of what you eat.  I’ve included some ideas that helped me slow down into a comfortable stillness:

1. Take a half day off work with no plans

2. DIY holiday gifts that use your creative talents

3. Facebook Fast for 30 days

4. Pick 5 of your favorite yoga poses. Start every morning or finish every evening doing just those.

5. Give yourself an entire hour for lunch in a beautiful surrounding – away from work, the computer.

6. Buy an essential oil kit and give yourself a foot bath or hand soak (I love Dr. Hauschka oils).

7. Go through your bathroom cabinets and use all those skin care samples to create a soothing skin care routine

Pick one or all seven. Don’t say you can’t. All we have is time. How fast we choose to spend it is one thing that we can control.

Wishing you a soulful Thanksgiving.

Image via Fireflyforest