Would You Rather Get the Flu?

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Truth Byte #7: You are busy for no reason. Seek stillness.

It is flu season. Around me, friends, family, and clients are dropping like flies, even those who were diligent enough to get the flu shot. This got me to thinking: why does it take a totally body drama for us to be willing to just stop and lay in bed for a couple of days?

The reality is, most of us are busy. Really busy. And we flit about from here to there doing very important and crucial work, until we have the flu. Then somehow, with a couple of quick calls and emails, we can put everything on hold and lie in bed for a few days. What if, instead of waiting until our bodies gave up, we actually built in stillness into the everyday? What if instead of reading, or watching TV, or surfing Facebook, or endless replies to endless email trains, we could just take half an hour out of each day to just be? No props, no people, just you and the silence? “But I do yoga,” you say, “I meditate, I even take my weekly nature walk”. The problem is this: even these spiritual activities that were supposed to bring stillness have become another “to-do” on our lists, another thing to beat up on ourselves for doing wrong or skipping over entirely. We need to change our minds about this one, and see stillness as critical to our physical, emotional and spiritual health rather than a nice-to-have.

We are just too busy. And it’s catching up with us. I have had days where I fall into bed exhausted, but could not name an actual meaningful thing I engaged in. And what I have learned is there will always be another load of dishes to wash and clothes to clean, and the clients will text and email into the night, and the children will run out of their favorite crackers, and the bills will loom on the horizon. But at the end of my day, if I have not connected with myself, then ultimately, I am left empty. No matter how much I achieve or accomplish in this human life, the vaccuum of meaning remains until I seek stillness.

So today, and maybe just for today, I encourage you to carve out some time for the stillness. Put your phone on silent, put the closed sign up on your shop, turn off the distractions and just sit, with the intention to just do nothing. And if you find that weird or strange or a waste of time, then good luck to you….because the flu is coming and then you will have to do it anyway.