Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The distractions we need

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” ~Henry David Thoreau

I have observed a very alarming thing... I cannot sit doing nothing, like absolutely nothing.
When i see my husband sitting sometimes, not doing anything - he is just sitting - no TV, phone, music, books, newspaper - nothing. Just sitting - I always ask him what he is thinking about. Many a times he says - "Nothing".

I do not know what to make of it!
I cannot comprehend the act of doing nothing. I persist - there must be something on your mind, he says - No. Nothing, I am just sitting.
I am puzzled. How? Is this even possible?

I absolutely cannot not do anything at any given point in time.
During yoga, i struggle to hold my thoughts in place and when the instructor asks us to not think of anything and let the thoughts just come and go, without getting attached to them, I till date do not know what he means by that. I start thinking to myself - OK, so i am not going to think of anything. Maybe i will visualize a dot and concentrate on it, then i start thinking of a white dot on a black background and i think if the dot is red, maybe i can concentrate better, wait...isn't that a thought? No, it doesn't matter what color the dot is, i am not going to think of a dot. Let me just picture a plain canvas - white? black? No, no, no i tell myself i am not supposed to be thinking and soon we come to an end and we are supposed to feeling refreshed and rejuvenated with a clean slate, and all i can see are the numerous doodles on my slate of mind!

When i watch TV, HD i might add, which has advertisements varying from 30 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds only, I get my book with me, to read when the ads play, or i play this game i am really addicted to, on my mobile, or i am checking out some recipe online on my phone.
I cannot sit still doing nothing even for those 30 seconds! Not even just watch the ads.
My morning cup of tea is not a time for just that, it is a time to read the newspaper and breakfast time is the time to quickly check emails and lunch time is the time to check for new videos on Youtube / log on to Facebook.
Evening tea time is for catching up on all other blogs that i want to read.

What are all these distractions that I need?
Have i forgotten how to be with myself?
I am scared it is going to reach a point where i am going to run out of distractions! Even these distractions won't be distracting enough for me!
With the multi tasking that I have perfected, i have forgotten what it is to do one task at a time or do no task at all. Not all the time that we have with us needs to be spent doing productive activities, relaxing is a part of functioning productively.
It is like i am stuck in this routine of trying to tick off all the items on my work and personal list and trying to them as soon as possible, with god knows what lies at the end, that i am rushing through things at this pace.

I have decided to Stop. Like an absolute, unconditional, complete brake. Halt, take a breath.
Everyday i have lists of things i need to do, but before i dive into that list, I am sure i can take a little time out for myself, to enjoy the mornings. To take my cup of tea and sip it by the window, watching my garden plants sway in the gentle morning breeze.
I can definitely take the time to savor my food instead of achieving a marathon finish in 10 minutes.
There is no harm in sitting and watching the harmless TV ads, a time when i am doing nothing but just watching mindless television, without feeling guilty about not occupying my mind with some worth while pursuit.

Surprisingly, the only place where i am absolutely relaxed and completely at ease with myself is Goa.
The magical place of sun, sand, beers and fish.
A place where you get the a chair, look out to the sea and gaze, stare, doze, day dream, or just sit.
The town has a complete laid back vibe, where rushing off to do something seems extraordinary. It is lazy, it is quaint, it is beautiful.
A trip to Goa is like a week long yoga class, where on return you truly feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

So, here is to being open, to going along with the tide, to being lost in it.
Who knows how we emerge on the other side of it?

Here is to bringing a little bit of Goa into my daily life!

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