As a menopause expert, I get asked a lot of difficult questions. Recently, I was asked a really hard one, and at first I was stumped.
When is the last time you sat still and thought about nothing?
No thought filled your mind, or peaked around the corner and caught your mind’s eye. You didn’t think about a deadline that was due, a task that needed tending, a call that needed to be made. You stopped thinking about an email you needed to read or answer. You didn’t ponder what should be on your shopping list or the next meal that needed cooking.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing was on your mind.
When was the last time your mind was an empty white board of white matter with one simple task – breathe in and breathe out, and don’t think about anything.
Try it. See if you can do it. Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet in front of you either flat on the ground or propped up on a pillow with your hands resting gently in your lap.
Start breathing in and out slowly.
If your mood permits, add a smile. I find it helpful.
Every time a thought starts to creep in, ignore it. Just focus on your breathing.
Another thought pops in? No matter. Let it go by. For the moment, it’s none of your concern. All you have to do is breathe. Slow and steady. In and out. One breath at a time. Until you’ve breathed out all the clutter and breathed in enough mental space to feel at peace and in this moment. In the silent, empty space your mind can expand. In the absence of clutter there is room to create.
When is the last time I sat still and thought about nothing?
As I said, at first I struggled to answer this question. It wasn’t easy. But after practicing a few minutes daily for a few days, I now can tell you.
The last time I sat still and thought about nothing is now. Gotta run. I’ll share more when I start thinking again.