Monday, 10 March 2014

Not busy

This year I am not busy for Lent. To find out more, click here.
It involves intentionally sitting still and doing nothing for at least 10 minutes every day.
Sounds simple?
Well, the idea is simple but the execution is proving much harder than you might imagine. The temptations are endless - radio, TV, internet distractions, books sitting around to be read, magazines and papers with tempting articles, music to be listened to.
I have decided to not have the radio or any music on. I really am trying to still my mind. I failed on Ash Wednesday completely. On the Friday I forgot. But from the attempts I have made so far, here is what I have learned:

1. 10 minutes is a long time. I set a timer and the first day I did it, I kept looking at it. This did not help time pass more quickly.

2. I will remember lots of things I need to do as soon as I sit still. However I have decided not to pick up the pen and write them down as that definitely counts as Doing Something. I have yet to discover if I will always remember these things after the 10 minutes is over, or if I will forget them entirely. Or indeed if it matters if I forget them entirely. Perhaps I will find out that it's OK if some things just don't get done.

3. It is easier to do this when I'm not running a busy parish. But perhaps that's why I need to get into the habit now so that when I do get back into a parish, it's already a regular part of my discipline.

4. It is much easier doing nothing when the puppy comes and sits on the sofa with me and I can stroke her velvety coat. I have convinced myself that this still amounts to doing nothing. After all, who could resist this?

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