the Gift of nothing

Today as I was driving home from an appointment, stuck in a bit of late-afternoon traffic, (but not minding it so much because it was sunny, warm, and I had all the windows open -- yeah!!)
I happened to be stopped at a very... very... very long stoplight and happened to look to my left. 

I noticed a guy sitting on a short brick wall just outside of a university building, and I could not stop staring. 

There wasn't anything terribly noteworthy about the guy.
He had on jeans and a red t-shirt; he had dark hair; had his black backpack sitting next to him on the wall; I honestly couldn't really tell you any more about what he looked like. 
But that's not the point. 

What made it impossible to take my eyes off of him was
what he was doing: 


He wasn't on a phone. 
He wasn't reading a book. 
He wasn't checking his watch. 
He wasn't even pretending to look busy, or like he was waiting for someone. 

He was just sitting.
And being. 

And it was mesmerizing. 

Sometimes he would gaze off into the distance, and I wondered what he was thinking about. 
Sometimes he would look down disinterestedly, seemingly just to look somewhere else, or because his thoughts changed direction.
Sometimes he would sort of do this half-stretch or yawn. 
And that's it. 

When is the last time you saw someone not DOING? 
When you saw someone simply BEING?

And -- more importantly -- when is the last time you just sat and did
nothing yourself? 
Gave yourself time to daydream, to be with your thoughts, to space out and enjoy the void? 
Or, better yet, to see what quiet, small voices have been drowned out by the din in our lives and the louder voices in our minds, the noisy voices that often don't serve us any longer? 

When's the last time you gave yourself the gift of NOTHING?

Something like this happens in meditation, and meditation is amazing. 
I encourage all of my clients -- and anyone who will listen -- to meditate. 
But this is different... 

When you're meditating -- like someone who is reading or smoking or otherwise 'occupied' -- you can sit in a park by yourself, and people will think, "Oh, I see, she's meditating," or "she's smoking," or "she's reading."
There's an excuse, a good reason, for you to be alone. 
You're clearly busy doing something.

But what if you take a blanket, go to a park, and just sit there?
What if you don't do anything?
What if you just feel the sun on your face, the breeze in your hair, and the fresh air in your lungs?

And just BE there? 
Just feel it. 
Just breathe. 
Just be human -- allow that to be your occupation. 

We're not defined by the things we're doing, the devices or tomes in our hands, or our next appointment. 
So what if you're just being you, without any prop or activity?

And ---- most importantly ---
can you love that 'you'? 

I want to encourage you to take some time this week to simply... just.... be. 

And start to listen to what wants to be heard within you.