God is the madwoman in the attic.
I'm camped out on the threshold with my journal, camera, and plenty of snacks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

the practice of nothing

The first ingredient of The Joy Diet is Nothing. Fifteen minutes of protected, uninterrupted openness to the Divine. I maintained a daily practice of silence or prayer and yoga while I was pregnant with Baby N. But not since his birth. He's 19 months now so it's been a while.

The Joy Diet is bringing me back to daily practice. The first attempt, on Saturday afternoon was very satisfying. I used some gentle motion to escort my body-mind into the quiet. My mind chattered & skipped but rather than trying to bring it back, I tried to release it. Imperfect and yet satisfying. This first attempt concluded so quickly, I gave myself another five minutes to simply reflect on it all.

Practice, my journal says to me. Practice.

But I didn't practice at all this week and last night marked only my second attempt back into Nothing. This week was marked by mad cravings for distraction. Junk food. Noisy, up-tempo chatting. Episodes from Netflix. Celebrity gossip sites.

When I finally brought myself back to Nothing it was more challenging. I'm uncomfortable. My body is aching & knotted. I'm so tired. Two of my teeth feel cavitied (cavernous?) but I'm afraid of dentists...

I sit on the kitchen floor with my back against the cabinets. I try some gentle yoga. "It's not all effort," an instructional video replays in my head. The refrigerator whirs and I try to release my mind & my breathing into that sound. The chatter rises in my mind. I try another pose and this time listen to the drip, drip, drip, from the bathtub tap.

A message clarifies itself in my mind. I anchor myself to it for the remaining minutes in Nothing. The timer chimes softly. I quickly turn it off and get up.

I email myself the message from Nothing. It's an answer about this week's distraction craze.

Maybe I'll practice again tonight.


The Joy Diet is the book we're currently reading in The Next Chapter, a book blogging group hosted by Jamie Ridler Studios.

You are always welcome to participate.

7 comments:

Cindy said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with Nothing. Some days, it's definitely easier than it is on others!

Cindy said...

On a separate note, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving the Julia Cameron quote. I really needed to hear that just now. I'm so hard on myself sometimes!

Thanks again!

sherry ♥ lee said...

Please keep practicing. From the way I read this, it sounds like you were trying too hard after the first attempt. The first attempt happened naturally...and then you had a crazy busy week with much on your mind and you tried to force "nothing". Let go. Just release as you had done and I think it's safe to say you will be back to "nothing" as a regular daily practice.

Looking forward to delving into truth with you this week.

WrightStuff said...

Don't worry... I'm still practising too - again and again!!

Karen D said...

It was similiar for me this week, when I tried my mind wanted to be distracted by everything and anything. And then at the end of the week and not intentional I found some nothing time outside in nature, my hope is I give myself so more of this time. Thanks for sharing your journey this week.

Melita said...

i am so glad to read that you are going to go back into your practice. just know that all of us joy dieters are here for you :)

Lisa said...

What a beautiful account of reconnecting to a sense of nothing, and a sense of everything.... I have a similar story, as a mom, as a yoga-woman... here's to rediscovering a daily practice that feels just so, like a cozy blanket!