Our culture teaches us that we either fill our time with busyness or boredom. In the aft chance that our overstimulated lives leave us with a moment of peace, we choose some other stimulant to fill up our moment of boredom.
But what is boredom?
Is it reading the label of my energy bar as I sat in my tent during my hiking adventure, waiting out a long stormy night alone? Is it scrolling through social media because we have 3 minutes to spare before our next task, meeting, or event? Or our drug of choice at the end of a “long difficult day,” perhaps a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or an extra hoppy IPA?
ANSWER: All of the above.
But the real question is, why do we get “bored”? Why can't we just tolerate the silence? Why can’t we sit with nothingness and just be? We immediately have to entertain ourselves with some distraction.
In my journey, I’ve found that amidst the silence is where I have my most profound moments. The silence is where I feel peace and go to find my truth. Instead of choosing busyness or boredom, I choose Presence. Not allowing my brain to be distracted by doing something, but letting myself just be.
Case in point: today, I was walking down a busy street, and I noticed:
Ads on every bus bench
People walking by with their noses in their phones, not looking up for a greeting.
A sports bar with 30 screens playing 30 different sports games, so you are not just multitasking, you are juggling 30 scores.
Cars turned swiftly in front of me as I walked across the crosswalk with the white guy showing I had the right of way.
There is no time or space just to be when we are constantly being bombarded with information - work emails, endless notifications, messages, phone calls, etc etc.
I believe boredom is simply a mindset, not a default. If we choose to believe that we can be bored - we are bored. But if we choose to savor silence - then we are awake, available to receive whatever important message the silence is sending our way.
Imagine I sat you in front of a blank white wall in a room alone for hours on end. Not a noise is heard but loud, steely silence. Your only task is to watch the wall. Does that sound profound? Or dreadful?
You could explore the wall's texture and wonder what shade of white it is or what the building is made of and why. OR, you could listen to the profound sound of silence. Being present with nothing but yourself - going inside to listen to your thoughts, feel your feelings, and reflect on your human experience.
Rather than being aimless and bored - you could simply choose to be with you.
Dreaming of what you want to create.
Putting a plan of action together
Feel your feeling of excitement and love!
We as a society are constantly fluctuating between busyness and boredom (though mostly focused on the busyness). But both are just different kinds of noise we use to avoid sitting with our Truth and finding Presence.
The opposite of doing is just simply being Present.
So the next time you seek to fill space with busyness or boredom, just put down your phone and practice Presence. Listen to yourself, get comfortable in the stillness, and be with yourself.
I think each time, we will find more: calm, peace, clarity, and inner harmony.
Let’s pause, look out the window, breathe, and just BE. P.S. I always say only together can we reach our peak - Share this with one person that you feel could benefit from these words today.
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