Have you noticed how we avoid the void? We spend our days filling in every available moment, ticking off more tasks from our ever growing lists, responding to messages, checking online and social media sites and watching videos.
Why are we so afraid of the ‘void’ or empty spaces in our lives?
What we end up with is a continual busyness which results in constant distraction and avoidance, lack of focus, and ultimately… lack of satisfaction with ourselves and with our lives.
We run from space between appointments and tasks. We run from silence. We run from solitude. And we run from stillness.
We try to fill up every second with activity, with something useful. It’s as if silence and space are not valuable at all.
But what are we avoiding? What are we actually afraid of?
And… who would we be if we didn’t have that fear?
We are afraid of silence and stillness and space because it highlights the uncertainty, instability, groundlessness, insecurity, unpredictability that lies within every second of our lives. We’re afraid of having to face this uncertainty and instability, and of having to feel the fear of it.
Without the fear of all of the uncertainty that is highlighted by space or empty moments, we become free.
I know in my own life, when I allow myself to have stillness, solitude, simplicity, silence and space… it leaves room to face whatever is coming up for me. It gives me a chance to acknowledge and fully feel any feelings that I’ve been avoiding. It allows me to be much more honest with myself – instead of using distraction or busyness to cover up what I don’t want to see or feel.
As a consequence, I develop greater trust in myself and in life – that the space is not something to be feared, but rather something to be savoured. It’s a gift, filled with learning and not knowing and unpredictability and beauty.
What can you do differently?
7 simple ways to embrace the quiet times
I invite you to allow a little less busyness and a little more space to BE in your day:
- Take some time between tasks for a few minutes stillness
- Sit outside in nature, in silence, without technology
- When you’re in line, driving, eating, walking, exercising… see if you can do those things in silence, without technology, without needing to do something “useful.” Find the value in these spaces
- When you notice yourself reaching for your phone, pause. See if you can just be still, and savour some quiet or reflective moments
- When you feel uncertainty or instability in your life (hint: it’s always there), let yourself feel it. Be present with it, without needing to run, judge or avoid it
- When you feel fear, be curious and open-hearted with it. Allow yourself fully feel it, being friendly with it. Seek to understand it. Your relationship with fear will change if you become friendlier with it
- Notice who you are without the fear of stillness or space
Savour the void. Savour the spaces. Savour the groundlessness as something filled with freedom if we can learn not to fear it. Be present with fear and uncertainty – as good friends, as teachers, not as enemies.
Let your heart be open, tender, raw and vulnerable. And let your mind embrace the spaciousness of the vast blue ocean of expanded awareness.
Let us embrace and enjoy the void together,