The Gift of Quiet Time
Do you meditate every day? Me neither. I used to feel like a “remedial meditator,” just not getting it right. Once I found mindfulness meditation, where you don’t have to empty your brain but instead simply allow yourself to notice what your brain pays attention to, moment-by-moment, I finally felt like I could “do” meditation. Meditation, of all sorts, has been found to have powerful mental and physical health benefits. Even just five minutes of meditation can positively impact the rest of your day. But what if you can’t/don’t/won’t meditation every day? That’s okay. Let me tell you about Quiet Time.
Quiet Time is a chance to be with yourself in a low-key way, with no agenda or expectation. A great local parenting organization, The Parent Encouragement Program, teaches about creating space for “Special Time” with your children: 20 minutes or so of uninterrupted, non-agenda-driven time with your child individually to truly be present to her or him. Your child sets the agenda (anything but screen time), you set the timer (it’s important to know when Special Time begins and ends), and that’s all there is to it. It pays huge dividends. Quiet Time is “Special Time” with yourself, and it will pay huge dividends for your mood, energy, attitude toward the day (and toward others!), and sense of Self.
Here’s one way to do it. You get up in the morning, before anyone else in the house. You tiptoe to the kitchen, make yourself a cup of coffee (or your preferred morning beverage) and then sit in your favorite cozy spot. And you just spend time with yourself. Perhaps you like to journal, perhaps you like to read, or pray, or meditate. Or do nothing. It doesn’t matter. It’s all good. You can’t do this wrong. This is about giving yourself the gift of your undivided attention, to just feel what it feels like to be in your body, in your mind, and in your heart for this 5 or 10 or 20 minutes. Try it. You’ll like it.