Sarah Coleman: How long can you sit?

Sarah Coleman
For the Steamboat Pilot & Today

Go ahead — try it. When was the last time you sat, just sat, with no phone, no computer, no book, no child, no podcast, no to-do list — you get the picture?

I recently heard about this challenge and, boy, is it hard. We search for something to do at all times, trying to maximize our time, multitask, fit it all in. We feel efficient and successful if we can squeeze one last email out while we wait for a friend, book an appointment waiting in line or cross something off our to-do list while talking with a colleague.

Sure, all of that is great to crush out a few things, but to what sacrifice?

Like all things, this is a practice. Try doing nothing — just sitting and being — for a few minutes to start. Then see if you can add time as you progress. 

This is the true essence of being present and mindful. Oftentimes, our own minds can be such a huge distraction, yet we add in more with all the “stuff” around us.

Sitting and being calm and present can help declutter the mind and turn your attention to the things that really matter. What is coming up for you?

A few tips for JUST sitting (or being):

• Sit in a hammock — take in what’s around you. Soak it all in.

• Sit in the sun with your eyes closed — feel the sun on your face, and take a few deep breaths.

• Leave your phone the next time you do anything. How does this feel?

• No music, no podcast on next dog walk.

• Sit still for 5min a few mornings week — see what comes up for you.

• Try the five senses meditation — five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

• Movement can also help the sitting process in the beginning — create a few small movements (yoga) to travel through to simplify the mind.

• What else — tell us?

Remember that these are just suggestions — get creative — find some time to just sit and be with you. Let me know how it goes. Happy summertime — get outside and do something cool.

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