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  • Writer's pictureRosie Nicholas

The power of sitting in silence

How often do you get to the end of the day feeling tired and stressed? Days fly by in a flurry of unfinished to-dos, demands and requests and you realise you've spent hours of your time on other people. When the sun goes down and the caffeine and adrenaline wears off, it's impossible to unplug and recentre. You crawl into bed, willing sleep to come.

It might sound bleak but this can quickly become the norm for many of us mums (myself included). Finding balance at the end of the day means searching for quietness and solitude, but we often look in the wrong places. It's too easy (and habitual) to mindlessly scroll through our phones or collapse on the sofa in front of some trash TV. Neither option is nourishing. Instead, these activities leave us feeling guilty, and even more lethargic than before.

This has been me recently, and I know I'm not alone. So began a cycle of guilt, should and shouldn'ts: "I shouldn't be doing this", "I should be doing yoga/exercise/working on my business", "I should get off the sofa", "I should have more energy", "I should be able to do this". My mind knew my behaviour wasn't healthy, but my body didn't care. It was knackered.

I began to tune in to myself on a deeper level. I knew I didn't have the energy for a relaxing bath or even a short amount of movement. What did my mind and body need? When I was ready to truly listen, the answer was simple: stillness. In my precious solitary hour between 5-6pm, when I've finished work but my daughter's not yet back from the childminder, I have the house to myself. During this time, I threw my phone down - jolting me from mindless social media consumption - and sat down on the lounge floor. I grabbed a cushion for comfort, placed it underneath my buttocks and crossed my legs. I willed my hunched shoulders straight (the result of poor posture from breastfeeding, working from home and hours spent leaning over my toddler), placed my hands in chin mudra, closed my eyes and surrendered.

I sat in silence for 10 minutes. It wasn't long. It wasn't comfortable. It wasn't perfect. But I surrendered to what I needed to do and attempted to bat away my internal chatter. Afterwards, I was reminded why meditation - so utterly simple - is so effective. I surfaced calmer and more balanced. I was energised. I even got up and went for a walk! The 10 minute time-out had flipped the course of the rest of my day. And the next day, I did it again. And the next day, too.

Consistency with any practice is hard. Especially as a mother. I don't get it right every day. But I'm grateful to have tuned in to myself, and to have been reminded about just how good meditation is as a means of charging my battery.

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