Did anybody else play The Quiet Game as a kid? You know. The game that some parent invented who was ready to jump off a ledge due to the annoyance of their kids voice and their non-stop chatter? We played it a lot in my family! And as competitive as I am, I always lost. There was always something super important that I had to make sure everyone around me knew. Like the fact that there was a blue car next to us. Or food in the fridge. Everything had to be vocalized. And it pretty much hasn’t changed.
Spending time in North Dakota is always an interesting test for someone like me. Just being silent. I went for an hour long walk every day that I was there and made myself leave my cell phone at home during that walk. No music. No Facebook. No telephone. No selfies. Nobody to talk to. Just me and nature. Sounds relaxing right? Not for someone who is addicted to their phone! I felt like the three-mile walk was never going to end on the first day. I was bored out of my mind. There was nothing to do but walk. And listen to the bird’s chirp. Boring. The scenery was pretty. But Candy Crush seemed prettier at that moment and I couldn’t wait to get back.
I’ve known how addicted I am to my phone for years now. But it didn’t seem like that big of deal. But this walk really opened my eyes. When I was a kid, I loved being outside looking at the formation of the clouds and creating images of what they looked like. I’d spend hours in the back yard playing with toy bouncy balls and tennis balls, making up my own games. I’d roll down our little hill in the front yard, over and over. I’d do cart wheels and hand stands. I’d play in my play house and sand box for hours, until I was told I had to come in. I loved the outdoors! And I loved it without technology.
The second day doing this was so much better. I had broken my addiction to having to look at my phone every second. I enjoyed nature so much more. I still missed my music, but it was good to even see how attached I was to even that. I took notice of everything I used to distract myself. And in today’s society, we have a ton of distractions. Writing this, I reached for the remote to watch TV while typing. Very much an eye opener to me how much silence makes me uncomfortable.
But, by my last day there I had this whole quiet thing down and I swore that from that point forward, I would spend an hour everyday outside in nature with no technology, just listening to the sounds around me. Let me tell you how that has worked out…I’m lucky just to get my dogs a walk in right now! Right away I was back to my distractions of cleaning the house, catching up on emails, paying bills, making sure I didn’t miss anything on social media… I have been back for over two weeks now and haven’t done any of my walks in nature. That whole job thing really does take over life! And I know how much I have to make it a priority. But how?
For me to play the quiet game, here’s what I have to do. I have to be up by 5am every morning. I started doing this while in North Dakota and it’s been a process of my system adjusting. It’s meant I have to be in bed earlier which also means that my routine needs to change. Staying up watching TV until midnight won’t work for me to get up that early. So I have begun to make sure the TV is off by 8 and I am in bed by 9. I keep my phone alarm next to me, but then I have another alarm across the room. This means that I have to actually get out of bed to turn it off. Usually by that point I’m up and moving making my matcha tea and putting a load of laundry in. After that the sky’s the limit on what the day holds. But I’m moving! Today I taught a 6am Pilates class and tomorrow I’ll attend a 6am hot yoga class to get me moving. I notice my days do change when I’m up and moving that early. Today was my first day of actually having to move and it wasn’t that bad! I did feel like I got a lot more accomplished and am accomplishing more. I do want to keep consistent with the early wake up. Whether I am teaching or not. I’ll let you know how that goes!
In the mornings there are a lot less distractions. My phone usually isn’t blowing up with texts or phone calls, I don’t like noise in the morning, so I am more likely to journal, read my bible and meditate. It feels nice to immerse myself in the quiet.
Do I think this is for everybody? Absolutely not! But I do think it’s imperative for everyone to carve out at least one hour of the day for silence. Reflection. Deciding what your day is going to be about. If you’re able to do all that at night, more power to you! I like my crime shows and get too caught up in them! Next thing I know I’m dreaming about being murdered…
Make time every day to spend just one hour with yourself. You decide when that hour is best for you. Dedicate to that hour every day for 21 days. Because it takes 21 days to make a habit. And that’s what the month of July is all about at Pilates Plus! Making solid habits that change lives!
Have a wonderful week!