I gave apps a try, but eventually quit. That’s how I find myself sitting on the porch in a regular morning in quarantine. The sun is shinning but there’s a cold breeze blowing so I’m wearing knits, sneakers and a hat. An odd view, but human interaction is no longer a possibility in this new life context and being comfortable and tacky brings me a certain degree of joy.
My hair is actively dirty, as in I haven’t washed it in days, but my mind is going a million miles an hour. I sit in the chair and close my eyes in the hopes of quieting it down. I was reading Glennon Doyle last night and she was very adamant that if I want to get my life together I should sit in silence, sink into an abyss so deep inside me that not even my own thoughts can reach. If I want to get my life together, she says, I should look for the answers internally. Clarity and guidance lie in the deepness inside me. Whatever is there will nudge me toward the next right thing, one thing at a time.
This sounds like an almost impossible task. When I tried the apps there was always a soothing voice on the other end telling me exactly where to focus my thoughts. It wasn’t really efficient but at least I had some structure. Without the aid of a stranger’s voice or without so much as a quick search on google I’m all on my own. Glennon hid in the closet to find silence, I sit on the porch – where silence means hearing the birds sing and the eventual traffic, but that doesn’t bother me just yet.
Okay. I’m ready.
I set 10 minutes on the clock. I close my eyes and sink deep into the abyss.
Except in my case the abyss is probably like, 6 feet deep. That’s just how far I can go.
My mom mentioned yesterday I need vitamin D, so it’s a good thing I’ve decided to do it here, sitting under the sun. I’m very pleased with that decision actually. There’s no talking in the abyss! There’s only breathing in the abyss. Refocus.
There’s only my own breathing now. 1, 2, 3, 4 that’s goo- should I keep watching Euphoria? It’s a good show. Too violent. I’m an empath, I suffer too much watching these things. How much longer on the clock? You’re not allowed to check. Calm down.
Should I specifically ask the question to which I seek answers? That would be a wise move… No wait. I clearly remember Glennon saying the answers are part of me, I don’t even need to say anything. I don’t need to ask. Everyone knows what to do here, your only job is to sit in absolute silence and wait. Okay I can do that. Easy.
Won’t I fall asleep though? Maybe the optimal time to try this activity should be right before bedtime, huh. Or while I still lie awake in bed in the morning. No, definitely not. You can’t even finish a book chapter before blacking out, closing your eyes in silence would only guarantee you fall asleep two minutes in.
The answers are inside me. Have fun exploring the infinite abyss.
The alarm goes off. 1o minutes! I managed 10 minutes of absolute, complete silen- neurosis. Ten minutes of neurosis. I did manage to sit quietly, no phone, no opening my eyes for 10 minutes though. I spend the rest of the day repeating the mantra in my head, the answer is inside me, the answer is inside me. The thought somewhat elevates my spirits and I enjoy the feeling.
Tomorrow is a new day. I’ll be sitting again on the porch, wearing the same attire, repeating the same mantra. I’ll be forcing myself to get to the bottom of this damn abyss, where I’ll tap into the the most revolutionary thing a woman can do: saving time and energy by depending only upon her inner voice instead of voices of outer approval. Doing the next thing, the precise thing, one thing at a time, without asking permission or offering explanation.
That new way of life will be thrilling. The long way there will be, well, quiet, neurotic, and falling deep into an abyss.