I once lived in a building where I had to take an elevator every day up and down, to and from my 6th floor apartment. There were 2 elevators and it was a relatively quiet building, so the wait before my elevator arrived was always so short. But every time I hit that button and was confronted with the wait, I reached for my phone and checked email, texted, browsed social media. When my elevator arrived I would step in, head down, and continue my mindless phone busyness. That’s all it was: busyness.
One day as I hit that down arrow, I reached for my phone and stopped. What was I doing? Were these short moments of silence, stillness and empty space something I should really be avoiding with mindless phone time? What was I doing? Did the thought of doing nothing, being alone with myself with nothing to preoccupy me, did this make me uncomfortable? What was I doing?
I was avoiding the space. But here’s the thing, the space shouldn’t be avoided. It shouldn’t be filled. It shouldn’t be consumed with busyness. We should sit in the space when we can. We should allow our minds to be idle, allow our beings to soak into the present and feel the nothingness. Because the space doesn’t appear often in these days we fly through. Our beings are busy and our minds are consumed. Our attention is fought over and the demands are high.
But the space is there if we look for it. And our minds will learn to love it once we give them a chance. And the moment to breathe, to release, to unwind, this moment will nourish us far more than the busyness we could choose to cover it up with.
So the next time your elevator comes, wait for it. Just wait.