i want you to be scared (but only a little bit)

Quite often, folks who are thinking about trying A Day of Nothing, or getting ready for one, share with me that they’re feeling scared about it.

My response is always to tell them that’s understandable.

I feel scared when I think about emptying out a whole day and just being with myself.
I think most people do.

It’s good to feel a little scared.

Another part of my response, which I think often surprises them, is to say that I’m glad they feel scared. It’s good to feel a little scared about taking a Day of Nothing.

If you’re feeling scared about it, that most likely means that you really, really need it.
Invariably, the people who have their worlds rocked most by their Days of Nothing are the people who initially have strong reactions to the concept of the Day. Either they fall happily into it, as they would a warm, cushy bed, or they wrinkle their nose at it, wondering why on Earth anyone would ever ever ever want to do such a thing to themselves.

It might be exactly what you need.

So when somebody remarks that they’re scared to do the Day, I get excited. It usually means their world is about to change, because they’re going to stretch themselves, big time.

This goes beyond A Day of Nothing, of course. Just for the sake of example, yoga and meditation are two practices that people often have strong reactions to. A lot of people don’t ever think they’ll be a “yoga person.” Or they can’t imagine sitting still and observing their breath for two minutes, let alone twenty.

I know many, many people who only tried yoga or meditation because they had tried everything else to soothe their ills, and they were at their wit’s end. And then one (or both) of those practices ended up changing their lives, because it was exactly what they needed.

This applies just as much to anything else as it does to yoga, meditation, or doing nothing. We do what’s easy, and what we’re used to, specifically because it’s easy and we’re used to it.
But the thing we often need most, in order to bring more balance into our bodies, brains, and lives, is the thing we don’t want to do. The thing that’s a little scary or makes us want to wrinkle our nose.

A subconscious pull, in your belly.

I hope it goes without saying that I’d never tell you to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do. I don’t want you doing things that feel outright wrong, deep in your belly. (You know that, right? I’m certain you do.)

But there’s a difference between something that feels very wrong deep down, and something that you resist but that you feel a subconscious pull toward.

That’s what I’m talking about. That feeling of something being ostensibly unappealing, but knowing it’s what you need, no matter how much your conscious mind fights against it.

So maybe you’re a liiiitle bit scared to do a Day of Nothing, to try yoga, to meditate, to go for a hike, whatever.

Just know this: that thing you’re teetering on the edge of trying might be the doorway into a whole new way of experiencing your world.

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