When I got COVID, I stayed in my room for two weeks. The time alone gave me new understanding to what Eckhart Tolle said about “adding space between thoughts.”
A friend who’s also a mom told me to enjoy my time alone as she enjoyed hers, other than the discomfort of her symptoms. She was right!
During quarantine, I didn’t have to get my son to school, cook or clean (except my own room). I had a lot of time on my hands. Everything slowed down. I was still working on a couple of art commission jobs but I had time to work on those every day and I didn’t feel stressed or in a hurry. There were periods of time when I felt bored. Cleaning my room then became enjoyable. The slowing down of pace brought me genuine peace and joy that I hadn’t felt in a while.
Is this why Eckhart Tolle said to add space between thoughts and actions? He suggested taking one (or three) deep breath throughout the day. Really feel the air coming in and out of our body. I thought I could do that easily but it was not as easy as I thought!
I either forget to do it or my mind tells me “you don’t have time to take one deep breath, you have to finish this first!”
Oh, how tricky the mind is.
Ekhart Tolle said the ego is always talking about the past or the future, never the now. It says hurry, achieve this thing (in the future) then you can be happy.
Have you ever achieved something that you’ve wanted for so long and once you got it, you were happy for a while then you felt, is that it? What’s next? Then you are on this treadmill always running after the next thing and the next, feeling stressed that you haven’t get there yet. But during all this, the happiness you can access is right here in the now, in the space between thoughts and actions, when you slow down and connect with it.
I want to feel that genuine peace and joy again. My first plan of action is to get up from my desk every 30 minutes to walk around and take at least one deep breath. That’s my goal for the rest of the year.
Dr. Libby Weaver talked about this “Rushing Woman’s Syndrome” and how stress relates to creativity and weight loss.
Picture below: I made these art cards by adding another piece of white card over the painting to represent the space between thoughts and action where it is just “being.”