“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled away by the stars.”
– Anais Nin
Lately, I’ve been feeling particularly restless. Unable to sit still, crawling out of my skin, buzzing, and jittery. I am an inherently impatient person. A self-professed fast-tracker in almost every aspect of life. And though it has served me well in many ways, it’s also been a source of frustration and contributor to my innate restlessness.
Thinking about the next thing and the next thing and what the future holds and when it’ll all come to fruition. I am uncomfortable in the present moment. Being raised as someone who always had to have an answer about where I was going next; or what I was planning on next; or what my next career move would be; or what date I’d be going on next. NEXT. NEXT. NEXT.
I found myself wanting to understand this feeling of restlessness more. I learned, that in Buddhism, restlessness is considered one of the five main hindrances to meditation. A mental block that can stand in the way of progress towards mindfulness and meditation practice. In other words, it’s an abhorrence to being content with where we are in this very moment of life.
Studies have shown it takes on average about 21 days to form a new habit and sometimes longer to break one. What about the habit of restlessness that’s been hard-wired into your brain for 30 years? Trying to re-learn how to live in the moment and be present is hard.
The glorification of being “busy” today is very real. There is a lot of content out in the universe on how we’re increasingly in competition with each other on how jam-packed, busy, and unavailable we are. What if we started glorifying the beauty of solitude, of taking things slowly, the inspiration of stillness, and breathing into each day?
What is so wrong with contentment?