I play this game with my kids where we each take a turn leaving the dinner table and screaming as loud as we can. My wife hates it, doesn’t participate and only allows us to behave this way on the rarest of occasions. When it’s my turn I choose to impersonate Robin Williams and yell out “Good Morning, Vietnam!” It is incredibly therapeutic. You should try it. Not the point. The point is that I am what many people would describe as “loud”. I personally don’t describe myself that way (and realize that “loud” is often a veiled way for people to say “obnoxious”) but those are the facts. As Popeye would say, “I yam what I yam.” Whatever I am, it is most certainly NOT quiet or reflective.
*Honest to Abraham as I was writing this post I got sidetracked by a Jim Carrey gag reel and my wife says to me, “Goodness gracious you are so loud.”*
Five Day Discipline: Spend 15 minutes each day in silence and meditation. In the dark. I almost don’t want to use the word “meditation” here because I think there are different ways and levels of meditation and I don’t want to pretend that I was doing some great mind exercise. I was just sitting in a room. In the dark.
I chose to do this in the dark because I thought if I had lights on I’d look around and my mind would focus on the things in the room. Turns out, lights might have been a good idea. My schedule this week meant that the only realistic time to do this if I didn’t want to wake up at 5am (Spoiler: I didn’t) was in the evening after my kids had gone to bed. On two occasions I ended up having to work hard to keep myself from slipping into Slumberland.
But other than that, it was a good exercise for me. I’m nostalgic (no school like the old school) but I don’t normally reflect on recent events. I’ve never looked back on a year and taken stock of the good and bad that came from it. I did that this week for the first time and I enjoyed it. Not everything about 2017 was great for me but in many ways it was a banner year. I’m glad I took a few moments to think about it before I plow ahead into 2018.
Another fun thing that came out of this week was that the time I spent on social media plummeted, and nothing exploded. Typically I try and post twice a day to the Five Day Discipline Instagram and Facebook accounts and I get on way more than that to comment and like posts and interact etc. A necessary evil of the digital age. But this week I didn’t have very much content to post because my intuition was telling me that even ravenous Five Day Discipline fans (AKA my mom) wouldn’t want to see post after post of me sitting in the dark. You better believe I thought about it though. Anyway, I only posted once each day and I hardly got on if I wasn’t posting. It was a nice slowdown and one that wasn’t planned. Different weeks will bring a different number of posts and require more time on social media but everything in moderation. The internet doesn’t need me and it’s important that I don’t ever need it.
In conclusion (because I like to write with proper, rigid form) my week of silence and meditation was fruitful. I reflected on the good and bad of the past year, reduced my social media usage and didn’t fall asleep. I won’t be spending time each day in silence (because: loud) but I’m glad I did it for five days and now I’m ready to face down the new year.