Last night, whilst babysitting for a friend, I got locked in their bathroom. For 1hr and 25mins. It didn't really fit into my plans for the evening, but I did have some surprising insights and I thought I would share my findings.
Phase 1 (on realisation of 'locked in' status) was denial, followed by mild panic. I.e., WTF, you must be kidding me, I cannot believe this is happening.... you know that kind of thing. Phase 2, or 'Operation MacGyver' involved about 20mins of various MacGyver moves, including removing a picture hook from the wall to try and unscrew the door handle, ripping up a child's hair tie to attempt to thread around the gap, and a lot of door handle shaking and mild cursing - but all to no avail. Eventually in Phase 3, I resigned myself to my solitary confinement of undetermined length, and hoped that my friends were having a terrible time and would be home soon.
Eventually Phase 4 kicked in and I relaxed and went with it. And I noticed lots of things that I hadn't noticed all during that day. I noticed that I was really thirsty. I noticed that I had eaten something that made me feel a bit gassy (sorry for sharing), and I noticed that I was extremely tired. And I just sat there noticing things, and my thoughts drifting this way and that until my friends were back.
They felt awful, but weirdly I felt kinda great and refreshed. We don't very often give ourselves time to just sit and do nothing. Even when we intend to sit down for a break, quite often we check our email, look on our favourite social media, call a friend, or start planning our next activity. Always some distraction. When was the last time you intentionally just stared out the window. Or at a wall for that matter. For no other reason that just to do nothing? Guilt free. When did you last take some down time to check in with yourself, notice how you are feeling, what you are craving?
I meditate a lot, but I was still panicked about being forced to do nothing when I really wanted to be doing a whole lot of something. Attacking that never-ending always-growing to-do list. So it struck me that some solitary confinement could be just what we need every now and then. It can be amazingly rejuvenating.
So my friend is grateful that I am philosophical about being locked in a bathroom for so long, but I figure perhaps sometimes life is sending me a message, so this week I'm gonna try and switch off, do less, sit around more - and maintain an open-door bathroom policy when appropriate!
As always I would love to hear what you think. What do you do to switch off, and do you notice that sometimes its really hard to give yourself that time?
NB: No kids were harmed during this event! They were all tucked up safely in their beds. Also these pictures have been recreated for your enjoyment and dramatic effect and were not taken at the scene!
Want help to move forward after cancer treatment? Then sign up to Life 2.0 and get back to living life!
Ready for change, but don't know how:
Health coach, Mindfulness teacher, Mother, Bee Pollen consumer. "You want health? Well, health costs, and right here is where you start paying in sweat" (tee hee - actually its really rather pleasurable and fun!)