You know when your computer has new software that it wants to install, but you keep clicking the ‘remind me later’ button?
You’re too busy, right? Even though you know these features may speed up your computer, protect you from viruses, and generally make your online life a little bit easier, you choose to put it off. You need your computer to work right now, don’t you?
When it comes to the day you finally give in and let it do its thing, your computer is in a state of ‘upgrade.’ You can’t use any of your programmes, you can’t get on the internet, and all you can do is WAIT.
I think our minds are a little bit like this.
We can sense when we need some time out, some time to ‘upgrade’ and assimilate our internal storage of emotions.
I believe we all need these kind of days, where the software of our mind and emotions can be more easily processed so we can assimilate it into our being, and deal with life in all its complexity.
We don’t often get the chance to do this. Guilt or shame can stop us from even thinking about it. The future for these is looking promising, though.
Termed ‘duvet days’, some employers are allowing staff to take days off at the drop of a hat, no questions asked.
Why would you want to take one of these days, anyway?
- You had an argument with someone and didn’t sleep well last night.
- You’re in the process of contemplating a change of any sort — a career, or a relocation.
- Your pet has just died.
- It’s ‘that time of the month’ and you feel the need to spend time alone
- You just want to.
I’ve written extensively about how we all need to give ourselves time and space ‘just to be’ , and the benefits it can bring. I spent 10 days in silence, and whilst that is probably too much for some, I would have reaped the benefits even for a day.
It’s well documented that slower modes of consciousness can generate new ideas, and it is this ‘brain hacking’ that you tap into when you give yourself an ‘integration day.’
Let’s take a typical scenario.
You’ve just finished a big project at work where there were several challenges. Then, you go away for the weekend with your partner, you’re trying for kids at the moment. You are also in the midst of renovating the bathroom when you have chance, and you rarely get time alone in silence, all to yourself.
You’re healthy, love your job, and don’t want to pull a sickie.
So what benefits could spending a solitary day in silence give you?
Erling Kagge says putting away the smartphone can give you ‘inner wealth’, and I am inclined to agree.
For me, when I’m alone in silence, I receive what I call ‘downloads’. It’s like my mind is running those ‘upgrades’, and connections are formed in my mind, whether it’s insights about work life, home life, relationships or family.
Simply put — being alone in silence from time to time (probably every two weeks or once a month) is a must for me.
An ‘integration day’ allows your mind to take a rest from processing everyday life.
It can sort and sweep no-longer-needed files (resolving old memories, emotions and hurts), install new software (the realisation that where you are is actually teaching you something) and bring about a deeper connection with yourself.
I even think it can take away some of the fear of death.
So if you feel your mind and body needs a bit of a reboot — why not give yourself the gift of a day spent in silence?