Sit and do nothing for five minutes.
That’s it. That’s the whole exercise.
Okay, let’s give it a little more structure.
Find a place you won’t be disturbed for five whole minutes. No TV, no laptop, no phone calls. If you need a timer, try and use a physical one; if you have to use your smartphone, make sure you’re in airplane mode.
Set a timer for five minutes, put the timer away, and be.
Move around if you have to. Just avoid doing things because you feel like you have to—do your best to just notice how long it takes for five minutes pass.
When the timer goes off, the exercise is done. Notice how you feel now compared to before the exercise. If you notice anything interesting, write it down in your journal.
Remember, you can do this anytime you need to just stop.
Why it works
Its entirely too easy for us to get stuck in a mode of always reacting to everything all the time. That place of reactivity puts us in a passive role in our own lives—simply, it robs us of agency.
This exercise is deceptively simple. It’s power comes not just from the Being, but from the knowledge that we can always take five minutes for ourselves. We consider this the most important exercise in the book.