Apparently Mark Twain loved to go fishing but hated catching fish so he did not use a hook on his line. In reality catching fish interfered with his relaxation time. When he wanted to relax and do nothing, he would take his fishing pole down to the river and people thought he was fishing and therefore left him alone. He would throw his line absent a hook into the river and people never bothered him because he ‘was fishing’ and he was able to then relax as much as he wanted. This is quite a clever trick if you find it difficult to find pockets of peace and quiet at home. This is especially challenging if you have young children. I can remember thinking when our kids were small “I can’t even go to the toilet without someone shouting…. Mummy!!”
Fishing is a form of embodied meditation. A chance to be quiet and alone with your thoughts. When you become the observer of your thoughts it gives you the opportunity to consciously change, release or accept recurrent thoughts which lead to repetitive, habitual and mindless behaviour.
We have tens of thousands of thoughts a day. Most are unhelpful, repetitive and out of our conscious awareness. This is why it’s possible to drive home from work and realise when you get to your front door that you cannot remember the journey.
Time spent in stillness and silence on a regular basis without any distractions allows the mind to settle and the body to deeply relax. As the body rests, it can begin to repair itself. In this process, a small space is created between external events and your reaction to them. This space promotes overall health and wellness, it also restores clarity, concentration and confidence in ourselves and our abilities.
These regular periods of meditation and stillness can restore you in a way nothing else can.
The transformation is happening inside. This is also possible to achieve with gardening and other activities which reconnect you with your self and your inner guidance.
It is a chance to restore your inner self, to come back to a place of balance, homeostasis and equilibrium and to promote your overall health in the process.
So next time you’re feeling stressed, grab a fishing pole and like Mark Twain head for the water to relax and do nothing, you don’t have to catch any fish, just sit in the boat and pretend!!