Do Not Disturb


One of the benefits of staying at a hotel is the magical “Do Not Disturb” sign that you can hang on the outside of your door.

The sign is magical because it has an amazing force field that radiates out from it. If people are walking down the hallway and they see that sign, they automatically get quieter. “Ohh, someone in there doesn’t want to be disturbed. We should lower our voices.”

Of course, it really doesn’t work like that. But it should!

The sign does send a message to the housekeeping staff that you don’t want your room serviced yet, and it works pretty well for that.

But imagine if we really had a truly magical Do Not Disturb sign that we could “hang out” of our mind anytime we wanted to enter into a peaceful state. When that sign was out, nothing would interfere with our calm.

External noises would abate and extraneous thoughts dissipate.

Worry about the future? Gone.

Regret over the past? Gone.

None of those “annoyances” can permeate the force field of this Do Not Disturb sign.

Would you like one of these magical signs?

You already have it.

Our mind already has that ability to hang out such a Do Not Disturb sign. Unfortunately most of us rarely use it, if ever.

Instead, we allow a steady stream of noisy thoughts to interrupt us throughout the day. Those are all our thoughts of worry, fear, insecurity, regret, and lack. They flow all day long, robbing us of peace, draining us of energy. It’s no wonder we feel so exhausted at the end of most days.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We can hang out the Do Not Disturb sign anytime we want.

How does it work?

It starts by observing our thoughts. Instead of being the experiencer of the thoughts, we become the observer. The easiest way to start observing your thoughts is to describe them as they come in. “Oh, I’m worrying about what my boss will say at my next performance review. I’m concerned that if it doesn’t go well, I won’t get a raise – or even worse, I might be terminated. And then, …”

Once we can “watch” the thoughts, then we say to ourselves, “No thank you. I’m not going to allow that thread to take up any more space in my consciousness.” And we shift our thoughts to the quiet calm within.

Some people use conscious breathing techniques to get to this quiet calm. Others use an inner body awareness (sensing the energy within various parts of our body starting from our feet up through our head). It doesn’t matter what technique we use – anything that takes us to the quiet calm that resides within the core of all of us is great.

From here, anytime an “unhelpful” thought threatens to enter, we simply remind ourselves, “My Do Not Disturb sign is out. This thought cannot take away my peace.” And then we return to our quiet place within.

With practice we get better (and faster) at observing the disturbing thoughts and allowing our Do Not Disturb sign to work its incredible magic.