Positive Pause – 5th December, 2016 – There is No Such Thing as Nothing
This week I took some time out from my busy life to listen to a podcast of the highlights from the previous week’s interviews on the Ray D’Arcy radio show. One of the interviews was with Professor Brian Cox, the English Physicist, BBC Presenter and former band member of D:Ream. A 10-year-old listener called in and asked Professor Cox, “If there is nothing in a vacuum, what is the nothing made of? Cox was blown away by the brilliance of the question from such a young mind and answered that empty space literally does not exist.
And now for the science: a vacuum is filled with ‘Higgs’ particles, electrons mix with these particles and fill the ’empty’ space. there is no such thing as nothing
Now, I am not a scientist but am still fascinated by the potential that it opens up. I believe that the power of imagination coupled with scientific discovery can provide a source of unlimited potential for us all.
If there is no such thing as nothing in terms of physical space, then isn’t it possible that there is no such thing as feeling empty? This strong, negative emotion is often what spirals people into states of depression and severe anxiety. The very act of feeling empty presupposes that we must, in the first instance, be capable of feeling.
I often talk about the importance of letting yourself “feel,” even if your feelings are sometimes difficult or uncomfortable. It is perfectly understandable that you may wish to push away or suppress any unwanted negative feelings, but the irony is that allowing yourself to accept, welcome and engage with these feelings will empower you to achieve what you really want; to let them pass and instead to embrace feelings of joy, happiness and hope.
In the complex mix of negative emotions some people refer to a feeling of being broken. However, such emotions do not suggest that we are broken, merely human. You can’t fix what is not broken and all emotions both positive and negative provide you with an opportunity to engage fully in life. In the run up to Christmas and all the busyness that it can bring, if you feel like crying allow yourself to cry and, even better, if you feel like laughing then laugh out loud!
Later that same day, my ever-mindful mother gave me an article cut-out from a magazine on the importance of silence. I love the way she has done this for me over the years and my books are full of these cut-outs. According to the article, research shows that modern life is noisier than ever before and that constant exposure to noise has a negative impact both mentally and physically. The opposite of noise is, of course, silence but silence is once again not nothing. The lack of noise both externally and in our minds represents a fullness that is beautiful. Finding time to embrace silence no matter what you are feeling leaves you feeling full and free. The ability to slow down your thoughts and listen to the silence between them is a source of inner tranquility that is always present if you choose it to be.