Thursday, January 15, 2015
The first item on my list of what’s in and what’s out for 2015 was about the glorification of being busy being OUT and doing nothing being IN this year. Doing nothing… Does it sound lazy…? Or, perhaps decadent? What exactly does it mean to do nothing? As a self-proclaimed type-A personality who has natural tendencies to constantly be doing something, anything really, I honestly did not know what it meant to do nothing. I had many preconceived notions about “doing nothing” (words like slacker, lazy, unmotivated, and unproductive come to mind, to name a few). Yet, this is a behavior I have gradually allowed into my space as I’ve started to give up the glorification of being busy and that concept of having a constant need to be doing something for the sake of well, busyness. I wanted to let this go and start adding more space in my days, space for nothingness. Why? Because nothingness IS decadent (to me) and decadence is good. I’ve discovered that doing nothing also allows us to take more inspired actions instead of taking actions for the purpose of being busy.
My husband would look at me like I had three heads when I would say, “I don’t know how to do nothing.” Of course he couldn’t help me figure it out because doing nothing means something different for each of us and yet the idea is the same. The premise is to not “do” but simply “be”. For me this was a foreign concept. Unless I was “doing”, I felt like I was wasting my time. Even when my mind and body needed space to simply be, I had a hard time stopping the habitual feelings and chatter in my head that prompted me to take action and be productive. I knew that continually being on the go and constantly being productive was not always beneficial. We need down time to rest, renew, and create space for new ideas to permeate and fresh energy to prompt us to take inspired action.
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to let go of the need for and glorification of busyness. To do this, I had to train myself to take time to do nothing. This started with me taking small breaks of sitting down by my pond and simply listening to all the sounds, smelling the scents, and watching the water. It was about being still yet not meditative. These small breaks of time turned into larger periods where I would sit at the pond and be present and aware of what was going on around me in nature. This morphed into simply sitting in my library with my cats and dogs petting them. You get the picture. For me, doing nothing meant not being productive, not working on any specific task, not “doing” anything but instead, simply allowing myself to be.
From the place of doing nothing space was created in my mind, heart, and in my life for new ideas and inspired action to arise. Instead of taking action because I felt the need to be busy, the action that that arose from my ‘do nothing’ time was fueled with greater energy and ease. This made the habit of continuing my do-nothing time easier. It created more productive time and not more busy time. And that is what this concept of “do nothing” is really all about; allowing yourself the time and space to renew your body and mind so you can take action from a much more inspired and flowing place. Why not give it a try? Start with 10-minutes a day and see where it takes you. If I can do it (the woman who, 6 months ago, said “I don’t know what it means to do nothing”), certainly anyone can do it.