The art of doing nothing…

I read a blog post I really enjoyed today from WeLiveSimply. Its part of a series called the Simple Living Manifesto.

This particular post was on the art of doing nothing. It suggests taking 15 minutes during your work day, or maybe an hour at lunch or in the evening when you get home (or whenever you can, if you’re working at home) or, if you’re really into it, a whole day on the weekend and just Really. Do. Nothing. Enjoy the moment. Sit in a hammock or comfy chair or lay out on a blanket in your backyard. Don’t bring your mobile phone or even a book or MP3 player. Just breath, enjoy the sights and smells and sounds around you. Let your whole body relax, let your busy thoughts settle, and just be in the moment.

I think this is such an important thing. I know that I am a super busy-minded person. My brain is constantly buzzing around, thinking of things I should do, or didn’t do, or wish I’d done, or blah blah blah. When I stop to take a deep breath, I suddenly become aware of all the tension I hold in my shoulders or in my jaw or in my back. I’m wound up pretty tight sometimes!

This is certainly one of the reasons I started practicing meditation and yoga. They are great for learning to let go of all the things you hold onto so tightly in life, both mentally, emotionally and physically. Sometimes its hard for me to let go of all the silly little things I think I should do or want to do and just head for the cushion to sit and BREATH for a while, but its generally the best thing I can do for myself and for others as well.

Sometimes I think its tough to give up all the distractions we create for ourselves in life. It might sound silly, but I get antsy if I’m just hanging out for more than a few minutes with out a book to read or without checking my still-empty email inbox for the millionth time or if I’m without some kind of physical or mental task like fiddling around in the kitchen or thinking about what I’m going to cook for dinner three weeks from now or imagining how I’m going to spend my next day off. I fidget and need to move. Its like an itch I feel I really need to scratch!

I think a bit of this restlessness is just part of my nature, so I doubt one day I’ll just be some kind of serene sage-like creature who is completely calm and sedate. But I do think that relaxation and letting go of worry and fidgetiness are something a person can practice. And realistically, I can certainly afford to spend 20 minutes a day sitting in a comfortable spot breathing and enjoying the simple fact that I’m alive. In fact, I think I’ve just convinced myself to go do nothing right now!

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One thought on “The art of doing nothing…

  1. Thanks so much for the link love.

    Glad you found the post helpful.

    I’m like you – super busy, my mind going a million different directions.

    I have to be very specific and find time to calm down, relax and take time for myself.

    I can often have trouble just sitting in silence, let alone doing nothing.

    Like you said, it just takes setting that time aside – even if that means putting a set time on the calendar for it.

    Good luck on the journey! May we all find some time to rest today!

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