Hello dear lovelyones
I am hunkered down in the depths of my wonderful duvet – having a slow morning. I have a slight head cold and I’m using it as an excuse to shift gear and move into the inside lane. Every now and again if you don’t take proper care – you’re body will enforce a go slow.
Which may lead you to believe that I have been tearing about like a beheaded farm animal – but this is not the case. I have been busy, for me – but compared to the productivity of some – this Lulibusy would look like a holiday. What is important when considering extreme self care – is creating space for ‘DOING NOTHING‘. For most grown up women this is almost impossible. *acknowledges vigorous nodding from readers…
Hands up all of you for whom ‘DOING NOTHING‘ means slumping in front of the telly? You there at the back with your hand down – either you’re a fibber or you don’t have a TV. Whichever it is – if you’ve discovered the secret of properly doing nothing – then please share.
I’m not talking about actually ‘doing nothing‘ although if you can manage that in a deeply contemplative way – then that would be awesome. I am rubbish at meditation – for me it takes so much effort, it ends up being exhausting. That’s why I prefer moving meditation (walking Luli – it’s called walking!) or guided visualisations – so I can relax and let go and breathe into the idea that nothing is required of me for these few moments.
Today I have some chores to do – a visit to the butcher and the baker, some housework and some exercise to tick off. (A date with my yoga mat and Adriene Mischler the excellent ‘Find What Feels Good’ yogi – I’m currently following her 30 day Yoga Camp sessions as part of my ‘DO NOTHING’ plan.)
Outside of that, my loose plan is to give myself over to a day of creative playing.
I have amassed the following for my play date with myself:
- A large collection of sharpies in a beautiful japanese print pencil case
- A collection of artificial flowers bought from the op shop (charity shop if you’re a brit, thrift store if you’re a ‘murrican)
- A beautiful adult colouring book (I had this idea about 15 years ago and didn’t act on it – so there’s a lesson in trusting your creative promptings if ever I had one!)
- A couple of magazines – Vogue and Marie Claire*
- A drawing tablet (I think that’s what you call it)
- Rooibosch tea to be made and served in a special teapot and cup
There you have it – my do it yourself adult play date kit. You can add whatever you like to yours. Materials, paints, embroidery thread, wool. Pasta shapes if you like. You can spend an hour with your nose in recipe books – or a good book.
You can spend an extra hour working with your yoga practice.
The thing is doing nothing – doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing… Hyeah! You read that right – the art of doing nothing creatively is a lifelong pursuit of mine. What I can tell you is you have to be able to give your self permission to be utterly without direction or goal.
This is super hard for a lot of people – we are trained to create goals, focus and achieve. Our whole culture is built on the notion of productivity. Who is productive – what is valuable, what and who isn’t. Well that sucks so hardcore if I think about it too much my jaw starts to ache and my foot starts to itch.
If we all spent a bit more time doing nothing – by way of rest and relaxation and feeding our creative mind and body – then conversely we would get a whole heap more things done. Not only that but we would get stuff done in a more joyful, efficient and productive way.
Doing nothing promotes well being, innovation, creative fullness and ultimately makes us happy.
Doing nothing is AWESOME!
If it is done mindfully, deliberately and honestly.
So no I’m not talking about sitting in front of the telly for hours on end giving over your mind and your posture to the shifting images on a tiny screen. I’m banging on about sitting quietly watching the world go by – or walking while truly looking at the world around you.
I’m inviting you to DO NOTHING regularly until you get really good at it.
After a while you will start to bring back shiny, gold nuggets of wonderment from your DO NOTHING sessions. You will feel refreshed and alert at the end of the day – if you spend some time in a DO NOTHING state. When I worked in an office – I would disappear for 10 minutes or longer. I would pop to the loo and sit in the cubicle with cover my eyes and listen to my breathing – evenly, deeply and blissfully doing nothing, behind a locked door.
It was essential Luli maintenance – frankly if I hadn’t done that most days – I’d be writing this from my prison cell. How much more fruitful to go for a walk, or sit in a comfortable chair occupying my fingers and busy brain – while the rest of my brain and my spirit just take a break.
So here’s what you do:
5 Rules of Doing Nothing | A lesson in extreme self care
- Consult your diary work and home and find a small chunk of time every day (between 10 – 30 mins) and block this out as busy/unavailable. Find one session a week of at least an hour – preferably longer. This time is your DO NOTHING session – guard it with a fierce energy.
- No Agenda: This is simple – there is no requirement you do not have to knit, sit, gaze or do anything. Simply be in that space doing nothing in whatever way you wish.
- STOP STRESSING! I know that if you are knitting, doodling, sewing, drawing or whatever that you are in effect doing something – BUT what you are aiming for here is to not expect yourself to DO or achieve anything.
- Please yourself – in whatever way makes you happy. For me that is colouring in, doodling, walking or reading. Sometimes it really is just sitting quietly, deepening my breath and relaxing and softening the muscles in my body.
- Don’t explain yourself. You do not have to justify spending any amount of time that you choose in a way that pleases ONLY YOU. Practicing this type of extreme care takes a bit of guts and gumption but you can do it – and laying yourself open to being questioned and second guessed is a waste of energy. So take a tip – don’t do it.
*both on subscription – while I am not a dedicated follower of high street disposable fashion – I adore couture and high fashion.