I write this blog post after a weeklong break. If I had to review my week, I normally would have said that I didn’t do anything much. I didn’t read. I didn’t write. Also, I didn’t meditate, exercise, or study anything. Throughout this week I did nothing, but I realize that actually even in doing nothing, so much was done. I think I am slowly coming to terms and discovering the art of doing nothing.
Being comfortable with ‘Nothing’
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We normally tend to think that we are eligible to say we are doing something only when we do something productive or only when we are working.
People also always ask, ‘What are you doing these days?’ instead of ‘how are you doing these days’? To be straightforward, by asking ‘what’, they mean to ask if we are working and earning money or not. And then if you are not, you say, ‘Nothing ’.
And this is the word we have the most problem with- ‘NOTHING’. You don’t want to use this word and want to avoid it as much as possible so much so that you want to avoid people who might come up with the question.
We hate saying that we are doing nothing.
We also hate saying that we did nothing. There are many of us who are always trying to get things done. They don’t want to miss a day without being productive. They never want to leave their business even for a day; they don’t want to miss a sale, a workout, a book, etc, and feel they constantly have to do something.
Of course, it is not bad, and it shows a great amount of self-discipline, but there is also a dark side to always trying to grow this way as well. On the path to growth, one has to get comfortable with not growing as well.
We need to stop having a problem with doing nothing and instead master the art of doing nothing.
Can we do nothing?
In the true sense of the word, can we really do nothing? I don’t think we can. We always do something or the other even when we think we did nothing.
For example, you might have taken rest or watched a movie or spent time with your friends, and still, we tend to say, ‘I did nothing (much) whole day’.
We are biased with this nothingness. We think that if we didn’t do something productive, we did nothing and hence wasted our time. But this need not necessarily be true.
Doing nothing is in fact a practice that needs to be cultivated.
We need to stop always trying to do something. There is no need to always trying to fill our time with busywork. We need to get comfortable with doing nothing when you do nothing.
Reviewing my week even though I did nothing, here is what I can say I did:
- Allowed me some good rest: This whole week was a rest for me. When earlier I used to feel off track when I didn’t do anything, doing nothing made me feel good.
- Relaxation: I didn’t wake up at 5 am and instead slept till 8 am after a long time. Though at other times too I don’t kill my sleep when I wake up at 5 am. My eyes open automatically and it seems enough for me. But this week although my eyes opened at 5 am, I simply slept till 8 and this too felt so good!
- Enjoyed long Walks: Even though I didn’t exercise, I and my boyfriend took a walk everyday talking and enjoying the sight of the hills, looking at the beautiful and cute houses on the roadside, and simply enjoying our walk.
- Listened to my friends: I met my friends. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we went camping, did bonfires and simply had a good time and I was just there at that moment. There was no thought about what needs to get done or what didn’t get done. I did think for a while that I hadn’t written anything for this Sunday’s blog post, but then I just let it be and simply enjoyed the moment. And now that I am home, I write this to share my experience with you.
- Enjoyed good food: There was no need to do anything. I was there to have fun, to relax, and to rejuvenate. I enjoyed the good food at all the places we ate and the best was the Bhutanese cuisine I and my friends ate at Za Khang, an authentic Bhutanese Restaurant. It lifted our spirits and made us feel so good!
- Simply enjoyed my doing nothing time: As I already said, I did nothing. I didn’t check my mails, I didn’t read, I didn’t write, I didn’t take any online class and when earlier it made me feel as if something was missing or something was still left to be done, I simply enjoyed my time doing nothing. And I feel this is good progress.
We might feel there is nothing to learn in doing nothing but to be comfortable with doing nothing actually brings in greater freedom, greater patience with oneself and greater understanding.
It also helps a lot in slowing things down when you feel that there is too much rush going on in your life. Here are 8 great ways you can slow things down
Let us be comfortable with doing nothing.
You can schedule a do-nothing time even and use this time to just connect with yourself, your loved ones or with whatever you are doing which you consider as ‘nothing’. I hope you get what I am trying to say.
Here is how you can master the art of doing nothing.
Let us not confuse ‘doing something’ as equals to working and doing nothing as equals to wasting our time.
You don’t always have to work in order to say you are doing something and you don’t always have to waste your time when you say you are doing nothing.
We can just live in the nothing and enjoy our time.
Now after a week of doing nothing, I am ready to set goals for the week ahead while I also make time for rest and relaxation.
I wish you a great week ahead!
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