This past weekend was my BIRTHDAY! Normally, when it comes to celebrating a big day in our lives, my family goes exploring or takes a wild trip somewhere. So when my husband asked me what I wanted to do and I just said I wanted to go to our yurt and relax, he was more than just surprised. He didn’t even quite understand the concept.
To him, doing nothing meant doing something mellow.
After settling into the yurt, I decided I’d love to drive out to one of my fave restaurants in a small town nearby, since I love having other people cook for me and not having to do the dishes
But when we walked to listen to some live outdoor music, I felt it…
I hit the wall and suddenly felt so tired.
I left my husband and friends to dance the night away and went back to the yurt and let myself have some downtime. It felt like such a luxury – to sit around and not have to do anything – not have to write or do laundry or study or read scientific journals.
I just sat there and listened to the rain – which started right when we pulled back up to the yurt. I remembered the need for this started well before I was exhausted too – like week back. Oops. I had put it off for too long.
Ideally you don’t want to wait until you’re exhausted to do nothing because it’s actually a great technique to keep you from getting exhausted and to keep your mind, body, and creative juices flowing.
Now for those of us who have serious FOMO (fear of missing out), it can be hard to reign that sh*t in. We say, “Yes!” even when we’re already exhausted because we want to live life to the fullest. We don’t always understand how people could sit around and do nothing.
But a business coach of mine offered this alternative way to see it: when we do nothing, we create the space needed so our brains have a chance to download new concepts and we can later get really creative and come up with some of our best ideas. I was ALL ABOUT it (because I was doing something while doing nothing;). But as I started to practice it, I realized just how much I needed it for so many other reasons.
Y’all, this recharge time is essential. Not just because your brain will be able to come up with amazing new ideas, but because we also notice some things in the quiet still moments that we might not have ever noticed otherwise.
True – it isn’t always pleasant. Sometimes we notice our anxiety. Our fear. Our anger. The tension. Perhaps that’s why a lot of us don’t want to be still. But those are things that tell us our life is out of alignment and we need to change things up. This is good to notice.
But we also notice the trees. The rain. Our hands. Our body. Our place. The birds. We are present with our life as it truly is.
Doing nothing CAN totally be a waste of time (this tends to be what boredom really is), but it can also be an art form.
Italian culture has a phrase, “l’arte de non fare niente.” This means, “The art of doing nothing.” Leave it to the Italians to have that phrase!
We may think we know how to do nothing, but when I started trying this, I had no freaking clue what to do when there was… nothing to do, so I want to give you some tips that might help you become a master at this, and I dive into them in the pod…including how to incorporate sensuality.
The Real Test: How do we incorporate this into daily life?
It’s one thing to do nothing when you’ve intentionally set aside time, but being able to do nothing on the daily is a lot trickier!
Practice doing nothing when you’re waiting. That’s right – no book. No phone. Practice when you’re in line at the doctor’s office or when you’re at the airport. You can also practice while driving because how many of us get in the car and immediately turn on the radio or call a friend or listen to a podcast (thank you for listening though!)? Answer: a lot. Try…just driving.
At first you might feel like you’ll spontaneously combust. But you won’t.
Remember, l’arte de non fare niente takes practice. It’s the art of doing nothing, and like all types of art, we get better at it by practicing.
I give you all sorts of tools to use to get better at this in the pod.
In this episode we cover:
// Why we need to do nothing in order to do really cool sh*t
// The difference between doing nothing and being bored
// 7 tips to master doing nothing
// Ideas for sensual ways to make doing nothing more enticing (no batteries needed;)
// Jedi-level nothingness
// Want to join us for 6 months of magic and adventures in the Adventure Mastermind? Of course! Head to www.AdventureMastermind.com – applications are open for the next cohort! Retreat spot? Hawai’i!
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the starter kit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll get access to the private Facebook group where you can ask me questions! Once you join, there’s also a weekly FB live called Wake the F*ck Up Wednesday, where you can ask questions that come up as you do this work – in all parts of your life.
// If you’re interested in finding out more about how to free your mind and free your life, join Freedom School. Enrollment is open, and we are diving DEEP into ways to cultivate clarity and courage so you can create your best life. There are also some sweet bonus courses for you there. It will set you up to live the best version of you in the year to come. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com.