The Art of Doing Nothing

IMG_2560It is a rainy Sunday evening.  The weather is a welcomed invitation to stay inside, relax and do……nothing.

It’s a challenge for me to do this.  If it’s a nice day out, I feel like I should be outside exercising, in the mountains adventuring or with friends being social, you name it.  To just be at home is uncomfortable for me.  Uncomfortable in the sense that I feel completely lost – with not a clue what to do.

Do I eat?   Do I clean up my yard?  Do Laundry?  Clean out my office or car?  Do I read?  Search the internet?   What to do…    Then I realized, while cutting my cuticles after a nice Sunday shower, that I do enough during the week.   Socially and professionally, my schedule is packed on the reg, so I think it’s well deserved to have one day where I allow myself to do nothing.

Or, to do whatever I want.   Even if that means staying inside on a nice day and sitting on my couch.

There is a lingering guilt when I attempt the above – I’m not sure if it’s leftover from my childhood where my strangly strict Norwegian pappa would yell at my sister and I if we were inside on a nice day, or if it’s just in my nature to always want to be doing.    The source is not important, what’s important though, is knowing that anything can be learned – even mastered with one thing…. practice.  And I know that it’s going to take practice for me to be really good at doing nothing.   Lot’s of it.

Another interesting observation I’ve had on this topic is the difference between doing nothing alone and doing nothing with someone else.   It’s easier for me to do nothing (I’m going to call it being me from now on) with someone else.    It’s like because the other person is present and engaging in the same nothingness that I am, then it’s ok.

Interesting…  Will think on this more.

Anyhoo, our society places an irrational weight on the importance of doing and rarely mentions that of simply being.    Rather than thinking of doing something that produces, shift your thoughts to awareness – of your surroundings – the scents, the sights, your breath and body.

You will find that the “Art of doing Nothing” is really, the Art of Being…


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