Do you know how to do nothing? Meaning…well, not do anything. Nada. No plans. No efforting. No crunching, grinding, crushing. You make time for you and don’t fill it up with stuff and doing.
It’s not “here’s 1 hour of my day and I’m going to valiantly leave my office/computer and have lunch, read this mind-bogglingly brilliant essay by Rebecca Solnit AGAIN and maybe check some emails and post my butternut bisque on instagram if it’s extra cute.” Yeah, no…that’s not the nothing I’m talking about.
I mean a complete grown-ass human Time Out. OFF TIME.
Off time, in case this is new info, is essential to your growth, your self awareness, and your happiness. It’s deep, trust.
Me? I go on walks without a destination. I take myself to a movie. I eat without my phone, book, etc…I just chew and acknowledge the fairly consistent urge to diddle my Samsung. I take a bath. I lay on my floor and listen to my body or the sound of my heater or the desert or whatever.
So why is it essential (you may be asking as you mentally rewind the past few months and realize there’s been none of it unless you count the hollowed out nothingness you felt around November 9th)?
Because darling, you gotta refill your well. Get still and allow your energy to be replenished.
How often have you been exhausted emotionally, physically, psychically, energetically, and just kept going? Kept DOING? You thought, “I have to push through!” Head down. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
It’s not just you. Our culture demands that we crush. Deadlines. Goals. Milestones. Projects. Our souls (ok, not that, but it totally happens as a byproduct of crushing everything else, am I right?).
It’s not a sustainable way to live. And if you’re at the top of this year wanting more clarity, confidence, self-trust, purposeful direction…then you have to take off time.
My husband is gone for 24 hours and I spent a chunk of the morning sipping decaf with my baby dragons cats, Pablo and Lemon. Then they brought in a live dead cottontail bunny and that was the end of my off time. But I’m making room for more later because I must. The times demand it.
2016 was rough.* For everyone I know and have ever known. So go and refill your well instead of just plowing through another list of goals and resolutions. And hey, btw, those are great, no shame in the game (I have my own), but you simply cannot draw brilliance, joy, generative thinking and inspiration from an empty well. You’ll burn yourself out if you try. Ohhhh, and I know you’ve tried chickpea…and then likely spent a good amount of time, money, and energy recovering.
Get a little more free. Do nothing. Know that by taking off time you’re increasing your capacity to create what you want to create.
Praying my last prayers to St. Felicia (Patron Saint of painful and overdue BYEs) and refilling.
*Current frontrunner for Understatement of the Year, 2017.