In Defense of Doing Nothing

Take note…none of the great sages, prophets, and saviors ever became enlightened by being busy. They renounced their worldly possessions, headed out into the desert, sat under trees, and retreated to caves high up in the mountains. They fasted, prayed, and meditated- basically doing nothing for extended periods. In this solitary, inward experience they became one with themselves, nature, God, and ultimately fulfilled.

In contrast, our culture encourages productivity. The more we achieve, the more we are valued even to ourselves. We are always heading towards something -graduation, career, children, children leaving home, retirement, and acquiring more stuff. We were never encouraged to just BE and Be with our be-ness. Therefore a great deal of our society thinks happiness is always beyond the next bend. For example- “When I______________(fill in the blank), I will be happy.

Being a victim of this frame of mind, I started my sheltering in place journey with a “Super- think of all the things I can get DONE!- writing art, gardening, fitness, etc.”.  Then I started to go crazy with all these added expectations.

I concluded that productivity is overrated. You get something accomplished and then 3 more things go in the queue. The carrot remains out of reach. What I needed to do was slow down and find a nice cave to curl up in with no paper to write a to do list on. Savoring the moment is where it’s at. It’s likely we won’t get this type of “opportunity” again.

Now I have granted myself a time to go “fallow.” I haven’t gone off the rails, nor am I enlightened, but I have lowered my expectations.  Oddly, this takes a bit of mindfulness.  Old habits die hard, but overall, I am happier and enjoying the ride alot more…

and it is such a relief!

Small Acts of Rebellion

Not flossing before bed

Saying no to the news

Watching a movie first thing in the morning

Staring off into space

Going braless

Making bad art

Writing bad poetry

Using BAD two times in a row

Being happy

Refusing to give up

Find Balance

Alanna also blogs at One Sweet Earth

Doodle by the author

8 thoughts on “In Defense of Doing Nothing

  1. Great post. Totally agree–EXCEPT for the bit about flossing! Lovely to let go and just be, relax into savoring the mystery! How about a mass Rebellion against the Bucket List!
    Fight workism! Now–about the flossing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh- I just bet that this comment is from Miss Linda Jean. The not flossing is an occasional act of defiance but in the sake of over wordiness and emotional punch I chose not to qualify that one. You can rest easy!

      Like

  2. Giving myself permission to relax made the difference in my work at home regimen. My first day home was busier than any day in the office until I started using the extra time in my day for ease – sleeping in, reading, eating on the patio at lunch. The extra helping of time has added so much generosity to my days. Thanks for the reminder to give ourselves permission to experience it.

    Like

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