“The Sweetness of Doing Nothing” is an attitude. It is a mindset. It is the opportunity to live freely and enjoy the simple things life has to offer, whether it is a beautiful sunset, a child’s laugh or a long nap outside on a warm summer afternoon
In Italy they have a saying, “il dolce far niente“. It means “the sweetness of doing nothing”. Italians live this phrase. It is ingrained in their very nature. To them, time is not something that can be spent, wasted or passed. It simply IS. Every moment holds the possibility of goodness. Sweetness. Pleasure. Not because of how much we squeeze into it, but because of the beauty that fills life itself. Goodness, blessings and pleasure are in every moment, we just need to pause long enough to notice
If you are anything like me, waking up and wondering what you can achieve today or rushing to start to work, feed the kids, animals and read my e-mails then you have forgotten the sweetness of life. But I hear you say who will do it if I don’t do it. WHO? I have to get this and that done to earn the money to live.
I used to agree with you. I am a super multi tasker, set me a goal and will do it, I will more than do it, achievements are everything, they make me feel secure, important and appreciated. But as I rush around getting irritated with the obstacles in my way, wasting my time, I got stressed and angry. Now, I can’t let it out because I am offering the persona of Calm and Balanced and in control. Ha Ha.
Oh what a mess! Then I was asked to take a morning off every week for the next four weeks just to do nothing. I replied “You don’t know me I laughed, how would I possibly make up that time? “
But I was set a challenge so I did it, so off I go disbelieving anything would come of wasting a morning with no phone, no note book to make notes, just me, my self and I. Sitting by a river doing nothing except enjoying life as the water drifted by and the birds flew about me. What a rush! A calm rush. I downloaded and emptied my head and as I walked back to the car I saw something that made everything worth while, a Kingfisher. A totem animal that sent ne the message Kingfisher’s medicine guides in seeing into the depths of emotions and into the un/subconscious. His lesson goes much deeper than what is on the surface.
This is another opportunity to balance masculine and feminine energies. He aids communication and reaching higher spiritual energies along with the ability to express ideas with coherence. He will instruct how to remain grounded in the earth and be comfortable in doing so. Take time for yourself in quite solitude connecting to Mother Earth. Kingfisher presents a time of prosperity, love, warmth, and a new found peace of mind.
.I was so happy and was far less irritated at anything that was put in my way or wasted my time.
You can make a choice as I have, to open yourself up to the gift of self time or get sick with exhaustion, depression, ruin your loving relationships and sooner or later not be able to function at all let alone at your normal speed and efficiency.
In my quiet time I have had some brilliant ideas and I have taken action on all of them and they are brilliant. So it seems the less I do the more focused I can become.
So that was the sweetness of doing nothing? I am now ready for more and I have planned for myself a 5 day Vision Quest in nature with just water and a tent to really get in touch with nature, quiet time and my inner self.
I consider myself a pretty social person, but I’ll admit now that I recognise when I need my “ Time out” Private time” down load time” call it what you will but you need it more than you think
Those precious periodic HOURS away from everyone and everything. After a long period of running retreats, some busy weekends with family and friends as wells as my on line coaching clients, a deadline to reach for an article and news letters etc then a short holiday away visiting people. All the voices in my head were too much, the chaos, the noise I hit a feeling I was familiar with but until now would have ploughed through. I was on the threshold of irritable, and a version of myself I don’t like. If your lucky you will notice this side of yourself and gently remind yourself to retreat for a time until you feel fit for society again. So after a brief period of seclusion (usually walk or hike in nature or a sit by the river watching the river run by, I’m as good as new. In short, a bit of regular solitude keeps me civilized. I try and weave this into every week now and I long for it like an affair when I just want my private time and private thoughts.
Recent studies show that there is a very definite need to go it alone once in a while. Solo time, is apparently good for the brain as well as the spirit. New research suggests that we remember information better when we go it alone. You know yourself that when you are pushed and it seems impossible to come up with a new idea, or answer a problem just drop it, walk away and come back to it with a fresh look and it all falls into place. Well that is what we are talking about here.
The researchers explain that we’re inherently “distracted” and “’multitasking’” in the presence of others – attuned to their responses as well as the task at hand. This energy causes stress on the body and especially the Kidneys as multitasking is using adrenalin and over working is a prime way to exhaust ourselves.
In tribal cultures with traditions like vision quests, many tribal societies support the power and necessity of solitude. Time away from the tribe is seen as a test of self-sufficiency as well as a time of growth. The individual returns to the group stronger, wiser – with more to offer the group as a result of the seclusion.
Our modern culture couldn’t be more different. These days we’re also impelled by the technological imperative to stay connected. People take laptops on vacation, their smart phones to bed with them. With the constant access to virtual if not actual socialization, experts wonder if we’ve forgotten how to be completely alone, wholly cut off for a time. Can we truly submerge ourselves in solitude when we’re fighting the urge to check email or Facebook “one more time”? I see this all the time at our retreat as people come to retreat and yet say they have work to do and cannot live a day without being connected. The feeling of being indispensable is killing us. The ones who do take the time to disconnect get the value of self time far better and respect the time for not having to wear a face or smile for the world, they experience far deeper emotional breakthroughs and clarity of mind. I encourage silence for a day or morning, as it is a great way to drop into the nothingness that we so need.
In my coaching practice when I guide people through a detox week at home, or with me at the retreat, I have some easy ways to get you into a quiet space with yourself. This needs to be taught more often than not. I have several coaching exercises that keep your attention on a simple task that opens you up to nothingness in the safety and comfort of your own environment. Often at home we have tasks or hobbies that we do that end up being purposeful. I am one of the worst to recognize that every task must have a purpose, I wake up and say what can I achieve today. Doing the garden is a hobby of mine it is like a meditation until I set a goal or agenda to it,. Then, somehow, what I like to do becomes something I had to do, which became work which became a drag.
I still really like gardening. But I have this way of needing to find “purpose” in what I do with my days that sucks the enjoyment out of everything. Why do I do that? ? Oh, I want so badly to just do what I love without an agenda. Without thinking of how I could be better utilizing my time or how I could make money at it or how I could use it to help or heal people. I wish, in all of this Work Ethic or motherly and womanly guilt, I could consistently find a way to see the sweetness of doing nothing.
Time to slow down.. We know the necessity of slowing down on the surface of it all, but how will I slow down, I will guide you. The detox (to use the word) is a time to stop all exterior activity and assimilation of stuff. All distractions but just to be with yourself. To honor yourself. Shut out all distractions such as TV, Chatter from books, people, computers, advertising, being marketed and sold to every second of the day, feeling judged, fashion choices, food choices, choices everywhere.
Yes the detox is a time to fast and not eat and the necessary time and space clean the physical body but it is more, so much more if you will allow it to be.
I can show you how to stop the chatter and get clarity, find your way through it all. I will show you how to design your own divine detox at home. If you want to experience it with a friend for support, or if you want to dive in and relish all the wonderful possibilities of solitude, privacy, which I encourage , guide and support you to do. I can help you set your intentions for the detox, I can help you to prepare, and help you to come out of the detox and re enter society, make better choices in what and how you eat and consume from your environment that align better with your spirit..
The home detox box is a detox that you can do at home for all the physical benefits that it brings but if you dare to go deeper you can get a huge benefit as well from the down time it provides. The program is easy and simple to follow and with some simple guidance you can turn the detox into a time of personal growth and connect with yourself rather than your normal buzzing, chattering environment.
We use alone time, the period of a detox as personal down time to process our relationships and recalibrate our sense of self. In solitude, we can return to our center. The detox as I see it is the physical challenge of fasting as well as to clear away the rubbish of your life. You create the chance to listen to your own thoughts during those days. to use the time to reflect on the past year – what’s it’s meant for me – and to simply just be.
Detoxing and some quiet solitude reminds us of what is essential to our identities. It inspires deeper deliberation and allows for the perception of more subtle sentiment. It gives us the chance to take inventory and hear the messages from our bodies and our emotions.
So, we can home in on what is vital to our well-being and what we will take with us to return to the world.