I was watching Eat, Pray, Love again the other night for the 1,055th time (the book was way better…obviously… :0) and the sweetness of doing nothing really grabbed my attention this time. Luca Spaghetti was right- we Americans don’t know how to relax! Why is that? Why is it I believe I have to earn a break in order to take one; to earn an opportunity to do nothing… doesn’t that just sound a little crazy all the sudden?
I took a nap today for 2 hours. It’s not often that I do something, anything like that without feeling guilty. And while I was thinking about what I was doing, and trying not to FEEL guilty, I realized that it was a great thing! How often do we take the time to enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing?
It hasn’t been easy to slow down, but after all the years of working from home, I’m finally starting to GET IT. I don’t have to hurry and rush to fill every moment with something. I can take the time to relax and enjoy. To sit down and have a cup of tea. To listen to the bird’s song. To lay in the sun and get some vitamin D. I don’t have to make an excuse or EARN a break, in order to take one.
One of my core desired feelings is present. I want to feel fully present and experience the moment I’m in. Isn’t that the same as doing nothing, so-to-speak? For example one of my intentions is to eat without distraction; eat with presence. And WOW has this been difficult! How hard can it be to just sit with your food and eat it? Doing nothing else. No TV, no book, no magazine, nothing except conversation (if you have company or you don’t mind talking to yourself). To appreciate the food, to actually chew it and taste it. To smell it. I really believe that if I did that one thing, it would change everything else. Presence. It hasn’t been easy. Some days I’m successful, as in I’m able to remember, and somedays I continue to fail at this exercise…but I am committed and confident that I will succeed even if it’s simply by failing over and over again. That’s all success is anyway, right? A series of failures?
Being present in the moment means also appreciating the nothingness of some of those moments. I even have a book on this very subject: The Art of Doing Nothing. I’m the one that bought the book so I must have believed I needed to be told how to do it; told how to appreciate this art that I apparently couldn’t figure out for myself. When did I get this busy? Since when did it become necessary to read a book or watch a movie or be told period, that it’s OK to do nothing? Are we so caught up in our lives, our jobs, our phones! that we have forgotten to take the time to enjoy the present moment; the simple act of doing nothing but being fully present? To just be. Be. still. To be appreciative of the stillness. Be in the moment. Be in the silence. Be in the awe of life.
September is now here (fully present), and we all know that September is the new January…(we do all know this now…right?) 🙂 it’s also the perfect time for me to commit to paying attention…again. Practice makes perfect…or so I’ve been told. Paying attention to the people around me. Looking someone in the eyes when they’re talking and fully engaging in the conversation. Hearing the noises that surround me. Feeling the surface I’m standing or sitting on. Actually tasting the food, the drink…that covers my tongue before I swallow it. Chewing. That’s the sweetness of life.
Do you actually chew your food? Have you ever paid attention to know for sure that you are truly chewing and not just gulping? How about not needing to pull your phone out to show the picture? What if you actually described the scene, the person, the event, you so want to “show” on your phone? The art of storytelling. And you don’t have to be a “storyteller”, if you are really paying attention you can “tell” that which you so want to “show”. In fact, if you were paying attention, doing nothing at that moment, you wouldn’t have a picture… because you were fully present when it happened. There’s no need to take a picture of everything (unless you’re a photographer, right?) Let’s put the phones down. Just for a minute.
September. Thirty full days of paying attention to the nothingness of life. Life: (my definition) The series of moments all strewn together by an invisible notion of time. I’m committing to being fully present for this month and noticing the nothingness and the everythigness of what’s going on around me. The art of doing nothing except being fully present. The art (the sweetness) of doing nothing and the idea of being fully present light. me. up. Will you join me?