Today I will spend 15 minutes doing nothing.
Did that sentences strike fear into your heart like it did mine?
Do nothing for 15 minutes?! No way, I have too many things to do. I’m too far behind. I already have so little time for everything that I’ve got to pack every moment with stuff or…
What kind of life is this if I can’t take 15 minutes and do nothing? Not a life I want to have. So, why am I so resistant to the idea of doing nothing for 15 minutes?
Doing nothing doesn’t mean watching television or surfing the net. It doesn’t mean trading productive tasks for unproductive ones. It means literally doing nothing.
So, I tried it today. I sat and tried to do nothing. And I couldn’t do it.
The first 5 of the 15 minutes, I spent alternating between flogging myself with the guilt stick and flogging myself for flogging myself with the guilt stick. For the last 10 minutes, I made mental lists of all the things I need to do, reminding myself to stop making lists as I was supposed to be doing nothing, thinking about how much my partner would be pissed at me for doing nothing when he was so busy, and making lists again. Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel…
Then, thank goodness, my alarm went off.
But, I learned something. I need to do this more often. Sure, I spend time meditating, practicing Yoga, reading, and writing. But, I have become incapable of wasting time in any sort of useful manner. I have to always be “doing” and this leads me to avoiding things in other areas in my life. The avoidance leads to more stress and it just gets bigger from there.
I have been concentrating solely on things to fill my bucket because it seemed like the way to be happy. Happy happy. And I don’t really want to be happy happy. I just want to feel content.
Contentment seems far more elusive to me than happiness or joy.
I think the way to contentment might be cultivating emptiness-not the emptiness of sorrow or pain. The rich emptiness of ease.
The doing of No Thing.
How does doing nothing for 15 minutes strike you? Can you cultivate contentment? I’d love to hear from you.
- The Key Ingredient of Happiness (psychologytoday.com)
- A short lesson on how to breathe (140 characters or less) & the elephant (howtobeawalkingmomtra.wordpress.com)
- The Key to Everything (touchstonez.com)
- Metta Tags (touchstonez.com)
- I’ll Have What She’s Having (touchstonez.com)