The next time you find yourself with unscheduled time, fight through the impulse to message a friend or turn some music on. You’re not used to peace and quiet, and you’re certainly not accustomed to spending time doing nothing. It’s a foreign concept and rarely practiced. It can take time to teach yourself how to simply sit and be. The impulse to check your email or busy yourself doing things can be strong. Resist it. Practice being bored once a day for 10 minutes.
On the other side of boredom is doing nothing. And doing nothing, being present but engaged in nothing, is a spiritually satisfying state. Let any worries and problems slip away from your mind. Allow this time, free of distraction or agenda, to reboot your brain. It’s in this clean start that you’ll find connection.
As you relax into a state of doing nothing, you forget your concerns with the material and physical. Goodbye, worries about the leaking roof or your anxiousness about that long run in your training program. As your mind clears, you can connect with your spiritual self (in whichever way you define that self).
Our time is at a premium now more than ever. And we give so much of our remaining attention to news and information that has little relevance to our overall well-being or that of our community. That’s why the practice of doing nothing, of taking time away to disconnect, is so vital to wellness. Simply making a habit of disconnecting for 10 minutes a day to sit in quiet and restart your mind is enough. Spoil yourself daily with the luxury of downtime.
For more advice on how to relish those in-between moments, check out Rachel's new book, The Joy of Doing Nothing.