The Value In Doing Nothing


Life, we are told these days is busy. We have to be here, or there, or do this, or that, but when was the last time you did literally nothing?

I’m not talking about the kind of nothing where you are not at work and spend a few hours scrolling through Instagram or sitting for hours in front of the TV, but the last time you literally just sat peacefully and did nothing.

5, maybe even just 10 minutes?

For some, this time of year is a time of rest and relaxation, a couple of weeks between working all year to catch up with friends and family, get those jobs done around the house that you’ve been putting off and so on. For some, this time of the year is the busiest (workwise anyway). 3 days out of every month, I work two jobs back to back. When I say back to back, I mean I literally start work at 9 am on the Wednesday, and go through until 8amon the Saturday morning. Sure, I get some sleep, but one of these jobs is sleeping at a residential service for youth so it’s not always the REM type that we crave so badly.

Typically in these three days, I don’t stop. I leave the house at 8 am on the Wednesday morning for one job, leave that job at 3 to get to the next one at 4 and so and so forth for the next three days. It is literally go go go. This time around, after a hectic Christmas weekend and long drives to see family, after almost resorting to cold showers just to keep functioning, I took 10 minutes and went and sat in a quiet room and did nothing, absolutely nothing.

I didn’t meditate, I didn’t have my phone, I didn’t even think (rare for me). I just sat back staring at the wall and did nothing. I didn’t even feel guilty for it for once, it just was what it was. It was when I was interrupted by someone wanting to talk to me that I came out of my trance of nothingness and returned to the world of the here and now.

When I did so, I noticed a few things almost immediately. I’ve written before about how I can tend to hold a lot of tension in my body, almost all of the time, and while at times I’ve gotten on top of this, when I am run down, it’s tricky. This week has been no exception and I’ve been holding tension like no tomorrow. After sitting doing nothing, I noticed that I was holding no tension in my body what so ever, even more so, I was holding no tension in my mind, I was even smiling without anything to seemingly smile about, it was just my state of being.

I thought at this point to myself, ‘how good is this? I actually feel revitalized and like I have had a solid 8 hours sleep, and all I did was take 10 minutes to do absolutely nothing’.

Being a big thinker and someone who reflects on just about everything that happens to them during the course of a day, I did so on this whole doing nothing craze I’d just experienced. Immediately after doing nothing, I felt like I wanted to do everything. I felt rested and clear, lighter, happier, more awake, and had the urge to make the most of this newfound energy, so, well I wrote this.

Not just this, but it has given me almost the kick into gear I’ve been looking for lately as the year winds down to a close and we all get set to begin a new one. In my search for motivation, I found it in the very last place I thought to look, in peace, in stillness, in doing nothing.

The value of doing nothing, in order to do something is incredible, and I look forward to tapping into this new found ‘skill’ I guess you could say and just seeing where it goes.

Also I should meditate again, I paid a lot of money for that course, but that’s for me to sort out 😉

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