The Joy of Doing Nothing

Hey guys! First of all, a massive thank you to my partner, Emily, for manning the blog while I was out. Second of all, it’s so great to be back! It may be like 10 degrees in Chicago, but I’m totally happy to be here and ready to get back into the swing of things!

As you probably know, I’ve spent the past two weeks exploring the country of Nicaragua on my honeymoon. It really was an incredible experience, a wonderful adventure full of fun and crazy stories. It was an opportunity to immerse myself in a new and different culture and relinquish some of the strict control I have over my life back home in Chicago. I learned a lot on my trip. I learned about Nicaragua, about my husband, about our relationship, about the way we handle stress/challenges/opportunities. I learned that I actually LOVE Mojitos, and that cows can swim. One of the biggest things I learned on this trip, however, was all about nothing.

IMG_5608In my daily life, and probably in most of our daily lives, we are all “GO! GO! GO!” We feel anxious when we are unproductive, stressed when we have nothing to do. On this trip, while staying at a remote eco-lodge in the mountains of Matagalpa (where even the WIFI connection was transient), I learned the power of doing nothing.

Each afternoon, Scott and I would sit out in the open pavilion in rocking chairs (or in the hammocks) and quietly enjoy the nothing. We embraced the silence, the stillness, the breathtaking view. We just let our minds wander. Sometimes we spoke to each other, sometimes we sat in silence. Sometimes we read, or wrote in wrote in a journal, but essentially we embraced the nothing.

At first it was REALLY challenging. It was so hard to let go of the hyperactive life I’m used to. I felt anxious and guilty over being unproductive. Once I took a deep breath, and acknowledged that I didn’t have to feel bad for sitting around – it became something I actually really looked forward to. I was able to take it all in and find JOY in doing nothing.

There’s been a lot of research lately about how over-stimulated we all are. How even when walking, riding the bus, sitting on a beautiful veranda overlooking mountain and green gorgeousness, we are nose down in our phones – looking at beauty and life through Instagram and Twitter, instead of experiencing it all around us in real-time. After this trip, I’ve learned to embrace downtime, and still time, and crave opportunities to just sit, enjoy the world around me and let my mind and imagination wander.

I want to challenge you to find sometime this week to just sit – at least for 15 minutes – and take it all in. Let your mind go where it wants to go, enjoy the taste of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, or nothing at all. Learn to embrace the quiet, the stillness, and allow yourself to sit, reflect, and wander.

Find the joy of doing nothing, and it will help refresh you for all the wonderful things that you actively do in the rest of your life.

2 thoughts on “The Joy of Doing Nothing

  1. Noah Weiss says:

    This is a great idea. The whole thing about putting down the phone is something which I do on a regular basis, but extending that further to Doing Nothing is also powerful. I have had “Do-Nothing” time during the interim between Musaf and Mincha on Yom Kippur, but also try to find Do-Nothing times in other instances.

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