When was the last time you sat and watched the clouds pass? Or stared up at the stars just because they’re beautiful? Or listened to a thunderstorm with no other worries? When has your focus been completely, without distraction, on your breath?
These are not typically activities that we intentionally take time out of our day to accomplish. To some, they might seem like a waste of time. They might even be considered “nothing.”
These “nothing” activities are important in lives that require a lot of intentional planning, direct focus and concentration. When we allow “nothing” to happen, we allow for space in our minds and in our hearts.
How to do nothing:
1. Schedule nothing. It may sound silly, but intentionally setting aside a chunk of time each day or week with no responsibilities or obligations can make “nothing” seem as important as all the rest of the “something” you have planned.
2. Meditate. Set aside 5-10 minutes of your day to just sit and breathe. Nothing else. Notice when your mind wanders, bring curiosity to why it wandered there, and then let it pass by.
3. Breathe. At any point during your day, take a minute or two to just breathe—into your naval, into your side ribs, into your heart space. Take 10-20 breaths with your eyes closed, and see how you feel.
4. Acknowledge beauty. When you see something beautiful—in nature, in relationship, in community—acknowledge it and take a moment to truly revel in that beauty.
5. Write. Anything that comes to mind, write it down. You may have done something like this in school, called freeform writing. There’s no plan, no goal and no audience. Just write for you and see what ends up on your page.