“I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. . . . The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room, not try to be or do anything whatever.” ~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude …
A lot of us tend to let our minds race about, multitasking and overloading them with data, input, and information. But if we always keeping our mind busy with thoughts and never allowing it time to simply rest and relax, we can end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, burnt out, unhappy, lethargic, irritable, and so many other negative emotions that hold us back from living our lives fully and being completely present in the moments. Yet as our minds calm, our hearts lift up a step at a time, and our entire beings become filled with a deep sense of peace and serenity.
And it does not take much, just a simple walk or a bike ride out through nature, or a soothing bubble bath and some relaxing music. Or perhaps a quiet drive around the countryside or some quiet time in meditation on the porch during a rain storm. I have often found that the most valuable things I do for myself are often the simplest of things, things that many would consider not really doing anything at all–sitting on the couch with my eyes closed listening to the children play, spending time in meditation and prayer, sitting in the backyard listening to the wind rustling through the leaves, the birds in the trees, and the bugs in the grass.
In such moments, I feel unity with all of life and discover a deep awareness of my existence, for they allow me to get in touch with being instead of doing. Here, I can explore the depths of who I am, visiting the eternal part of me instead of that physical me that others see on the surface; here I can find a glimpse of eternity and recognize my place in His plan.
We all spend a lot of time wearing down our psyches–our logical and intellectual minds, and our emotional souls–sometimes even to their breaking points. We let our bodies unwind after are a long day of work, or sleep when they are drowsy and tired, but we seldom consider rest for our minds and spirits. But our psyches also need to be strengthened, nourished, and renewed to their full potential. Take a break now and then. It may not seem like a lot can come from a day in which we seek nothing, do nothing, want nothing, and produce nothing, but such days recharge us, fulfill us, and strengthen our sinews so that we can be at our best–so we can be whole. Suffice it to say, that sometimes nothing is exactly the something that we need to keep us going.
Find time to let you mind rest.
Questions to consider:
Why are so many people so reticent even to consider doing nothing in a quiet and solitary place?
What are some of the possible benefits of allowing our psyches to rest?
How can nothing be a positive something?
For further thought:
“Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant, Everyday Greatness