The Year of Living Intentionally: Intentional Nothingness

Self-Care Quote In Black Lettering On A Pink Background

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I intended to spend today checking a lot of things off of my To Do list.  Finish laundry.  Iron. Grocery shop.  Exercise. That was my intention.  Then, I woke up.

As I lingered in bed and thought about what I had planned to do, I found myself sinking further under my covers.  I didn’t feel under the weather, and I wasn’t battling my old nemeses, anxiety and depression.  I simply did not feel like doing anything on that list or much else for that matter.  I didn’t want to do.  Today, I just wanted to be.

Almost as soon as I made the decision to do nothing, I felt pangs of guilt begin to surface.  The internal chorus of my critical self launched a campaign to goad me into action, and it was both compelling and relentless.  Think of how much you can get finished today.  You can’t waste a day doing nothing.  You need to do something.  Anything.

Slowly, though, that inner voice was silenced, as I settled into a Sunday that epitomized a day of rest.  Five years ago today, I checked into a psychiatric hospital to deal with a bout of depression and anxiety.  Today, I checked out a backlog of magazines and recorded Super Soul Sunday episodes, while curled up on my couch, drinking hot tea.  Progress!

It was the kind of day that I have craved, yet denied for myself, for awhile.  Although I initially rebelled at the notion of doing nothing, I soon embraced it and realized that there is a need for nothingness.  This need has grown, as we are no longer just burning the candle at both ends, as much as we are fanning the flames of an inferno.  Nothingness does not have to be an all or nothing endeavor, either, as we can incorporate it into our daily lives in a variety of ways:

Lose yourself in a book.

Day dream.

Take breaks throughout the day.

Spend time in nature.


Take a nap.

Perhaps, instead of asking ourselves and each other what we did today, we should flip the conversation and focus on what we didn’t do, without any guilt or regret.  Tomorrow, I definitely will be doing something, as work beckons, but I already look forward to more nothingness in my future.  I could get used to doing a whole of nothing.

Just one thing each day . . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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3 replies

  1. I always find myself guilty of doing nothing, as it seems I’m wasting time. But sometimes doing nothing is all that we need. 🙂

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