I’ve just returned back from a week adventuring with my kids in Alberta. We enjoyed the majestic mountains of Banff and Jasper, the incomparable hoodoos in Drumheller and some big city time in Calgary. And while our days were quite full with exploring our surroundings, we also had the time and space to simply experience doing nothing. Something I realized that I need a whole lot more of in my life.
Doing nothing really means doing NOTHING. Not reading, journaling, drinking tea or even meditating. That’s right, even meditating is an activity.
Lianne Raymond calls this practice Wild Idling. I love this. She describes doing nothing as exploring the original, un-domesticated, authentic and wild part of you. This is a part of ourselves that many of us do not know well or even at all. It takes time to cultivate this relationship. Lianne says that you can’t love what you have no connection to. This practice is about making that connection.
The beauty of doing nothing is that there is absolutely no wrong way to do it. Just sit or lie down and experience simply being for about 5-10 minutes. Five minutes may seem like an eternity when you are not used to spending any time with yourself. Bored? That’s ok. Mind busy with thoughts? Totally fine. With enough practice your inner landscape will begin to reveal itself and this is where the magic is.
And there are other great reasons to spend time with this Wild Idling practice:

  1. Quiet the overactive Left Brain – no purpose or accomplishment driven mindset here. This practice is an antidote to our constant goal striving and busy-ness.
  2. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable – doing nothing is an opportunity to start a conversation with being uncomfortable. Many of us constantly seek distraction in our lives. Discomfort can be a gateway to incredible growth.
  3. Creative juices will flow – space in your day allows ideas to germinate and powerful connections to appear.
  4. An inspired life – a greater sense of calm and possibility will emerge in all sorts of aspects in your day to day life. This can take time, so keep sticking with the practice.

Doing nothing is in our DNA. Animals do this naturally all the time. And before the advent of so many modern distractions, we also were accomplished at doing nothing. We are designed for this practice.
So my challenge to you today is to commit to a 7 day do nothing practice. Find a place where you are comfortable and set your timer for 5 minutes. Remember, you can’t fail at this – there is no wrong way to do nothing. You may experience resistance and that’s ok. Notice what changes throughout the week and at the end of 7 days, recommit to another 7. Repeat.
As always, I love hearing from you – drop me a note and share your insights and experiences with this do nothing practice.
love & pranams,