Have you felt the pressure building the last few weeks? The anticipation, the hub-bub, the all around uninterest in everything that’s happening right now? Yet, still feeling the feels and feeling the pressure this time of the year tends to bring. Did you decorate? Did you get all of your holiday shopping done at 12:01am the day after Thanksgiving? Did you decorate the cookies? Did you plan to make 10 different pies to make each one of your family members happy?

Did you feel like an absolute failure as well? Kind of like an inflated balloon that just can’t seem to get off the ground and into the air? Yep. I think you’re amongst a lot of people this year my friend. Here’s what I’ve realized so far…

There’s a concept in so many countries that translates roughly to “just be.” The meaning? Don’t do anything. Just be. Don’t look at your phone, or your computer, or the messy house, or the dishes, or the laundry, or the pile of work you still need to do. Just be. Seems kind of impossible somedays right?

It’s interesting to point out that studies on longevity in some countries have pointed to this lifestyle hack. Some of the Blue Zones – that is, the regions of the world with the highest concentration of humans living to 100 or more – cite this kind of lifestyle as a secret to living a long, happy life.

Our problem here in the west? We can’t seem to do it. We pile on our roles and responsibilities so high and so thick that we don’t know what it’s like to not feel suffocated by them. We go through this cycle of offloading, enjoying some white space for a little while, becoming bored or restless, piling things back on, feeling suffocated, deciding not to feel suffocated anymore and then starting the whole cycle over again.

Don’t misunderstand though, I’m not talking about making progress or doing the things that need to be done. What I’m talking about is doing things just for the sake of doing things. Things that don’t really make a difference, things that are just things – like busy work. I think of it like back in school when the teacher would give you busy work to do because there wasn’t anything else to do. You really wanted to go play, but you had to do … this… instead. Haven’t we grown into that as an adult? How often do we REALLY give ourselves time to play and just…. be?

What if the rest of this year we worked on that instead of getting lost in all the pressures of life? Afterall, our to-do lists are never-ending anyhow, we might as well learn to play in the space in between.

Here’s my invitation to you for the rest of 2020…. intentionally make time every day to do nothing. I mean it. Nothing. No journaling, no planning, nothing. Sit in the silence for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour, whatever you can – and just allow everything to settle. Bring that anxiety down a few notches.

Make time for this every single day, especially on the incredibly busy days when you know there isn’t a spare minute to use the bathroom let alone intentionally try to do “nothing.” Those are the hardest days, but if you can master sneaking in some “just being” time, I think you’ve won. Hell, you’ve won regardless – this is just bragging at that point =)

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