“What are you doing?”

“Nothing…..”

“What do you mean?? Nothing??”

It’s probably one of the most popular questions asked by man.

It’s the trigger point for any parent, that inevitably leads to the discovery of cold creams smeared in places they shouldn’t be, sibling and Barbie haircuts gone wrong, dogs dressed in tutu’s.  I think you get my drift….

I could almost go as far as to say that “nothing” has become a bit of a dirty word.

From complaints of our partners not pulling their weight (you know you’ve done it!) around the house, to the high and mighty attitudes of the ubiquitous Supermum who looks on with pride as her “lazier” counterpart just gets on with life (she thinks she’s doing “nothing” of course!), the thought of slowing down, or even stopping for that matter is a scary prospect.

I have spent a lot of my life trying to fill in the “space”.  To think that I might have had 5 minutes to spare (gasp!) a few years ago was unthinkable. To pack the schedule full, whether it be baking, shopping, going to the gym (ok, I’m talking quite a few years ago here, let’s be honest!), or socializing with friends, the fuller the schedule, the better!

There was no way anyone was going to accuse me of doing NOTHING!  (Nada, zip, zilch.)

And there is no place that does the avoidance of “nothing” better than Dubai.

Anything planned for your weekend? Why of course!

A couple of  brunches,

followed by a few children’s birthday parties,

a trip to the beach,

then a mad dash to someone’s 40th (isn’t it always someone’s “?th” birthday? Simply fill in the blank…),

oh, and then there’s the 70% off sale…..and maybe a pedicure….

Dubai is the ultimate in superplanning and superpacking one’s schedule (those aren’t even proper words, but then again there are no words to describe life in Dubai!).

The whole idea that if you’re not actively doing anything, then you must be doing “nothing” is all but an illusion.  You are BREATHING aren’t you?

Last time I checked, that rates pretty high on the scale of doing “something”.

It’s all about perspective, and for me, it has been in the art of learning to slow down, that I see the value and power of doing “nothing”.  When I look at my children, they are at their very best when they are allowed to just “be” and not have to worry about what the next activity or expectation of them is.

Doing “nothing” is restorative, opens up the doors for creativity, and is just plain fun!

(We often see what we want to see, until we are ready to face the cold, hard truth).

We are a culture of impatience and hunger.  Sometimes it’s hard to bring things back into balance and acknowledge that there is great value in something that we fear more than anything.

For a lot of people, the prospect of having not a lot to do sounds appealing, but to actually put it into practice scares the living hell out of most of us!

We like to make excuses;

“If I don’t do this, then no one will”,

“This NEEDS to be done now”,

“If we don’t go to the party then we’ll never get invited back”,

“If I miss the gym for one week, I’ll be completely out of shape”,

“If I don’t go to the sale, I might miss out on something”,

And the list goes on!

We like to create barriers that stop us from doing “nothing”!! The icing on the cake really cracks me up (oh, and I was a pro at this one, don’t you think I wasn’t!), and that’s when we sit back and tell everyone around us how “Busy” we are!!

There’s just not enough hours in the day, don’t you know!?

I felt compelled to blog about this topic as it’s dear to my heart.  It’s taken a whole lotta’ time (and I mean a lot of time!) for me to learn the power of “nothing”, and boy do I wish I had learned about it sooner!

To sit back and REALLY and truly relax.  To let my bucket of inspiration fill up one drop at a time is truly fulfilling.

To sit back and daydream, and allow my mind to be a blank canvas is something I look forward to.

To allow it to take on whatever shape and form that is mean to inspire me at that given time.

And from all this comes a deeper sense of joy that I am in the driver’s seat, but that the bus doesn’t necessarily have to leave the station.  It’s ok to sit in “park” and know that there is something very powerful in just sitting still.

I am off on a journey tomorrow to Ethiopia where I plan on enjoying the balance of a busy tour schedule, mixed in with moments of “nothingness”.  I can’t wait to share my experiences and images with you which will without a doubt, change my perceptions of the world we live in.  Until then my friends!

 

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