Sunday, 17 July 2016

In Praise Of Inactivity


"It is impossible ever to be content if we can't amuse ourselves sitting still, focused on our own desires, our needs and feelings."
~Alexandra Stoddard



I remember learning many years ago about the importance of space in an artwork.  The space allows one to appreciate the elements of the artwork. I suppose Henry Moore's giant sculptures are a good example of this. 

The importance of space is always driven home to me when I drive through a neighbourhood of big homes on small blocks. One cannot appreciate the architecture of a home when it is squeezed in between its neighbours like a sardine in a tin.

So too,  I need space in my life.  Time to reflect, muse and remember what it is I want my life to be about. Time to cultivate ideas.

Taking the time to just sit and be, daydream and think about life's possibilities nourishes my soul. As does taking time to acknowledge all of my achievements for the week, month, year, decade - no matter how small.  Time for contemplation and self-examination -am I still living a life aligned to my values or have I been side-tracked by life's happenstance? Time to hear my inner wisdom.

Many of us, myself included can feel guilty if we have periods where we slow down. Sleeping in, long afternoon naps - there are times in life when I can enjoy these and use them to nourish myself. I deserve to treat myself with the utmost care and respect.

Stopping briefly to turn inward and experience a mini-meditation. This helps me stay centred.

Embracing periods of inactivity allows me time to remember who I am, not just what I want to be or do.

"It was time to slow down the frantic pace of my life and begin to listen to it" ~Denise Linn

How do you feel about embracing periods of inactivity?



12 comments:

  1. I like to embrace the silence everyday.
    However, I am a bit upset of myself because the time for nourishing mind is always short because I am kind of addict with gadget. I commit to do the silence in the morning after getting up, but somehow the 1st thing is checking my mobile phone, hehe.
    The sky is beautiful

    :D

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    1. Rosa I think most of us find it a challenge to control the time we spend with our screens whether that be phone, computer or T.V.

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  2. This is something I always need to remind myself. I can get so caught up in my to do lists and rushing from one thing to the next. Remembering to take time to slow down and be lazy and just think and take in the moments is so important. Great post!

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    1. Thanks Julie. For me it is about finding balance. I have to admit I would be lost without my to do lists and if I didn't keep them I would be far less productive. Productivity is only one side of life's coin the other side is rest, renewal and reverie.

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  3. I am essentially a workaholic, but things are a-changing. Your wise words remind me to stop, recharge and reflect.

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    1. Thanks Mr HM. I am still working toward taking the time to acknowledge and even celebrate the things I have done and achieved. I tend to achieve something then go straight onto the next thing without stopping to give myself the recognition that I should. Both blogging and the Down to Earth forum have been helpful tools in making me slow down and acknowledge what I have achieved.

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  4. I have slowed down a lot but that might be more to do with the season of life I am in now. When my children were young it was a different matter :-)

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    1. Slowed down a lot? Let me see with your photography, blogging, soap-making, attending Simple Living Toowoomba workshops and your work on the Down to Earth Forum, - if you call that slowing down I can only assume you were Flash Gordon and Wonder Woman rolled into one when your children were young. :-)

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  5. In my life, there a couple of things I do pretty well everyday that always help me to slow down. They're simple things but I enjoy them immensely and that's partly because I do them mindfully. I walk our dog and when I do I notice the air, the sky, the trees, the birds. I go out to my garden, even for the briefest of moments, and notice the plants and the soil and the sun. It's been through doing these very ordinary things that I am learning to slow down because so many other things can (and do) wait.

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    1. I am so glad you shared that comment Meg. I too love noticing the plants, soil and sun and its nice to know that others do too. I think if I had been born a gentlewoman in times gone by I would have been an amateur naturalist.

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  6. Ohhh yes! Embrace them! Do not be sucked into the prevailing view, of always, always, always having to "be productive."<---One of the banes of the modern world.

    It has to be fine, for some people, to always be productive. Their 'Self' is simply tuned that way.

    But not all, have to follow, the same drummer.

    And that is perfectly fine!!!!

    Do not let *The World* tell us, that we are slacking-off, when we take some time off. Be it a few moments, a day, a week, or as long as is necessary... To be sure, we are really aligned, with our inner self.

    Thank you for this reminder!!!!

    Luna Crone

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  7. And thank you for the Alexandra Stoddard quote!

    I haven't thought of her, in a long time.

    Must get a book of hers, down off the shelf.

    -smile-

    Luna Crone

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