I often tell people that I am fundamentally lazy and they look surprised, and say “but you’re always doing things and never seem to stop” which is true …. I’m often launching new enterprises, signing up for new training courses or coming up with new plans and ideas. But what you don’t know is that what I would love to be doing more than anything is lying on a sun-bed or a sofa with a really good book (detective fiction is a favourite).
So why don’t I do more BEING and less DOING? Great question and one I’ve been asking myself and one that I often ask my clients.
I believe the biggest reason stems from my up-bringing, and the attitude of my family. I come from a family of do-ers (just ask any of my siblings!) Long after I’d left home my mum would phone for a chat and often ask “What have you achieved today?” Growing up in that sort of environment preconditions you to be busy, achieving and ‘doing’ most of the time.
Over the past few years I have become better at being, spending time ambling through the countryside, reading a book or just brushing my cats! I remember as a child spending time lying in the garden looking at the clouds, or watching the goldfish in the pond.
In general, doing nothing is frowned upon in our Western culture isn’t it? Much better to be able to present a ‘done’ list (preferably incorporating some fund-raising, some serious exercise and rustling up a three-course Michelin standard meal) than to comment on the amazing birdsong you heard on your daily walk. And this is borne out in social media … my Facebook feed is full of the amazing achievements of others and their off-spring. I’m not surprised so many people tell me that their lives feel directionless and useless … if you believe even 10% of the stuff you read in the media (social or otherwise) you will feel like this, even though you know it’s really just a veneer, carefully painted by your ‘friends’ to make their lives appear amazing!
So what can you do? Well, I guess the first step is to feel ok with doing nothing, and to be able to achieve that, a lot of early beliefs around laziness will require resolution.
Make the decision to do nothing for a day, or an hour. And see how you feel … what emotions come up for you? This will be your starting point for some EFT or just exploring whether you still need to feel like that.
By the way, having a break isn’t about whether you deserve it or not (and you do); it’s about just being happy to do nothing.
A couple of weeks ago I had a duvet day and did one of my favourite things; got up, made a hot drink and took it back to bed with a book. This is something I do about once every two years! I even dozed off after a while and finally got up at about one o’clock. And the rest of the day was spent pottering about; feeding the birds, brushing the cats, taking a gentle walk, cooking a simple meal, more reading and a film.
And not once did I feel guilty, or annoyed with myself for not having achieved anything. I just enjoyed being and the next day I felt distinctly re-charged.