Yikes. It has been several months since I last wrote a post. There have been many preoccupations in my life, all very important and appropriate. I have enjoyed seeing clients, running workshops, doing admin work and contributing to discussions in the global arena of coaching. And I had spare time; I left room for gadget-free nights with my husband Karl and gathering with dear friends. And then I made sure I exercised enough, was eating right, getting enough sleep…………..
Even a very mindful person, one like me who meditates and takes care to be present in the daily moments, etc, needs some total fuck off time. It’s a rude and glib statement, but it gets to the core of what I need. My husband calls it ‘the nothing box’. This is dedicated time put aside to do very little and get bored.
Have you noticed that when you go on holiday, you don’t actually start to relax until the third day? Ideally my chunk of time is at least that long, so I give myself a long weekend minimally. And like a holiday, f’ off dates take planning! When I go mentally off grid for a week, I want to get work projects out of the way and all correspondence taken care of so that I don’t get anxious about what is not being done.
Ha! I just realized that planning these time outs makes me more productive as I complete important tasks by a deadline. But the main reason I lay low for awhile is to clear my body and soul of ‘do, do, do’. Connecting to what Karl wrote in this post about meditation, there is a halt to big decision making. Our bodies can relax from alert mode and reset to calm.
So if there is so much I am not doing during this time, what am I doing? My priority is to be out in nature. Although I take short ravine walks everyday, this f’ off time I take a blanket, park myself for hours and stare up at the clouds. At home I nap, because I can. I may hop on one of the long streetcar lines, put sound canceling earbuds in, not listen to music, and just ride for a couple of hours, feeling the sway of the vehicle, watching the neighbourhoods go by. Real empty time.
This allows me to really listen to me. To hear what my body and heart is expressing. In my fundamental workshop “Holding Self in Priority“, participants who have nothing box experiences talk about the room it gives them to really assess what is happening in their lives so they can get back on track with aligning with what is most important to them.
After a couple of days, my mind gets creative. Awesome ideas come to mind and as I increasingly feel relaxed and refreshed, I am ready to get back to my lifework.
I would love to hear about your f’off times! Or tell me what gets in your way of total turn off time?