The Power of Doing Nothing

I recently installed a news feed eradicator that replaces your facebook newsfeed with an inspiring quote. For me, this is a gentle reminder each time I log on that maybe I don’t want to lose half an hour of my day scrolling through the facebook feed. It’s been a game-changer!

This morning’s quote was from the wonderful Alan Watts:

Consider this, some of the absolute bestest things we can do for our health and wellbeing involve doing no-thing at all.

Think: sleep, meditation, fasting.

Our bodies are super intelligent.  We just need to get out of our own way occasionally.

We don’t often give much thought to the important role space plays amidst all-of-the-things-of-life.

We tend to focus on what we’re doing during the day, but not how we’re resting at night.

We might take great pains to eat healthy food, but we don’t necessarily honour the silent digestive process between meals, or pay attention to whether it’s working efficiently and effectively.

Truth is, the space between, is just as important as the ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ around it.  There’s a whole-lot-of-something going on in the nothing.

Most of us aren’t tapping into the power of daily doses of good-quality space.

If you’re curious about how you might benefit from more consciously doing less, run these experiments and see for yourself.

Let me know how you get on!

Create a Bedtime Ritual

Each night we get the opportunity to heal, restore, and recharge so that we can step into the new day at the edge of our potential.

 
Sleep is a veritable elixir. It repairs our body, regulates our hormones and emotions, and optimises our cognitive function.  
 
Did you know people who don’t get enough sleep find it much harder to maintain a healthy weight? That’s just one side-effect of not heeding our body’s signals for rest.

When we don’t honour this nightly space for quiet regeneration our body starts to wear down and quickly becomes inefficient.

If we want to experience deep energy during the day we need to experience  deep rest at night.

Make sleep a practice,  something you attend to consciously, and get better at with time. Create a conscious bedtime routine to get you prepped for a high-quality, nightly reboot.

Some ideas to make this a conscious practice:
  • Have a ‘digital sunset’: turn off all you electronics at least an hour before bed
  • Do something just for the joy of it: take a bath, read an inspiring book, give yourself a massage
  • Journal or meditate to release the day
If you want more tips on this follow my 10 day sleep revolution on instagram: 10 tips over 10 days to get more from your sleepy time.

Create Space Between Meals

Are you a serial-snacker? An all-day-grazer?
Until last year that was certainly me.
One of the major lessons I’ve been embodying recently as I’ve been studying Ayurveda is the need to allow sufficient space between meals. A healthy adult should be able to go 4-6 hours between meals without snacking.  A healthy adult also needs to allow a good 13-hour window of fasting between dinner and breakfast.
If we don’t give our digestive system adequate space and rest between eating it can’t do its job properly. We make it harder for our bodies to run efficiently and smoothly.  Because our body is part of us (duh!), if our body’s having a harder time than it needs to we too experience life as being harder than it needs to be.
If you’re waking up in the morning feeling stiff and congested in your body with a foggy mind, then this experiment for you.
I’ve had a bit of mental-morning-fog myself recently. I’m seven months pregnant and my digestion is mega-sluggish. I’ve been waking up with undigested food in my body and that’s been blocking my physical and mental channels.  Sick of the lack of mental clarity upon arising I decided to extend my overnight fast period from 13 hours to 15-16 hours to see what that might do.
Guess what?
My body cleared out the junk: bye bye sludge, hello strong digestive fire to blast out the mental fog.
The power of doing nothing. Don’t underestimate it.
Experiment with leaving space between meals (that means no snacking!) and ensuring you get a good fast overnight. You need an overnight fast to have a break-fast in the morning!

Sit in Silence

 Take some time to simply sit in silence.
More commonly known as meditation, this simple practice has massive payoffs.
Just like our digestive system needs space to breakdown, assimilate and eliminate the food we’ve eaten in order to be effective, our mind too needs space to simply be with what is.
If we don’t create some mental space we get mental bloating. Our thinking becomes less clear, more congested.
When our mind is constantly busy, busy, busy, and thinking, thinking, thinking, we end up unable to see the trees for the woods. We create more work for ourselves and more stress.
This practice is super simple (which doesn’t mean easy!) :
  • set a timer, even 1 minute counts
  • sit in silence and observe what is: observe your thoughts, sensations in your body, the sounds around you, notice it all without responding or reacting.

If you want more help with this one, here’s a tipsheet I made.

 Vibrant living

I’m half way through my first 10-Week Vibrant Living course and we are having a blast!We’re picking apart our daily routine

s and dialling in the habits of vibrant health. If you’re interested in joining the next group you can apply here.

film Hacksaw Ridge 2016 streaming

Author: Sam Vale Noya

Yoga instructor currently living and teaching in Reading, UK.