Do This To Switch Off If You’re Used To Being Busy All The Time

If you ever find it difficult to switch off when you’re used to being busy all the time, this post is for you. In the new Lonely Planet guide book ‘101 Ways To Live Well’  I share several key meditations to help you switch off and get into holiday mode – or simply to relax and enjoy a little down time.  

‘Motivelessness’ is one of my absolute favourite meditations and this week i’m sharing the guide to motivelessness I created for Lonely Planet, with you here on the blog.

I do hope it inspires you to enjoy one or two idle moments!

Do This To Switch Off If You're Used To Being Busy All The Time

Motivelessness (Time: 5 mins)

• Make a cup of your favourite tea or soft  drink.

• Tuck away your devices and switch them to Airplane mode so you don’t become busy

• Take a seat, make yourself comfortable and enjoy a few nice and easy breaths. If you’re feeling quite stressed or uptight, why not begin by practicing the breathing technique here.

• Once you’re sitting down comfortably, that’s it – you have arrived! Don’t try to meditate. Don’t try to relax or be in the moment. This is a time for absolutely no efforting.  Just sitting, and doing nothing. You don’t need to be focusing on anything in particular, but none the less you’re still aware of whatever you become aware of where you are.

• Soon you’ll begin to slowly wind down. New thoughts, new ideas and a new leisure frame of mind will blossom. No Pina Colada required.

• At some point during this idle time, a desire to do something might pop into your mind. If it does, notice it without judgment and know that you, in full presence of mind, can choose which desires you want to act on and which you don’t.

• For instance, perhaps the thought comes to you to go and look out of the window, or go and make a sandwich. Maybe you make that sandwich and sit back down with it. Maybe you don’t – there’s no judgement. The idea here is to practice being motiveless and operating without an agenda. Swapping a racing and achievement orientation for a more spontaneous, motiveless yet quite aware way of being.

• If you do go ahead and make that sandwich, perhaps you’ll adopt a more leisurely pace of sandwich making than usual, after all you’re not in a rush. Perhaps you’ll notice even more vividly, the satisfying feeling of butter smoothing over soft white bread. Or the fun sound a jam jar makes when it pops open. Or maybe, you’ll be able to put a word around that brief moment of glee when you’re heading back to your chair about to eat the sandwich you’ve made– imminent delicious fun!

• Don’t be alarmed if being motiveless feels unusual to begin with. This idle orientation is often the exact opposite to how we’re required to behave in our usual working hours, so do be patient as you let your mind and body rediscover how lovely it can be to be idle every now and again. 

I do hope you enjoyed this short guide to doing nothing on holiday, inspired by my practices in the new Lonely Planet guide book ‘101 Ways To Live Well’. To inspire your practice, here are a three idle quotes I thought you might enjoy!

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.

A. A. Milne

Idleness is only a coarse name for my infinite capacity for living in the present

Cyril Connolly

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

Franz Kafka

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