by Certified Life Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA
Congratulations on the end of Agent’s Year!
Hopefully you were able to relax over Memorial Day weekend. Time to jump right back in and hit it hard…right? Not so fast!
Before you do something, try doing nothing. While this might strike you as odd because of the American work ethic to cram your life full of doing, doing, doing—never stopping to rest or reflect—I invite you to begin your year differently.
“The problem is that perpetually doing without ever tuning in to the center of our being, is the equivalent of fueling a mighty ship by tossing all its navigational equipment into the furnace. Fully occupied by the process of achieving innumerable goals, we lose the ability to determine which goals really matter, and why,”writes Dr. Martha Beck, an internationally acclaimed life coach, best selling author and a monthly columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine. (Beck trains and certifies the Unleash Your Practice coaches.)
In order to do nothing, you do not need special equipment, mantras or a meditation room! At least once per day, allow yourself 15-20 minutes to empty your mind. Keep it simple!
First, find a location where you cannot be interrupted. It may be your office, your car or a room at home. Make it very clear to everyone in your life that unless there is a genuine emergency, they are not to disturb you.
Second, set a timer so you can fully relax and not worry about the time.
Third, choose a way to vacate your mind:
1) Sit quietly and relax. When your mind starts thinking, picture a leaf floating down the stream, a helium balloon drifting into the sky or a bubble floating in the air. Gently ask the thoughts to move along. Plan for this to happen. A lot! You might want to start with 2 or 5 minutes of doing nothing and work up to 15-20 over time.
2) If you cannot sit still, clear your mind while doing repetitive, mindless physical activity. Practice letting go of thoughts while you do this just like in step one.
3) Find a place in nature that is in motion such as flowing water, a campfire or blowing grass and allow yourself to just watch. Again, let go of thoughts throughout the experience.
4) Choose a place that you would like to be and mentally relax there while you do nothing and coax your thoughts to move along.
Why is doing nothing so important? “The ‘nothing’ will allow you to handle anything, that will teach you how to approach all of your problems,” writes Beck. “[It] can provide a sanctuary that no one can ever take from you. In the moments when your heart is tired, confused, or broken, when you have no energy to do anything, you’ll naturally turn to what your true self is telling you it needs: nothing. This is always a step—usually the first step— that will move you away from suffering and toward joy,” writes Beck.
Why not start your year from a place of joy?
Coaching Tip If you would like another option than “doing nothing” you can try Wordlessness. Unleash Your Practice offers free recordings of Martha Beck’s Wordlessness technique that will offer you a guided experience that will produce similar benefits as nothing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the free recordings.