By Ann Pardo
We’re all busy women with busy lives. We’ve got friends, bosses, rabbis, dentists, kids, husbands, mothers-in-laws, pets, and all the “works”- housework, homework, busywork, yard work and work-work. I floss, brush, scrub, revise, manicure myself - and the yard. I shovel, type, mail, drive, import and export both people and things (never mind ideas). I clean, straighten, cook, fret, think-think-think, revise again, and converse and emote and solve….
Where do we have time for all this? How can it all be done?
By doing the exact opposite of what you think you should do – by doing nothing. Think about it, What if we did JUST enough to gracefully fill a day, rather than frantically racing from activity to activity and switching from role to role? What if we…
Below is a 3-step process for designing a time and space to experience sheer luxurious simplicity, aka doing nothing.
Step One: Ask yourself how much time you have to be only with you, only about you, concerned with nothing EXCEPT you.
You’re a busy woman and your life is full of exquisitely important things. Chances are that people depend on you to solve important problems -- that other people NEED you. So consider this – If you’re not making the time for rest, how well are you able to support your loved ones, and yourself? Remember IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO HAVE 20 MINUTES TO YOURSELF. Not only is it a good thing to do, but it may actually create some healthy outcomes for you and the people depending on you.
Step Two: Simmer, savor and relax.
Choose a place that will be designated your area for rest. (If it’s a place you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to want to go there.) Try these ways of simmering down:
Step Three: Choose a way to do nothing or as some of us say, ‘…to disappear myself.’
This is one of the ways teachers explain meditation – as emptiness, as unity of purpose, thought, action. Some call it simply sitting. Try it. Turn off the cell phone, choose a place, get into a graceful, symmetrical, comfortable position and close your eyes. Now simply notice your breath. Notice the way it feels to breathe in and how wonderful it is to breathe out completely… Thoughts will stray into your head; do not fret, simply refocus on the breathing -- one slow inhale and its best friend, the slow complete exhale.
If you take just 20 minutes, you will refresh your brain, your mind, your body, and perhaps a piece of your soul. Try to work up to giving yourself a full day of doing nothing – think of it as a mini-vacation or spa day, without going anywhere or spending any money. You may be pleasantly surprised by the effects. And this means Health!!!
Ann Pardo is the director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. Pardo has a Master's degree in counseling from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, a Bachelor's degree in dance therapy from Columbia College of Chicago and a Bachelor's degree in Italian literature from the University of Massachusetts. Pardo is an avid cyclist, biking advocate and ride leader/ bike safety patrol for El Tour de Tucson.