Monday, January 14, 2013

Doing Absolutely Nothing.....

TED talks don't rule my life. But they often remind me of ideas I've had, of things I want to do, that then get buried under the constant onslaught of new information and new ideas. That, and the hum-drumminess of life which allows for limited time to go chasing rabbits down hundreds of different holes. So it was with the one I watched the other night. It was by an Englishman, a former Buddhist monk, looking, I have to say, very hip and un-monk-like in his bright blue, muscle-hugging shirt and tight jeans! But, I digress....

 "When was the last time you spent ten minutes doing absolutely nothing?" he asked the audience.

And went on to expound for ten minutes himself on the benefits of making time, every day, to do absolutely nothing for ten minutes. He didn't call it meditation. You don't need to empty your mind, or sit in uncomfortable positions on hard floors. All you have to do is "nothing." For ten minutes. How difficult could it be?

I tried it tonight. I lit a candle and turned out the lights (I was going to do this right!) Then I lay down on the couch from which my up-ended supper of a few nights ago had been thoroughly scrubbed, wiggled my tail feathers a bit until I was thoroughly comfortable, and set about Doing Nothing.



I think I'm going to make a habit of it. I lay there in the flickering glow of the candle and thought about the very tasty supper I had just eaten---poached salmon with steamed spinach and Brussel sprouts (I think it was Smitonious who planted that seed in my head!), emphasis on non-inflammatory foods, in a dietary effort to help with the Great Unclenching---because I refused to let the bone crunching chiropractor within an ass's roar of my bones again. He had his chances, two of them, and no improvement.
 Not even the merest whisper of butter was used in the cooking of fish and veggies both. I felt downright virtuous! Of course, if the menfolk were here they'd look askance at steamed spinach and would run a mile to get away from the sprouts. There are some benefits to being alone a lot of the time!

I watched the flame jumping in the melted wax, throwing crazy shadows on the ceiling and thought about my frustration last night at not being able to watch Downtown Abbey.
"Lady Mary!" said Pat as I left work last week. "Don't forget to watch Lady Mary on Sunday evening!" Through the trials of The Clenching, and The Supper Dumping, I clung to the light at the end of the weekend---Downtown Abbey"  on Sunday night. I live a simple life. But it was not to be.

I hardly ever watch television when I'm here alone. There is quite enough entertainment going on in my head at any given time. But on the rare occasions when I do want to watch something, it's not unusual for me to run into problems. I have been agitating for years for a return to simplicity. An "on" button to turn the blasted thing on, and an "off" button to return to peace and quiet. I have never quite mastered the intricacies of the five hundred remote controls that litter the coffee table. I pressed various buttons with no success. I called the Bean on the phone and he did his best to maneuver me through the necessary steps, assuring me it was easy, I'd done it hundreds of times before, and holding his head in his hands, I'm sure, at my tales of which buttons I'd pushed. I felt sure that I'd pushed enough buttons to have been teleported to the kitchen of Downton, but no. That's not apparently how it works.

Disgusted, I gave up. Anyone who fills me in on what was said to whom, by whom, particularly any exchanges between Lady Grantham and the moneyed American visitor, will have my eternal gratitude. Meanwhile, my world did not come crashing down......

I was getting sleepy....Such a comfy couch. And then I was back in the tiny town near the border with Northern Ireland, and shyly walking in to the staff room at the Vocational school where I'd been hired as a P.E. teacher. Being given appraising looks by one sexy siren of a teacher who saw all new females as competition.....And then me and Miriam were walking back up the hill to our new digs with the widow lady who was to become like a mother to us, and us like daughters to her.....

And then my eyes flickered open and I wondered where I was....The candle had burnt down quite a ways. It had been a very relaxing ten (wink, wink!) minutes of Doing Nothing. Definitely recommended for stress relief.  I think I'll do it again tomorrow!


13 comments:

Relatively Retiring said...

Just make sure that the candle is in a really safe container!

The Elephant's Child said...

A bit of doing nothing does sound blissful. I might have to try, and remind myself not to feel guilty about it either.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Enjoying your sharing.
Doing nothing is really difficult for this constant doer.
But a practice I have started. Even for a few minute it helps.
My son is always telling me
to slow down, walk slower and take time to jus breathe....

Thimbleanna said...

At the beginning of your post I was wondering what an unsuspecting visitor would think about finding you prone on the couch staring at the ceiling with a candle burning. It sounds heavenly. I suspect if I lived alone I would watch very little tv too. There are so many other things to do and I know I would love to do them in silence.
As for Downton, I don't remember seeing the rich American -- maybe I've forgotten -- there were other pressing matters. I will say though, about 10 minutes in, I turned to hubby (who was watching only his second show) and told him my predictions for what would happen. I called it! (All the "idiot tv" he is constantly watching is so predictable, I was a little sad to know that Downton could be too.)
Yay for doing nothing!

Wisewebwoman said...

Yes, doing nothing is wonderful, the state of being and not doing. We take so little time just to be.

Candles and soothing darkness are wonderful, like a bath.

XO
WWW

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It sounds an excellent idea , very soothing .
Do you think staying in bed every morning , after I've woken up , for an extra ten minutes would count ? Or is that just me being lazy ...
( I do like the sound of your fish ! )

Friko said...

I will definitely have to try this new fangled method of doing nothing. Perhaps I could add it to my ordinary repertoire of doing nothing, like sitting and staring into space, the birds on the bird table, the dog dreaming,the news on TV -I go to sleep without fail - .

I like doing nothing, in fact I can proudly say that I have developed it to a fine art.

Molly said...

RR---well, it was in a glass jar, but you're right. Not a good idea to fall asleep while a candle's burning....

EC--Sounds ridiculous, but to actively sit, or lie, down and do nothing for a little while is very calming---obviously, since I fell asleep!

OW---It's a way of living in the moment, which we're always told we should do, but so rarely actually do.

Anna---Shirley McLane, Lady Grantham's American mother. Maybe she'd had enough of stuffy British aristocratic ways after episode one that she returned to the US?

WWW---I think we deserve a few minutes of quiet and calm at this stage of our lives after all the rushing and racing of raising children!

S&S---Shhh! I do that too, but no-one needs to know as long as we DO get up!

Friko---A case of coals to Newcastle then Friko!

Secret Agent Woman said...

If daydreaming counts, I do nothing quite a lot. But I'd fall asleep for sure if I lay down while I did it.

Molly said...

SAW---That was my fatal mistake....

Isabelle said...

If I lived alone I'd watch NO television because I can't work the thing either.

I haven't seen any D. Abbey. Am I missing something?

Lee said...

I do nothing...often...it's fun!

Downton's new season hasn't commenced here yet...it's due to after the Aus Open Tennis is finished.

Susan Kane said...

I think I will be a frequent visitor to your blog...your rhythm of writing and sweet words are sirens.

My sofa could use a bit of company.