May 21, 2015

How to Enjoy Downtime.

Bailey Gaddis kid

Have you ever found your “downtime” to be more uncomfortable than your “uptime?”

In our society, where productivity and measurable success is king, we’ve naturally adopted a stressful state of comfort in the hustle, and a disarming state of confusion in the calm.

The constant need for results has been pounded into us so thoroughly we feel like a lost puppy when to-dos, to-buys, to-calls, and to-forgets are not heaped upon us.

Sounds crazy right? But, mull it over for a moment.

It’s become difficult to not do anything, to just be.

What if we softened our ability to live in the quiet of the now?

What if we allowed the quiet of the now to work with our innate desire to be productive?

What if we didn’t have to choose between stillness and productivity?

What if we reframed our thoughts on inactivity from those of laziness, or “wasted time,” to “ultimate productivity?”

What if we were able to harness stillness and silence in such a way that our levels of productivity and success soared, with only half the effort we had originally been exerting?

What if silence promoted success?

Rather than attempt to remove primary wiring in our mind (the master circuit board of productivity and success), and replace it with an authentic love for doing nothing, let’s marry the two.

Let us tweak this wiring so we are able to perceive our moments of silence, stillness and introspection as the most efficient gateways to our best self and best life.

This best life will be flush with enhanced productivity, success, and the elusive essence of happiness, that isn’t so elusive when we quiet our mind long enough to realize that “hey, I am pretty happy, right here, right now.”

Can you spare five minutes a day to unlock miracles in your life?

The following practices are the warm up for reaching an authentic state of comfort in your “downtime.” If you honor each mental activity every day you will be spending a total of five minutes utilizing a few sacred moments of quiet to grow, connect, release, and succeed.

Try it.

1. Meditate on Achievements

When you achieve, whether it be big or small (but never indifferent), take one minute to fully absorb the impact of your success. Allow yourself to relish in the accomplishment and the accompanying lightness. You are free of thoughts of “what comes next” or how the achievement “could have been better.” You are basking in the glory, and you deserve it.

2. Honor Failures

When failure strikes, gift yourself one uninterrupted minute to discover the needed messages in the failure, or mistake. Take a moment to slough off the mud from the golden Buddha of insight that lives within the core of your failure. At the end of the minute, take the insights with you, and leave the rest.

3. Find One Precious Image to Focus on Every Hour

Set a timer, preferably with a melodious tone, to go off every hour. When it does, take 30 seconds to stop what you’re doing and focus on one token of beauty—the sky, your lover, a rock, your child, a flower, the back of your eyelids—the object of your attention matters not, it is the intention of appreciation you are emitting that holds the power.

4. Each Morning, Set Your Intention for Your Day

Sit up in bed and spend one minute manifesting your ideal day in your mind. What are the primary activities you will be engaging in? How would you like them to unfold? See it, feel it, now go and live it.

5. Each Night, Give Thanks for the Wonder in Your Day

Sit up in bed and spend one minute bringing the moments of beauty in your day into awareness. No matter how dismal you may have perceived your day to be you can find one minute of positive memories to marinate on. Ending your day with an infusion of the good, and release of the muck, will create the space for magic to gather as you sleep.

6. Look Into the Eyes of a Loved One

If you take a moment to see, you will find cosmos of love living in the eyes of a loved them. Request 30 seconds of their time to stare into one another’s eyes. You may laugh, and that’s okay, but honor the 30 seconds of visual connection.

And one day, you’ll find that you can spend an entire day living in bliss, knowing that all good is coming to you, even as you sit in silence on the mountain top of your mind, doing nothing, while achieving everything.



Buddhism says: Relax.


Author: Bailey Gaddis

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own

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