May 31, 2016

The Art of Doing Absolutely Nothing.

Overachiever. Stress. Exhaustion. Anxiety. Type A. Perfectionist. I’m recovering from all of this.

I used to think my worth was wrapped up in appearance, awards, achievements, academic excellence, prestigious degrees, financial success, fancy wardrobes, vacations and drop-dead gorgeous boyfriends.

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It’s hard not to get caught up in the exteriors when potential clients nowadays ask me how many Instagram followers I have.

Really? That matters?

Even social media, which is supposed to be a fun break from work, is now viewed as a “job.” As I was speed-walking around New York City recently, trying to avoid smoke and other pollution being blown in my face and avoiding those lacking self-awareness from running into me, I took a conscious look around. While I saw so many different walks of life, they all had one thing in common: nobody seemed happy. Everyone was rushing around oozing with stress and frustration.

I thought, “What is the point of all this rushing around to make money, achieve something or be somebody, if we aren’t happy? ”

Sure, we all have bills to pay and other responsibilities, but life is meant to be enjoyed not endured.

I had to take inventory of my own life. I was achieving. I was rushing around. But was I happy?

Best-selling author and self-help guru, Brené Brown, said something that really resonated with me.

 “I no longer wear exhaustion as a badge of honor.”

That statement gave me so much freedom because it came from a bonafide lady boss who is changing lives with her courageous, honest work. She is achieving and then some, but she also recognizes the importance of slowing down.

My mentor, Gabrielle Bernstein, says, “Stillness is the key to my success.”

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A year ago, that wouldn’t have made any sense to me. Growing up in an overachieving family and competing as a swimmer for 17 years, working hard and pushing myself day in and day out with no breaks was the culture. I was taught that rest and relaxation was lazy. I wasn’t accomplishing anything when I wasn’t “doing” anything.

One of my greatest achievements recently has been mastering the art of doing absolutely nothing.

I have removed all guilt and shame attached to staying home in my pajamas all day and simply reading, meditating, resting, relaxing, taking a bubble bath, lighting candles, cuddled up in a soft, comfy robe.

When people ask, “What did you do this weekend?” I proudly say, “Nothing. It was wonderful.”

My body, my mind, my spirit need time to slow down, look within, see and feel how I’m doing. I’m finding when I do less, I feel more (joy, creativity, peace, clarity), and when it’s time to work, I am more productive and feel more alive, more childlike instead of a checked out zombie robot creature.

My wish is for everyone to be able to give themselves an adult Time Out. Take a nap. Read a book. Enjoy a cup of tea. Light some candles and take a bath. Turn off the phone. Have a social media cleanse. Give yourself a facial. Write in your journal.

Ask yourself, “How are you? What can I do for you? What do you need to feel better?”

Treat yourself like you would a five-year-old child you adore. Children need love, affection, nurturing and our attention. Try giving that to yourself whole-heartedly.

You’re worth it!

author: Kate  Eckman

Image: Eat Pray Love/Columbia Pictures

Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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erin Jan 15, 2019 8:13pm

This is nearly impossible to do if one is a single mother or has a partner who is avoidant or a peter-pan. In fact what’s needed are healthy secure relationships and tribes. Oh and trauma therapy… type A is a trauma response!

cindyisbister Jan 15, 2019 10:21am

Thank you Kate for sharing your insight, it truly resonates with me ?

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Kate Eckman

Kate  Eckman is a confidence coach, joy-bringer and personal cheerleader for your spirit. She is the creator of The Full Spirit Workout: A 10-Step System to Shed Your Self-Doubt, Strengthen Your Spiritual Core, and Create a Fun & Fulfilling Life, which is a workout for the spirit that will help you get fit on the inside. It’s a series of daily practices that keep our spirits, minds—and selves— open and available to receive abundance, transformation and enlightenment.

Kate also works as a motivational speaker and is the author of the blog, Love Yourself, Love Your Life, sharing inspirational stories about self-confidence, healthy body image, redefining beauty and success, and creating divine relationships. She is also  a certified Reiki master,  QVC On-Air Beauty Host, and Wilhelmina model.

Kate  attended Penn State University on a swimming scholarship, receiving her degree in advertising and public relations. She went on to earn her master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and worked as a TV news anchor and reporter for nearly a decade.

Originally from Cincinnati, she now calls New York City home. You can connect with Kate on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.