I hope you are having a wonderful summer and soaking up the sunshine! I’m heading out on vacation soon and I’m beyond excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve given myself permission to completely unplug, but I’m going to do that. That means I’m not going to be checking Facebook or email. Gasp! This is actually going to be hard for me, but my goal is to quiet my mind and see if I can find the value in simply being. I’m planning on doing things for fun with no agenda than to enjoy the moment. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself devaluing things that I feel aren’t “productive.” I’ve become a productivity addict. But guess what? When we tend to say busy simply for the sake of being busy, most of what we spend our time doing isn’t productive anyway! It only makes us feel productive. However, I’ve noticed when I truly step back and take the time to rest and do things that bring simple pleasure, I’m able to be productive in the actual sense of productivity.
We spend so much of our time tending to our to-do lists, giving to everyone and racing around at the speed of light. Summer is a wonderful time to slow down and get just a little bit lazy. Guess what? It’s ok to do that. My hope for you is that you treat yourself to some time just for you. Whether it’s a vacation or simply 5 minutes of undisturbed peace and quiet. I’ve given myself permission to slow down recently and it feels amazing. At first it was hard, but I discovered that I am actually able to focus just a bit more on my real priorities.
Spending quality time doing pleasurable activities is crucial. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing with my time:
- I’m doing a Harry Potter puzzle. This was meant to be a bonding moment with my daughter, but I was abandoned after 5 minutes and I’ve spent the past 2 weeks sitting down at the table and putting the puzzle together. Turns out, I love puzzles. Who knew?
- I’ve been reading. For fun. I’m definitely guilty of “every moment must be productive” syndrome, and my reading often falls into that category. I often feel that I should be reading something that will open my mind, teach me something new or expand my horizons. I’m still doing that, but I’ve also been reading fiction. Getting lost in a book is fantastic!
- Going for walks with no intention other than to enjoy nature. I often move my body with the intention of being productive. If I go on a walk, it’s often to exercise or work up a sweat. Recently, I’ve been strolling. Taking my time and simply looking around at the things in my neighborhood. This is actually a meditative practice, teaching me to be in the moment, the now. I will also add a bit of gratitude walking, where I start recounting all the things I have to be grateful for in my life.
- I’ve been taking photos for the sake of capturing beauty. I love walking around with my camera and capturing beautiful moments. This is definitely one of the activities that keeps me in the Now. Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken from my walks.
These are just examples from my own life, but I’m hoping they unlock some ideas for you. What can you add more of into your life? Are you spending too much time “being productive” or “being busy?” Can you slow down? How do you want to feel? What can you eliminate from your life that is simply causing you hassle? What can you delegate? What could you bring into your life that would cause you to feel some pleasure, some joy?
With so much love,