Learning to appreciate the opportunity to do.. nothing.

I went to a yoga class on Saturday.. because I had so much free time and I was bored – the only thing that seemed perfect to do was to go to a yoga class. At the end of the practice during Shavasana (click for non-yogis out there), the instructor said:

“My teacher said this to me the other day and it stuck with me. We should learn to appreciate the opportunity to do nothing.”

That was exactly what I needed to hear that day.

I’ve always been a ‘busy’ person. More often than not, I’ll sign up for too many things and actually go to all of it even if it means I have to teleport from one place to another. I believe in the saying “My commitment, my responsibility” so I commit and I do.When I was growing up in Cambodia, it wasn’t as bad.. having to do nothing meant chilling by the pool with friends or just hanging out at home watching TV or taking a nap.

However, moving to Boston on my own, I found that ‘having nothing to do’ meant ‘being lonely.’ It was either.. surround myself with lots of people or keep myself really busy. I chose the latter. After a dreadful year of wanting to go back to Cambodia every day, I started volunteering, interning, working a part time job, taking dance and yoga classes, committing to be on the eboard for many organizations and going to classes… all at the same time. And I was definitely not lonely – I was barely surviving on 4 hours of sleep every day.

This all changed last year when I started this blog and went off to Southeast Asia. I started appreciating the quiet moments.. the moments where I did not feel like I had to look for someone to hang out with. I loved walking around alone, taking pictures and just watching what’s going on around me. I loved going to a cafe with a book and just reading for hours and hours. I loved going to the pool and just floating on the water. I started appreciating ‘me’ time.

Reading and tanning by the pool

Then I realized that a year later, today, I had lost that again. This weekend, for the first time in months, I was commitment-free and without a sister who I saw all the time. If I didn’t have to go to an event, I had my sister come with me exploring different parts of the city. She’s now back home in Cambodia for the summer. This weekend was graduation weekend (which I did not participate). All my friends had their family members and were busy having their own celebrations – hence why this weekend was so quiet for me. I did not sign up for any events and I really had nothing to do – and instead of relaxing, I felt anxious… like I should be doing something and should be with people. That is until I went to that yoga class and realized all of this.

So, I enjoyed ‘me’ time. I walked to Trader Joe’s and bought myself a pot of Gerbera (which I now call my baby). I went to yoga. I cooked myself a nice dinner, poured myself a nice glass of wine and caught up on some TV shows.

My baby :)

I’m learning to appreciate the opportunity to do nothing – but I’m also learning to appreciate spending time with me and only me.


8 thoughts on “Learning to appreciate the opportunity to do.. nothing.

    • Yes, we have the ‘busy people syndrome’ and we are allergic to being ‘alone.’ It really takes a lot of effort to learn how to appreciate ‘me’ time.

  1. I try my best to have moments from time to time where I do nothing, but with my busy schedule (that I actually love) those moments are becoming few and far in between. I definitely want to fit yoga back into my life though!

    • It gets really difficult with busy schedules – and then once there’s actually free time – instead of relaxing, it feels more empty. Yoga definitely helps though! You should do it even if it’s once a week! :)

  2. I *love* this post! We did SO much in Australia and I was thinking about our week in New Zealand as “shavasana”, especially cause it was really rainy and cold most of the days we were there so it was tough to find things to do since NZ is all about the outdoors and things close really early over there. The first day or so I could handle chilling, and then it started getting very uncomfortable/challenging! Funny how hard it is for us to accept things are ok and we are good enough and all that when we assume we aren’t doing “enough”. Luckily Roman is a natural zen master and reminds me to calm down when I start freaking out. :-) Hope you keep enjoying your divine alone time – it is so wonderful and nurturing when you can start to really get into it!

    • Yea – it’s funny how I could totally embrace it when I was on a ‘holiday’ but can’t when I have a regular schedule going – it really just comes from the mind. I’m definitely starting to appreciate more.. the quiet, nothing to do and almost lonely state.. haha After-all, I think ‘loneliness’ is an emotion that we need to embrace as well and think of it as not a negative thing. :)

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  4. Pingback: Embracing all emotions, including the negative ones. | indulge: capturing love, life & everything in between

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