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The Art of Doing Nothing

by Dawn James

I was inspired to write about 'the art of doing nothing' thanks to observing my son's daily practice of 'doing nothing' as soon as he got home from school. Can you imagine a teenager 'doing nothing"!?!

But what captured my attention was the subtle and almost elegant manner in which he arrived home, slipped off his back pack, and strolled onto the deck in the back yard. Each day after school he would spend 30-45 minutes just sitting there. At first with his eyes open, observing the trees, looking at the birds that randomly flew by over head and gazing far away at the lake in the distance. Then a few minutes later he would gently close his eyes, with an expression of reverence as the sun rays warmed his cheeks. This was his daily dose of ‘ doing nothing’.

How often do we take time out of our busy days to appreciate the magnificence of life, to hold reverence and feel blessed for all we have now?

This was an “AHA” moment for me, and thanks to him, I began to master the art of doing nothing three times a day. Below are some of the ways I changed my daily routine and began appreciating ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’


Instead of jumping out of bed when the alarm went off, I stole an extra 5 minutes, lying on my back in savasana pose and set my intention for the type of day I wanted to create! How will I share my gifts and talents with the world today?

My morning Affirmation: I consciously choose to be peaceful and live in the flow of life today. So be it.

Another favorite Affirmation: I choose to enjoy every moment of the day.


I purposely left my wireless devices in my desk and headed to my car for quiet time. This was not the time to be reading, updating my never ending 'to do list' or checking text messages or voicemail. Instead, I enjoyed a mental break in stillness and in peace –at least for 20 minutes-- with the driver seat tilted back.

While in my car, I consciously connected with my breath in a rhythmic fashion called ‘belly breathing”. Inhaling for 4 counts, holding for 2 counts, exhaling for 4 counts. Allowing my body to reestablish its natural rhythms while calming my central nervous system. Belly breathing also improves mental clarity. This exercise can be performed several times throughout the day- especially when driving in rush hour traffic!

Another option at lunch time is to go on a walking meditation or take your lunch break at a later time, when there is less chatter in the lunch room so you can collect your thoughts and enjoy some reflection time.


Just as I started my day in savasana pose, I also ended my day in stillness as well. I call this winding down gradually.

We have on average 10,000 thoughts per day. Our brains are in 'beta' mode, attentive and alert to external stimuli--therefore it is vitally important to 'unwind' the brain and shift from beta wave- to alpha and theta wave before you fall asleep

Take time to reflect and recognize the many blessings you received today. What positive things occurred? What synchronicities did you observe?

Reflect or think about 5-10 things you are grateful for, and how each one has affected your life, well being and sense of purpose. Be thankful for being in this present moment in time.

When you take time to enjoy ' the art of doing nothing' you develop new levels of self discovery and awareness. You also remember that you have choices.

Do you want to be a human 'being' or a human 'doing' - the choice is yours!

Dawn James is an international speaker, green-living advocate, musician and author of several books on vibrational frequency including her newest book How to Raise the Vibration around You, Volume I available on amazon.com amazon.uk and autographed copies on her website www.raiseyourvibration.ca

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