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Today’s Theme: Do Less

I’m excited to share my theme for today:

Do Less.

Yesterday I posted about those racing bulimia thoughts and how they can create anxiety and nervous energy.

I offered a few ideas and insights that subscribers shared about how they slow themselves down and release the hold bulimia has on them.

At the end of my post yesterday I talked about that ZenHabits article I read with his 10 Essential Rules for Slowing Down and Enjoying Life More.
[polly_newsletter_form] I was inspired by the idea behind his concepts and so I decided to take on a personal 10 day challenge.  I want to see what living with each of his tips as a theme/intention for my day would teach me.  Today’s theme: DO LESS.

Here’s what I’ve done so far (note the intentional use of “done”): this morning I added the 10 rules to my daytimer so I know each day what my theme is.  This morning when I got to my computer I put a little post it on it that said “do less”.  And then I released it.

I saw that post it several times during my day and wondered how I would do less when I’m working.  I can’t exactly put things aside and not do my work for a day.  Well, I guess I could, but that didn’t feel very logical.

I read the post, thought about doing less and went on about my day. I kept looking for what was supposed to happen that would allow me to do less.

As I neared the end of my day and began to think about the things I needed to do tonight the first thought that came to my consciousness was “how can I do nothing tonight?”.  I thought about that and what doing nothing would look.  What were the consequences, if any, of doing nothing?  What would I do if I did nothing?

[polly_book]
It still sounds a little strange to this do-er to be contemplating not doing.

As I thought about spending my night not doing I came upon the idea of checking out with a movie on the couch.  Yes, that sounds good.  I’ll do nothing on the couch with a movie.  That’s whole point, right?  Do nothing.

Then it hit me…the rule isn’t DO NOTHING.  It’s DO LESS.

Wow.  How interesting my brain went to nothing from less.

I sat there for a few minutes just examining what beliefs I have or patterns I’ve created along the way that allowed my brain to turn less into nothing like that. I wasn’t making myself wrong or anything, just noticing the trail of events.   The thought patterns I was having.

And then, because I’ve wired my brain this way, I started to have the associative connection between be-ing and do-ing.  It went something like this…

If I were to do less, what then?  Answer: I would be more.

Ooooh, that was good.  So, if I were doing less I would being more.

Hmm….I wonder what being I would be more of?

Would I be more…

creative?

funny?

relaxed?

peaceful?

calm?

present?

Then those thoughts went on down that road for a little while.  I liked that little journey.  A journey into being more of me. That’s a pleasant thought I can buy into.

Ok, next I realized I was already on the road home and was having all of this inner dialogue going on.  Just observing my thoughts as they wandered around in my head.  Here, there, around this bend, back up back up back up.  Look over here.  Listen for inner wisdom.  Slow down.  Watch that car in front of you.  Back to the being.

It was quite fun actually.  All the while what I kept sort of repeating in the back of my mind was “do less”.  I’d say it whenever a thought wasn’t immediately being thought/heard.

Do less.

Do less.

Do less.

You know what started to happen?  I started to relax.  I started to go easy on myself.  I started to get it.  Just by giving myself permission to think that thought and ponder the idea of doing less tonight, I began to take the pressure off.

Like I said, for a do-er and task master like myself, the idea of not doing or doing less seems out of the ordinary.  Which is good.  ‘Cause therein lies my growth.

Outside of the ordinary (routine/pattern), or comfort zone, lies everything I want.  I know this because all of the work I’ve done over the years has shown me that outside of my fears, on the other side of my comfort zone, is where the magic happens.

So I finally arrived at home not convinced I would do nothing, but convinced I would practice doing less.  The pressure was off.  The calm in my inner body was a new feeling for me.  There was no where I had to get to.  Nothing I was now being forced to achieve, complete, respond to or any of that.  Complete and utter freedom from doing. (I’m blessed not to have children to care for, so for some of you reading this you’re already saying “yeah, right.  no way”.  Just stay with it.)

Just by chanting the words…

Do less.

Do less.

Do less.

And observing and being present to what there was for me.

I enjoyed today. I feel I’ve learned one new technique for calming myself down.  Even just giving consideration to the idea of doing less has given me and my mind freedom from the usual pressure I self-create with all of my doing.

Tonight, I am being.  Tonight, I am free.  Tonight, I am calm.  Tonight, I have grown.  Tomorrow, I will remember tonight and bring it with me like a girl scout patch on my sleeve.  A badge to remind me of where I have been.

I do expect that the practice of doing less, which I have experienced for a mere 24 hours, will live on with me.  I am touched by the power of intending to do less.  I feel tonight as if I’m closer to who I am naturally than I have been in some time.

Well, with all that said, I wonder what you’re thinking now.

Will you try today’s intention on for a day or a week?  Will you give up too much doing and do less for a change? 

I hope you will.  Please share your feedback in the comments below. If you would like to create a stretch goal and share it with us, please do in the comments and come back and tell us how you did.

To your highest good,

Polly

p.s. tomorrow is “be present”…this oughta be fun!