Doing nothing

How easy is it to do nothing? Yesterday I did nothing – hang on a minute, I made myself something to eat, a few cups of tea, I answered the door to the postman, I went to the toilet a few times, read a few articles on the internet…..

Let me rephrase that – I did nothing ‘productive’, not even any housework. Or did I? One thing most of the major religions have in common is the observance of a ‘Sabbath.’ A day of rest. In our 24-7 world it gets harder and harder to switch off. We have 24 hour TV, the internet, shops are open 7 days a week, some of them 24 hours too.

I had not set out with that intention yesterday morning but as the day went on I did not feel like doing anything. I wanted to clear my mind. The good thing is I did not feel guilty about it either. It has taken a long time for me to get to that stage though! I had a busy week and I wanted to recharge my batteries so to speak.

This morning when I woke up I was raring to go and feeling full of gratitude. I finished my tax return, arranged a minibus drivers test, went to buy food for the week, did all the washing amongst other things. I am sure that if I had forced myself to do any of those things yesterday I would have taken longer and probably felt resentful.

Take time out, do nothing, you will be all the more productive for it.

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 210 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Danger of Making Assumptions

If you do something regularly it is easy to slip into assuming that it will always be so. For example if I drive to Brighton I always park in Hanover as it is free. However so does the rest of the world! It’s even worse at weekends, especially early in the morning, as more people are at home.

I was in Brighton last weekend doing the ‘Your Call to Greatness’ workshop with Darren Eden. On the Saturday it took me about 20 minutes to find a parking space and I arrived later than I had hoped. I also had to park right up at the top of the hill. I had assumed because I always park there I would have no problem finding somewhere to park.

So as I was walking back to my car on Saturday evening I imagined a parking space in a street near the bottom of the hill. I left earlier on the Sunday just to be sure but when I arrived my space was there and I arrived at the workshop 20 minutes early.

The difference? On the Saturday I had assumed that because I always park there I would have no problem finding a space. I had not imagined my end result. So if you want to carry on as you are keep making assumptions or if you want to create a life you love engage your will and make a choice. I also learned that you don’t just do it once as it is easy to slip back. It’s a practice so you have to keep doing it!

How do you view that supply teacher?

Did you even give her* a second thought when you saw her sitting in the staff room? Are you aware that she is probably the most imaginative person in the building? In the past week she has taught year 4s about Olmec gods, she has taught year 9s the future tense in French and delivered a science lesson about genetics to year 10s as well as teaching a few lessons on her own subject (maths). As well as being a qualified teacher she is also an executive coach who runs mindfulness trainings.

What about her life outside the school? While you were vegging out in front of the TV at the weekend she could have been helping to lead a retreat or on a workshop working on her own self mastery. Maybe she supports meditation teachers in the evenings and is in the process of editing her first novel.

Perhaps you were off sick and she was covering your lessons. Did you consider the work you left for her or did you just set a page from the text book or print off some worksheets? She probably cannot log onto the computer to find more resources to help her so she has to come up with something off the cuff.

Next time you see an unfamiliar face in the staffroom go and introduce yourself. Ask what they have to offer your school. You may be surprised.

*Of course this equally applies to men. I happen to be female.