I’ve started trying to do nothing. This is not laziness, cynicism or withdrawal on my part, rather, this demands an incredible amount of effort. Try it yourself and you’ll see what I mean. Turn off your radio when you drive. Think about nothing when you lay down to go to bed at night. Turn down an invitation out and instead be still without TV, internet or your iPhone. This is what the French would call joie de vivre, or joy of life, and is the simplest and purest ability to enjoy life in the small details. In order to realize what small details we love about our lives, sometimes we need to turn off all the noise and entertainment that engulfs us and we just need to embrace nothingness.
French philosopher André Gide describes this joy as follows: On appelle joie cet état de l’être qui n’a pas besoin de rien pour être heureux [This joy is the state of being that needs nothing to be happy.]. Take out the fluff that fills your mind and keeps you busy and try to do nothing.
As you declutter your life, you will begin to discover things about yourself and about your world that you never realized were there. I am the queen of over-committments, multi-tasking and doing too much in one day…if I can embrace nothingness and learn where to cut back, you can too. It’s not an easy road, but it is a rewarding one!