As the powerful perigee Moon of January wanes, we are invited to simplify and attune to the Winter’s quiet around us.
Of course, if you are in the tumult of surviving being downsized, economic challenges, and all the other ubiquitous mayhem of twenty-first century life, you might well respond, “Oh, yeah? Quiet? What planet are you living on?”
Well, like you, I am trying to live on planet Earth. And for those of us north of the Equator, quiet is, in fact, what She is doing. The long nights and barren cold days are the time when all around us, life is reduced to its simplest components. It is the time when fields and forests rest, many animals and plants are dormant, and low ebb is simply a fact. It is no accident, and it is a healthy response, I believe, for survival.
But we have become creatures of electric lights, artificial speed and intense, constant sensory stimulation. We do not know how to stop and, more than any other season, we have lost our harmonious relationship with Winter. No, I am not recommending that we return to the days of huddling around a fire in the bleak dark, struggling by on salted game and dried roots.
But it seems we need to find a better balance. I know I do.
The other day, a friend of mine pointed out an article that resonated deeply for me. (As is so often the case, I usually am the one most needing to take my own advice!) I was feeling a little burned out and overwhelmed, with too much to do, and not enough time.
The article is called, The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less. Then, Do Even Less. Leo Babauta, author of the bestselling, The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essentials, and host of the blog Zen Habits writes, “Lazy is often seen as a bad thing, but I disagree. Lazy is an amazing thing.” He then lists three main points why this is:
“Lazy means you don’t want to work too hard, which often leads to figuring out how to do less work. Just about all of the advances in technology come from laziness: we drive cars instead of walking because we’re too lazy to walk, we use washing machines because we’re too lazy to do it by hand, we use computers because writing things out by hand is hard. Of course, reliance on machines isn’t a good thing, but using laziness to figure out better ways to do things is a good thing.
“Lazy people don’t start wars. Who wants to go through all the trouble to fight a war? Peace and friendliness is much easier.”
Okay, maybe that last one is a little tongue-in-cheek. But today, why not take a mid-week Lazy Break? Instead of using your lunch hour to work out, cruise the web, make a few quick calls or catch up on some paperwork, just for today, why don’t you just.. you know.. eat lunch? And nothing else.
Rather than using every second of today’s productive time to be productive, consider actually doing nothing for a little while. Daydreaming, doodling, feeling the sun on your face. Just stop for a little while. Allow yourself a little lazy down-time. See how it feels. Notice how easy or difficult it is.
And I’ll share more about cultivating the fine (sometimes difficult) art of doing less tomorrow!