😎 Just chillin'
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing? Some might call it chillin’. I don’t know much about doing nothing or chillin'. In fact, I sort of pride myself in being a “let’s get it done now” kind of guy. Dad told me before I started on my first construction crew, “If you don’t know what to do next, grab a broom and start sweeping.”
But recently I read some articles which got me thinking.
Our world is busy and crowded, full of noisy cell phones, computers, schedules, and deadlines. They fill in all the cracks and crevices of our lives and times. Maybe some short periods of doing nothing would be helpful.
The Dutch have a word for doing nothing: they call it niksen.
As I understand it niksen is not like yoga or meditation. It's doing nothing for the purpose of doing nothing, not thinking about breathing or repeating mantras. Supposedly, niksen decreases anxiety, brings creativity to the surface, and boosts production. I can use all of those. You can do it while you're:
- drinking a morning coffee and staring out the window
- taking a walk in the park, listening and looking
- daydreaming in your favorite chair, or out on the porch.
When was the last time you laid on the grass and watched the clouds? That could be niksen—doing nothing for nothing’s sake.
Recently a friend challenged me to connect with the electrical energy of the earth by taking off my shoes and socks and walking on the soccer fields. I hadn’t done that in over 30 years. I'm still a little foggy about the science, but I know it was calming. I think it qualifies as niksen.
I wondered if any of my paintings conveyed the idea of niksen. The Four Accepting Friends at the top of this letter seem to be chillin'. And the Woman with Large Flower at left appears to be carefree, just appreciating the shapes and colors floating all around her. Now that's niksen.
Doing nothing seems simple, but doesn’t come naturally for me. What about you? Do you know anything about niksen, or do you practice it? Tell me more in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading. Now let’s get busy and do a little nothing.