The power in 12 days of do less....
One of the most challenging, yet inspiring, moments of my life. The morning I woke up and had nothing blinking, bouncing or singing me a tune in my digital calendar... panic struck. But it wasn’t a panic of what was I going to do, it was actually what was I going to do and didn’t have a plan to do it. My mind was starting a list of things that I should get done in the next 12 days.... people to see, things to do, parties to attend, attracting new business for the upcoming new year... and none of it was in my calendar guiding me. I was guide-less.
I did this on purpose. Crazy or not, my planned and stealthy approach: what would I do if I gifted myself twelve days of spontaneously living life. No planning, no organizing, simply letting things unfold in a natural order. If someone invited me to coffee my rule was to say... “what are you doing right now... let’s go!” Barring that I was already visiting someone, then I would have my phone turned off. If I was texted by someone, my new mandate was instead of texting back, I would hit the dial button and actually talk to them rather than conversing through thumb strokes and texting back.
This put my nervous system into a wee bit of shock at first and I found myself opening up my calendar and starting to set dates and times for meetings with friends. I was caught in my own web of what I was doing before the twelve days. There is no doubt that a perfectly laid out calendar is efficient and gets dates and times out of one’s head, but this was not the focus of the 12 days of do less. And so... the challenge was on... the game was a foot! How could I exist for these twelve days where I interacted spontaneously and invited in this new aspect of slowing time down to be more in the moment.
I have to say, it was starting to go really well. I was catching up on things around the house and sorting through little projects (like reading books that had been piling up over the year) but the rest of the world was still ticking by and NOT doing less like I was. Oh there were some people taking in the Christmas spirit and slowing down a bit, but the world around me seemed to still be a-buzz of seasonal activity and organizing and time-lines. I was feeling out of sync with the world around me.
Since starting the “do less...” project with my business partner, and friend, Chris Brandt, where we offer an evening of slow yoga mixed with interludes of Thai Head Massages, feet massages and Reiki... I have been on a quest to discover what doing less means to a population of people propelled to “do more”. There is a genuine desire to discovering doing less in the lives we have touched and we are so thrilled to be initiating a little bit of that once a month. But still... the getting to the heart of it for myself and taking dedicated time to settle into the spirit of “doing less...” mmm... there is something more here... something deeper and more encompassing on a globally human scale. And I mean to find out what it is. ... stay tuned.