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Just do it!

You may have noticed that in my right-hand column, there is a lovely advertiser by the name of “LVS Consulting.” This consulting practice is run by someone I’ve know for quite some time now: Lisa Sansom. In fact, Lisa introduced me to the whole big wide world of organizational development, and then more specifically, change management. We both used to work in the same company, but long ago went our own ways and have kept in touch over the years.

She’s a positive psychology practitioner. That means that, among other things, she coaches individuals on getting more of what they want out of life — be it through their job, their career, their personal life, and so on. But here in this post, she shares a little personal experiment in mindfulness. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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Just do it nothing!
By Lisa Sansom

I belong to an email distribution list where other positive psychology practitioners and researchers share resources about positive psychology, and so when someone shared a newly-viral site about doing nothing, I was intrigued. But when a friend emailed me to say she couldn’t last two seconds, I just had to take a look.

The site is http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/ and just like the name suggests, it invites you to sit back and “do nothing” for two minutes – don’t touch the mouse or your computer keyboard as the sound of waves crash upon the beach – and just be present and still for… well, two minutes.

The scientific research into mindfulness and meditation is compelling. Mindfulness – being here, now, in the present and aware of your surroundings, including new things – is correlated with resilience, stress reduction, greater empathy and self-efficacy. Through the practice of meditation, it is possible to give yourself better physical and psychological health.

However, in our day-to-day stressed out lives, we rush around doing what the French call “métro, boulot, dodo” – getting to work, being at work, and then sleeping – and doing it all over again with some family time and the occasional meal thrown in for good measure. We don’t take time to be still. We aren’t very present in the here and now. And we certainly don’t sit in front of our computer without touching it for two. whole. minutes.

So I tried. I clicked on the link and away I went. The first problem is that my speakers were too low, so I had to touch the computer to adjust them. The red word FAIL immediately popped up on the screen, but the timer kindly restarted and the waves continued. Then I accidentally hit the computer mouse as I was sitting back. FAIL. But then I just waited. Surely two minutes wouldn’t be all that difficult? I mean, I teach people how to do this every day – just be here and now. How to be mindful and present. How to help your relationships by being in the moment with your significant other, with your kids – and what are my kids up to anyhow? They sure are quiet downstairs. They are supposed to be doing their homework but I can’t hear anything and my oldest didn’t finish it yesterday…

Oops – that wasn’t exactly “doing nothing.”  Hm.

And then, with 4 seconds left to go, my computer let me know that I had a new email in my inbox. FAIL. The timer restarted.

I finally did make it through two minutes without any physical or virtual interference, though my mind did keep swimming around. Doing nothing isn’t the same as full-on meditation, but it’s a start. The waves were soothing and the picture on the computer screen was relaxing. I did achieve a teeny little bit of focus that wasn’t there before. Not bad for two minutes. As the website told me when the timer was finished, “Well done.”  I may make it a daily habit.

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Comments

  1. Lisa and I are old friends. Hi Lisa!

    This sounds really interesting…and hard. Even if I could sit there not touching my computer for two minutes…I wonder if I could keep my mind still. I’m off to take (and likely fail) the challenge!

  2. Lisa, so lovely to meet you through Julie! And how delighted I was to read this post. In the fall I started for the first time my own meditation practice. Well I wouldn’t call it much of a practice, but I’m working on it. I was blown away by how effective and wonderful it can be. I have a long way to go in terms of incorporating it more fully into my life, but if there is anything I’ve learned, baby steps are good. I’ll also be honest, since I’ve started to really focus on consciously being present (and it is work) I’ve noticed my spirits rise, and a calmness that I haven’t experienced in a long time. Thanks for this post, reading things like this keeps me going.

    And thanks Julie for inviting her to post!!

  3. Hi Lynn – great to “see” you here! How did it work out for you? Did you last the two minutes?

    Hi Christine – thanks for your wonderful comment! I love your line that “baby steps are good”. It’s very encouraging and real! Keep on keeping on!!

    Thanks Julie for sharing this! I’m completely honoured to share and be part of your wonderful community.

  4. This is brilliant! Exactly what I need throughout the day when I’m doing 5x things at once

  5. Easy peasy! I love doing nothing….wish I could do it more often…

    *sigh*

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