|I’m reading a great book called Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing by Olga Mecking.|
Niks, in Dutch, means nothing. And the verb, niksen, means doing nothing, specifically without a goal or purpose in mind.
To do nothing in America, is well…un-American. We are raised to buy into the idea that more is better. That to be successful we must strive, work hard, compete for the limited prizes and be like an energizer 🐰 bunny. Go until our battery wears out then simply put in a new battery and go more.
Let’s Do Nothing For Nothing’s Sake!
Doing nothing is only allowable when it’s planned. Like lunch breaks or vacations. Otherwise you are lazy, unproductive, useless and will never be successful.
Plus, “planned” nothing can be hard to enjoy. It can bring up a lot of guilt feelings about what you “should” be doing. It’s uncomfortable for many of us. It is not long before we pull out our phones or a book or start planning our next excursion.
Aren’t we supposed to achieve and produce and climb that ladder and make all that money and win accolades and be the best we can be?
And do all of that while feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, alone, and tired.
What if there was a different way to look at our Careers + Lives?
More Idle and Less Vroom 🏎
When I read this book I started thinking of our Careers + Lives like gears in a 🚘 car.
Drive– Go, Go, Go. Get somewhere. Accomplish that, do this, be that, help them, get a manicure, grocery shop, pick up dinner, drop off laundry, read something, watch something…Check. Check. Check.
Reverse– Much like drive because there is high activity yet it’s the same stuff different day. Redoing. Lots of activity with little satisfaction. Check. Check. Check.
Park– Don’t get fooled by Park. This is not niksen. This is stopping that thing, pausing, and then starting the next thing. What’s next on the list? Time to get back into drive. Check. Check. Check.
Neutral– This is where nixsen lives. I like to think of it as idling. It’s just sitting with no next step in mind. You can feel the doer energy dissipating when in idle. Your mind wanders. You are not focused on anyone or anything in particular. You are daydreaming. You are not making a to-do list or ruminating or worrying. You are sitting in a chair basking in the sun, listening to the birds, resting your eyelids, relaxing your mind. Not practicing yoga or mindfulness or even deep breathing.
You are being led not leading.
In the Seasons of Rejuvenation we embrace niksen. We remind ourselves that we can move from overworked and undernourished without making ourselves sick in the process. We rediscover what really nourishes us and how the concept of quiet transforms us. We live by niksen.
This Wednesday April 7th at Noon we kick off Rejuvenation: Springtime. We begin to plant seeds so that what we harvest in Rejuvenation: Fall feels fully nourishing… almost like we did nothing.
More niksen and less 🏎 🏎 vroom 🏎.