Being Still

It’s hard for most people to be still, me included.  There is something always nagging at me to be productive, be efficient, check off another task, or at least create synergy by, say, using “free” time to put in a few fitness minutes.  Even my computer screensaver used to say, “Just one more thing”.

When I was training for my first half-marathon a couple years ago, I looked for advice on how to train.  Article after article stated to cross-train on a couple days and to take two days off from running completely.  Two days off?  Really??  Wouldn’t running more allow me to improve quicker?  No, it won’t. 

Your body needs time to recover and build strength.  I followed the advice – nearly – and ran my first half marathon.  It was hard, especially at the end.  Then I followed the advice completely while training to run my second half-marathon just a few months later.  It was easy.  It was fun.  Statistically, this one instance didn’t prove anything, but to me it proved a lot.  Sometimes, to do something better, you have to stop and do nothing for awhile.

To be still without being productive can be very, very hard.  Try it.  Those of you that meditate  may find it easier, but it still takes awhile to rid yourself of all those little thoughts like “Don’t forget…, I need to…, Why did…?”.  It’s hard and most of you (me included) are not training to run half marathons (anymore).  So why bother being still?

Because being still is productive.  It’s efficient.  You may find that afterwards you can take care of tasks with more synergy.  Besides, it’s refreshing, stress reducing, and doesn’t cost anything.  Just like our physical bodies, our emotional and mental selves need a break, too.  So here is hoping that on this holiday weekend you take some time to do nothing, to be still, and to let it happen without a timetable or guilt afterwards.

If you aren’t sure you can do it, but really want to give yourself a break, remember I’m a coach.  People do what the coach says, because that’s why they have one!  So here’s my directive “Take some time off in the next few days and do nothing.  Be still.”  Enjoy no labor for at least a part of your Labor Day weekend.

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