Are your tired this week? Do you feel overwhelmed? After recent counseling appointments with friends who are struggling with busy schedules and major stress, I thought this blog would be appropriate. 

Please read. Please receive. Please apply. 

I hope I do. 

Equilibrium in our hurried world might occur when we level the haste with relaxation, the goals with empty sheets, the determination with a siesta, the resolve with rest. 

Yes, add this to your list of ways toward a balanced life: nothing. 

Not the right words. No words at all. 

Not the right steps. No steps at all. 

Not the right program. No program at all. 

Schedule unscheduled time. Avoid the noise. Welcome the silence. Plan times for silence. Pursue it. Welcome it. Embrace it. 

I remember an evening when I stared at the stars. They were clear, bright, beautiful. I reached to grab my phone to take a picture. I stopped myself and didn’t take one. I reached for my phone again, this time to write my own thoughts about what I was seeing and how I was feeling. I stopped myself and didn’t write anything. 

I did nothing. And nothing was the something I needed to do. 

It wasn’t easy. You know how our minds work. They hurry on ahead, finding work to be done as time is running out. That happened. Several times, that happened. Each time, sometimes better than other times, I brought my mind back to peaceful rest. I changed mental channels. I rewired the machine. I found the beauty of doing nothing. 

The breeze felt nice. The chair wasn’t the most comfortable, but it was fine. An owl came—I thought for a moment she might have something to tell me. She left. Then she returned. This time I did cheat. I took a picture. 

I think she smiled. 

I did. I smiled. 

I had not smiled before on that day, if my memory is correct. 

That evening was when I had gone away from everyone and everything. At least, everyone I was usually around and everything that was usually around me. 

Call it a sabbath. Call it a break. Call it nothingness. 

That was the plan for that night. Nothing. No writing. No preparing. No planning. Those were scheduled for other times. That night, nothing was scheduled. That night, nothing is what I needed to do. That night, nothing is what I did. 

And it felt like the best thing I had done. 

I wonder what equilibrium you might find if you step away. Not permanently. Not from a job or a relationship or a dream. For now. For a few moments. Or for a night. Or for a weekend. At least, think about it for now. This hour. These few minutes. 

Turn the television and the computer off. Turn off anything else which tries to insist you keep it on. Hit off. Now. 

Wait, though. Don’t reach for that agenda. Don’t grab that list of goals. 

Leave them behind. 

Leave them all behind. 

Take nothing with you. Nothing is your new word, your new friend, your companion. Those good things can easily become idols or addictions, can’t they? 

Leave them behind.

From the book Equilibrium: 31 Ways to Stay Balanced on Life’s Uneven Surfaces