Doing Something By Doing Nothing

The power of doing nothing.  Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh understood this.  “It’s when a grown up says, ‘What are you going to do today?’ and you say, ‘Nothing!’ and then you go out and do it.”  They wandered, they daydreaming, they played in nature.  While doing nothing, they were doing something—learning, developing critical thinking and problem solving skills like how to get across the stream without falling in, like Eeyore did (who maintains he was bounced into the river by Tigger of course).  They also had to cooperate to save each other and have all sorts of adventures. 

There’s some interesting brain research about the impact of doing nothing.  The brain shows a relaxation response to daydreaming.  Only in a state of relaxation can our bodies and minds heal, regroup, and regenerate.  Daydreaming meant not thinking about problems or solutions to things but just letting the mind flit from one thing to another or thinking about something pleasant. 

I hope that all beings have at least one good memory they can take their body and their mind back to.  That can be enough.  That can be your doing ‘nothing’ in order to do something good for you.  The body will respond accordingly and joyfully. 

Being able to do nothing is like a superpower.  Kids know how to do this automatically if they are given time and space away from school, homework, sports, and especially electronics.  They will find the ‘nothing’ that helps them live and grow better. 

As I get ready to leave to go to the Bahamas to lead my latest wild dolphin retreat (, I am not doing nothing often enough and it is really showing up in my body.  I love days where I have ‘nothing’ scheduled!  Can you have ‘nothing’ day without some anxiety?  Can you challenge yourself to do nothing?  You can do nothing while you take a walk, or sit on your lanai or watch the birds and the clouds go by.  The power of doing nothing, particularly while in nature is profound medicine.  Go try it as the end of summer nears.  I dare you to do something by doing ‘nothing’! 

I leave you with words of wisdom from Mary Oliver:

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver, 1935 – 2019

We still have a few spaces left on our Bimini Wild Dolphin Retreat, 9/11-9/17, 2022 AND it’s on SALE! $200 off and if you bring a friend you get $250 off! Check out my link above or contact me for more information today. is short but inspirations adventures like this are worth the scramble!


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