The Achievement of Doing Nothing

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Imagine a world where we could be proud of ourselves for relaxing and letting go. A world where being able to breathe out was applauded as a great achievement. In such a world we would see taking care of ourselves and our needs as a great goal.
Instead most of us live in a world where greater and greater deeds and accolades are counted as achievements. Worldly success is measured in pounds, dollars and targets rather than smiles and relaxed bodies.
Imagine walking out across the soft silver sand and just letting go of all those worldly societal pressures. Breathing out, letting go, and breathing in the sense of release and space.
There is nothing else to do in this moment, so let yourself relax and enjoy just being….
….as you breathe in and out…..
leaving your unique footprints in the warm sand, watching the sun set in wild abandon over the horizon. There will never be another day quite like this one, and savouring it must be seen as a wonderful achievement.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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43 Responses to The Achievement of Doing Nothing

  1. Leya says:

    Soothingly calm and warm, this post. You are so right. And the waves roll in – and then out again. Like the ocean, it’s breathing. Thank you.

  2. poppytump says:

    ‘Doing nothing’ is a fine achievement I would wish for more people Seonaid .. such is life for many that it seems nigh on impossible . Tiny steps …
    Glad to see you letting go šŸ™‚

  3. The Art of Doing Nothing – it truly is an achievement in our over-saturated, over-stimulated and overly rushed world. Savoring the feel of sand under your feet and the clouds and changing colors as the sun rises or sets, the sound of the wind in the trees….most people don’t even remember how to do this anymore even when they are on vacation! I’ve seen people check their phones on hikes in the rain forest šŸ˜¦

  4. John Coleman says:

    Wonderful meditation. Thank you. John

  5. LB says:

    I’m breathing as I read and marveling at your photos … and at a world that celebrates taking deep breaths and letting go.
    Lovely!

    • Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world šŸ™‚
      The first photo was taken with my underwater point and shoot…..it came out surprisingly well….moments later a wave washed my footprints away, leaving the beach swept clean…..letting go is such a wonderful practise šŸ™‚

  6. Beautiful words and photo.

  7. Esther says:

    I second that emotion!šŸŽ¶

  8. restlessjo says:

    I’m a big time achiever when it comes to this kind of stuff, Seonaid! šŸ™‚ Your photos are pure invitation.

  9. Suzanne says:

    A beautiful post – quite transformative. I found myself walking that beach with you. šŸ™‚

    • Wonderful, walking and enjoying the moment together would be wonderful…..
      Those really are my footprints, and moments later they were blurred by an incoming wave….a lesson in impermanence šŸ™‚

  10. ladyfi says:

    Gorgeous shots! Looks as if you achieved a whole lot of nothing – well done!

  11. Julie says:

    Beautiful, Seonaid. I keep reading things that are reminding me to .. s l o w .. down.

  12. I love Barbados… Hope to go back. Now would be good with our present snowstorm disaster

    • I’m dreaming of going back already! I’ve never been anywhere which got into my heart so quickly šŸ™‚
      I was looking at footage of the snowstorms….wow…..we are still easing through autumn, with its mist and swirling leaves!

  13. Such wise words, and beautiful images, Seonaid. You’re so right. Sometimes we do need to take a step back and get life into perspective. šŸ™‚

    • Getting things into perspective is I suspect an ongoing life challenge!
      Stepping into our own truth, our own values rather than being swamped by the consumerist world most of us live in…..it’s a challenge worth struggling with šŸ™‚

  14. pommepal says:

    Such a beautiful way to live life, matched by superb photos

  15. Beautiful – words and photos. šŸ™‚

  16. Everyday, Seonaid, everyday! I imagine this and many days, I do just this, jokingly saying someone has to balance out all the doing in the world (while meaning it ) šŸ™‚ Doing ‘nothing’ but really living is way underestimated. Wonderful and beautiful post that does hold that relaxed space of simply being.

    • Hanne our minds work in such similar ways…..and of course the ‘nothing’ I talk about is of course the act of coming into our self, and looking after that self….by nourishing, resting, creating, dreaming, laughing……:-)

      • They surely do, Seonaid. And yes, I doubted not for a second what your ‘nothing’ meant and I agree much, as you can tell šŸ™‚
        I often wonder, if there has been created a kind of guilt linked to this particular doing nothing, in the sense of the need to ‘do’, in some cases stems from a feeling of having to justify our existence, when already that we exist is quite a stunning miracle in itself? If there is something to that, it’s really quite an upside down way to be brought up to believe this. Well, just thoughts I’ve spend much time and still am, reflecting upon, because I took 5 years of ‘doing nothing’ and I have now decided to do this again for a long time…. I don’t like to be busy, except being busy not being busy… to in your words; nourish, rest, create and dream again. Laughter follows, naturally šŸ™‚

  17. gwynnrogers says:

    Oh Seonaid, I SO LOVE YOUR WORDS!! You hit the nail square on the head. I’m with you 100%. Society has let things get SO out of proportion… where “stuff” is more important than people and connections. Barbados is a fun place, but where we ALL live can be fun and relaxing IF we allow it to be. ENJOY and RELAX!!! As always I LOVE your photography too… the footprints in the sand are perfect… allowing us to express ourselves as we ARE… not what others want us to be. Beautiful!!!

    • Thanks Gwynn….and yes we don’t have to be in Barbados for what I’m talking about. Learning to live and love each day in our lives without the need to achieve anything in the eyes of others….that’s what I call achievement šŸ™‚

  18. Sue Vincent says:

    That must have been some holiday, Seonaid šŸ™‚

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