The other day I put my son down for his nap. And then I reluctantly forced myself to muster up the energy to turn my attention towards the endless items on my never-ending to-do list.

I was fully prepared to take advantage of my time alone to get a jumpstart on everything that “needed” to be accomplished during the day. But something deep inside me rebelled. I felt a deep soul’s craving to do absolutely nothing. It was as if I couldn’t even make myself glance at my list!

So I gave into the muse and poured myself some hot tea, sat down on my couch and slowly drank in the view of the mountains and forest outside the window.

As I sat there leisurely sipping my tea a feeling of gratitude and appreciation slowly began to envelope me. Before starting a family I had often indulged in the luxury of doing absolutely nothing. But after becoming a mom I felt like I had to take advantage of every ounce of free time that I was given – because I felt like I had so little time in the day during which to actually get things done. Many times I would force myself to garner the energy and muster a final hurrah to push forward with whatever needed to be accomplished in my business or family life.

But no degree of forcing could move me from the simple joy of sipping tea on this particular day. I reflected on many of my clients who have expressed a strong craving to experience freedom and relief from stress, struggle and financial worries.

A hardworking solo entrepreneur told me recently that she couldn’t hardly imagine ever moving past feeling weighed down and burdened by her financial situation. And while she sincerely WANTED to change her situation she wasn’t completely clear on HOW to.

To make matters worse her self-doubt, moodiness, and stress over her financial situation created friction with her spouse, caused her to be preoccupied when she spent time with her kids and kept her in a constant state of frustration and “stuck-ness”. Her dream was to not have the burden of stress over her financial situation. In fact it felt more like a financial fantasy to her then a possible reality.

She yearned to have freedom from her thoughts and fears about money so that she could be present with her husband and children.

I realized that ultimately all of us have cravings for a similar vision. Whether we’re struggling with trying to make more money, find our ideal job, improve our relationship with our spouses, losing weight, or going through the actions of going to work day in and day out. All of us yearn to experience a sense of inner freedom and peace – so we can empty our minds and indulge in the simplicity and beauty of the present moment. I thought of passage from the book, “Eat, Pray, Love” the main character Liz describes as “the beauty of doing nothing.”

“Americans don’t know how to do nothing. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype – the overstressed executive who goes on vacation but who cannot relax. I once asked Luca Spaghetti if Italians on vacation have that same problem.

He laughed so hard he almost drove his motorbike into a fountain. “Oh no!” he said. “We are masters of il bel far niente.” This is a sweet expression. Il bel far niente means “the beauty of doing nothing.”

Now listen – Italians have traditionally always been hard workers, especially those long-suffering laborers known as braccianti (so called because they had nothing but the brute strength of their arms – braccie – to help them survive in the world). But even against that backdrop of hard work, il bel far niente has always been a cherished Italian ideal.
The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement…”

It turns out that what we hope to achieve through being so busy is to be successful so that we can finally relax and fully enjoy the present moment. Instead of the main goal being to get “everything done,” what if our ultimate goal was to let go of stress and worry and be completely present with our loved ones and ourselves?

And what if our ultimate goal was to carve a small amount of juicy time during each day to simply do nothing, to relax and recharge?

The beauty is that we can have that right now - and it doesn’t cost a single dime and we don’t have to put it off until later. It’s a gift that we can freely give ourselves right now and in any moment. Because that’s what life is really about after all, isn’t it?

Author's Bio: 

Leslie Cunningham specializes in working with women entrepreneurs who experience fear and self-doubt in their ability to consistently make more money in their business. The end result that women achieve through following Leslie's advice and expertise is that they are able to permanently get off the emotional financial roller coaster ride and break into six-figures and beyond.