We have an influx of movements happening around the world today: the slow food movement, van life, off-grid, back-to-land living, to name a few. At the crux of all these movements is the necessity for downtime. The need for time, period. The need to step away from the continual rat race society insists upon. In order to create the life we want, we must begin creating leisure time.
Our nervous systems have long been hijacked. Everything pulls at our attention. We’re high-strung and sold out, exhausted, and feeling a deep lack of time to get things done. Never mind the things we’d really like to do: our creative projects; watching sunsets; relishing in the nighttime sky and full moon.
It’s a turning back of sorts now. And it’s calling to people. We’ve created movements and names for these activities: forest bathing, earthing—all things our ancestors did. And even not longer ago, slower-paced generations. Now we’re wired and fired, accommodating our culture’s go-go-go, constant-stream-of-technology consciousness. It’s like our engines continue to be revved up.
Time to Reset
We need a breather. We need leisure. This idea of leisure time, of doing nothing, of strolling, or meandering, of pondering, of merely sitting and watching passers by. It’s a novel idea, perhaps even romantic to some. An fantasy for most of us. An impossible idea for many.
But it comes back to who and what and how and why we’re living. It’s looking at the ways in which we’re choose into our cultural system and the ways we can opt out. Yes, even with our commitments, our lifestyles are always our choice. Modeling instills the values we honor and shows others our commitment to changing not only the world, but our world.
Creating Leisure Time
A world that honors quality of life is the world I want to live in. Where joy, fun, and creating leisure time are seen as necessary parts of this incarnation. A society that acknowledges where we’re headed and where we’ve been—and that could very likely go off the rails if we’re not careful to slow down.
Yes. Slowing down.
Imagine a sunset, a hammock, trees, the sound of the ocean or a creek. Imagine long hours and minutes that pass without notice. Imagine softening and being able to just be. Or for more curious types, exploring, adventure-ing, and conversing. But most of all, imagine silence. Imagine a silence that’s so silent it’s felt all around you and in your bones. This silence pervades nature, cuts off the noise of society, and allows you to commune with your soul and the deeper aspects of your mind.
Perhaps your thoughts soften, perhaps you drift on a light sleep. Maybe birds sing in the backdrop as trees rustle in the wind and clouds trail across the sky. A presence comes over you and you feel yourself alive.
Time Well Spent
This is creating leisure time. Time spent doing what you enjoy, what makes you laugh, what connects you back to nature and to family. Time that knows no restraints, that’s yours to connect with, be still and remember what it’s like to be a child with a childlike nature.
This leisure time we can create. It’s necessary that we instill S P A C E. Freedom. Openness. Endlessness. Opportunities to open to the silence within and the stillness without—without endless distractions and needless things, removing that which we can. Because we can. Much as we protest that everything we do is necessary, is taking the time to look at the stars each night worth missing? We will never forget time spent with family and friends, and time spent in creative repose adds value to our lives each day.
In our hectic, day-to-day lives creating this priority is choosing what is best for our soul, our comfort and our sanity. Leisure time may not be a thing of the past. We can keep it alive. We can create the movement for stillness and peace, of our soul wandering through the fall leaves, taking just a moment in the stillness. Or letting laughter ring out. In this day and age, “leisure time” is not a luxury but a necessity.
Published in minimalism.life