"True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found." Eckhart Tolle
If inquiry is a time to "do the work", then this is a time to "not do the work", or perhaps… to let the work do you.
Most of us are drowning in constant sensory input through the digital world, the endless activities and possibilities, tasks, deadlines, rushing to get things done, and then checking our phones and doom-scrolling once again in any little moment of pause that life might present. It is easy to recognise these patterns as harmful, and much much harder to find a different way of going through time.
niksen is now a popular playful term that originated in the Netherlands and it means “to do nothing”. “Niets” means nothing, and it would literally be translated as “nothing-ing”… something between “chilling” and “staring at the wall”. It can sound a bit superfluous for a modality for wellbeing, but that is perhaps the whole point: most of us have put enough effort in life, at work, in self-development, in relationships… even in spirituality.
If our system is overwhelmed, then let's say that these sessions are for “under-whelming" it and decompressing, for resetting it through deep restoration. I would say that it is a practice, but a practice already implies an attempt to get better at something. Instead, this path is for nourishing and restoring the nervous system. Soothing it from all the stress that it is put through on a daily basis. Through giving the system the chance to integrate all the sensory input that it constantly receives, creativity and aliveness can start flowing again from a place of inspiration instead of the rush-based urge to fulfil roles and tasks.
Maybe the best way to describe these sessions is by saying what they are not:
- not self-help (there is no need to work hard to improve yourself)
- not goal oriented (you can take a break from always needing to labor towards achieving a goal)
- not self-care (self-care does not have to be yet another thing to add to your to-do list)
- not mindfulness (you don't need to work hard to be present)
- not a time for reflection (reflection can be lovely but this is not an effort towards reflecting upon anything in particular)
It is an enjoyment in non-doing, a sort of brain holiday.
In this part of the sessions I incorporate prompts, guided non-sleep deep rest practices, and other entry points and pathways to access the simple contentment of just not doing that much.