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> Free Time At Xmas !, What will you do with it ?
Ben Higgins
post Dec 25 2014, 12:02 PM
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So, most of us have got a few days to relax and kick back. To do nothing (or as close to nothing as possible). How many of us actually take that opportunity, though ? To do as little as possible ?

I imagine that most of us still find things to occupy our time with. A lot of you will be travelling to prior engagements, dinners etc. For many of you, the Xmas period is just as busy as any other.. and sometimes it's even more stressful than the rest of the year anyway, which seems totally opposed to what the holiday season is supposed to offer. A holiday should mean a break from your routine, a change of pace, a change of scenery and all the other cliches. A lot of people look at holiday periods as one long opportunity to party and socialise but that doesn't sound like much of a break to me.. if anything it's just using up your time being busy overindulging in drink, food and human company. But some people love that kind of thing smile.gif

So, how many of us view doing nothing as laziness and how many of us realise that doing nothing can actually be a conscious choice of (in)action and a very necessary part of life ?

As modern humans we're so used to outside stimuli keeping us in a state of entertainment or distraction. It's got to the point were so many people are actually afraid of their own company, of having nothing to do, of being left alone with their own thoughts. But the sad part of that is that we should be able to sit with nothing but the silence and ourselves for company and not feel the pressing need to do anything. If you see a cow in a field or a bird on a tree branch, they are just in a state of being. Sure, they do things such as move, eat, drink, answering the call of nature, looking for food etc but these things are inherent in them. They aren't doing, they are being. And just like nature, we are human beings, not human doings.

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So why do we feel like we're not allowed to say 'Today I am not doing anything' ? Because doing nothing is associated with laziness. But if you're making a conscious decision to 'do nothing' and just to 'be' then you're not being lazy at all. Just like reading a book or watching a movie is not being lazy. You're spending your time in a manner of your choosing. So if you choose to spend your time by sitting back and just enjoying the fact that you exist, then you're not frittering away your time aimlessly. You're spending it as you choose. You don't need to be alone to do nothing either. Choosing to spend time with your loves ones in a none specified manner is also choosing to do nothing but just to be.. just because you can.

So, spending Christmas by consciously taking a back seat from busying yourself with anything is one way to enjoy the holiday season. Another way is to allow yourself an indulgent period of intensive guitar practise ! Let's say you have 4-7 days where you could technically make some progress on the instrument or work on something fun and rewarding, what would it be ?

You could devote 15mins (or more) to one particular technique and divide the rest of your practise into other aspects you'd like to work on. Instead of slumping in front of the TV and eating chocolates you might be able to steal 30mins or 1hr each day over the holiday period to practise. They say it's the season of giving so don't forget to give to yourself ! At least that's what you can try to tell your other half when they pull that face as you head to the guitar room...

So, consciously do nothing or consciously do something. Whatever you find time to do this Christmas, I wish you all the best and I look forward to more of our nonsense in the forums in 2015 and beyond !


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Darius Wave
post Dec 25 2014, 02:51 PM
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Nice topic Ben smile.gif To be honest I do not have such a thing like not allowing myself to waste some time on doing anything. Mind relax from time to time is necessary to not get bored with our regular routines smile.gif Being lazy helps to rebuild some of the creativity. Though I'm a kind of family man who spend most of christmas time with his relatives smile.gif

When I was a teen I loved how much free time I had to play the guitar at Christmas. Mom was doing food and house cleaning (trying to get me a little inot this tongue.gif ) But know being grown-up most of the christmas duties comes to You and there is no more "doing nothing all day...or playing guitar all day long" smile.gif We love our instrument but there are more important things in life to live it the good way smile.gif


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Dec 26 2014, 09:55 AM
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I'm more tired in this period and I don't have much free time. You know, it's the first year when I don't find a good balance to make everything. Too many Christmas duties and I have moments when I want to run.
I like to spend time with my family and see everybody but also I wish to go back in my guitar world smile.gif It's funny/or not, but yesterday I was with my family and I realized that I had moments when I saw how people talk but I could not hear anything because my mind repeat the picking direction from the lesson that I work and all my thoughts are related with guitar smile.gif After some hours when everybody goes at their home and I had time to be with my guitar, I was so tired that I could not remember which is the pick direction. Everything was blank in my mind. I just played and improvised for relaxing but nothing constructive.

So, these days I shared my time: day with family and night with guitar. Of course, I forgot to sleep and I lost 2 kg until now but....I will sleep enough when I will die (at this moment I believe I'm immortal biggrin.gif ) biggrin.gif
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Ben Higgins
post Dec 26 2014, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Dec 26 2014, 09:55 AM) *
I realized that I had moments when I saw how people talk but I could not hear anything because my mind repeat the picking direction from the lesson that I work and all my thoughts are related with guitar smile.gif


I do this all the time.. I'm really bad for thinking about other stuff when people are talking to me rolleyes.gif I'm trying to be more 'present' in the moment. It's just a bad habit from years of trying to get out of reality !

QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Dec 26 2014, 09:55 AM) *
Of course, I forgot to sleep and I lost 2 kg until now but....I will sleep enough when I will die (at this moment I believe I'm immortal biggrin.gif ) biggrin.gif


No, no, no ! This is not good... take care of your body and mind first !! You have your orders to follow now biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Dec 25 2014, 02:51 PM) *
But know being grown-up most of the christmas duties comes to You and there is no more "doing nothing all day...or playing guitar all day long" smile.gif We love our instrument but there are more important things in life to live it the good way smile.gif


Doing things like cleaning or washing up is also a good way to be Zen and 'in the moment'. It's a good example of us just being and doing things that are not necessarily 'achievements' or 'goals'. They're just thing that need to be done.

I can't remember the source but I remember some sort of Zen phrase that was like:

Before enlightenment, you chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment you chop wood and carry water.

Something like that wink.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Dec 26 2014, 10:34 AM


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Darius Wave
post Dec 26 2014, 02:04 PM
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Probably the best nonsense that actually have sens I lately heared/seen tongue.gif


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