Episode 38: Seek Boredom

Join me this week as I share my case for why we should be actively SEEKING boredom in our lives.

You’ll learn:

  • Why I advocate for seeking boredom (spoiler: it’s so you can hear your actual desires and callings more loudly than what you consume)
  • Eight ideas to intentionally experience boredom
  • What to do first if there’s a lot going on, or if you’re ruminating

Episode links:

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Full episode transcript below:

Welcome to today's episode, Seek Boredom. 

I was born in the late 1980s and I grew up in the nineties, and I remember being  bored as a kid, like very bored.  Not bored, as in I have so many things to do, which I think is how we experience boredom in modern times, but like actually bored, nothing to do and I had to find things to keep me occupied and interested.

When I was a teenager, one summer my mom canceled cable television, back in the day when you had cable, not streaming because she wanted us to be bored.  I hated it, obviously at the time. A summer without TV felt incredibly long. I cannot tell you how many times  I watched and rewatched the same VHS movies over and over. 

But now I understand the wisdom behind it.      

We get creative when we're bored, and nowadays we don't have much time or opportunity to experience boredom.    We are always tuned in. We have something to keep us occupied at all times.     I think it's terrible, but it's the world that we live in right now. So what do we do instead?

What we do instead is plan for intentional boredom time. And not just plan for it, but actually seek bored om. I think it's interesting how a lot of us are, I think, kind of afraid of boredom. It's something that a lot of humans, I think, work really hard to not experience. Even if you grew up in the nineties and you were bored a lot, as an adult, if you're anything like me, you work hard to avoid boredom. It's not something that we're comfortable with, I guess.

But I think that, I think that boredom is really important because it's where we can hear our internal wisdom. It's when ideas come to the surface for us, and it's when we have actual brain bandwidth to problem solve and work out ideas, I call it noodling a lot, noodle on an idea. And we can't really do those things as well or efficiently when we're always tuned in and tapped in and connected to devices and the internet and media, et cetera.

So I'm a proponent of seeking boredom. And I also wanna say, this is challenging for me too. I'm not saying it's easy. We have so many alternatives. We always have options of things to do, and check, and look at, and take in, but I think there's wisdom in seeking boredom in your life and intentionally creating it for yourself.

Here are some ideas. Turn your phone off for an hour. That's the first step for me, or a whole weekend day if you can manage it. Don't turn on the TV or even read if you can manage it. But if you are really tuned in and connected, feel free to read something if you do actually need something to do. Go outside and wander around without an agenda. Go for a walk or a hike. Take a bath, and don't bring anything with you to do, scroll, read, et cetera. Make a meal from scratch without a recipe. Go into nature with a packed lunch and follow what feels interesting for as long as you can. Sit on a cushion or on a chair, close your eyes and just be, notice what's present for you. Don't use this time to be productive, think about an idea, or noodle on anything in particular, just be. Go into your creative space without an agenda and ask, what's calling to me right now? What feels interesting? Am I noticing a thread of something?   What's on the edge of my awareness that's feeling like there's a peak of interest there? And follow that curiosity.

But mostly be bored. See what crops up in your mind.  Because our minds need a break from consuming to offer us ideas. Maybe I shouldn't say our minds as much as our wisdom, I'm not sure here. It's kind of a combination of both, but we need a break from doing in order to hear the threads of ideas that are calling to us. Seeking boredom is the best way I know to hear my internal wisdom.

 If you feel like you have a lot of thoughts that need to be addressed first, like if there's a lot going on, if you're ruminating, if you feel like you have a lot going on upstairs, set a timer for eight minutes and write down what's on your mind first, and then transition into your be- bored time. 

I'm so glad that you were here and that we get to walk our paths together. See you next time. Same time, same place. Bye for now.

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