We’re all busy, I hear it every day and see it as people rush to and fro, mobile phones in hands so as to not miss anything. We hold dear our need to immediately respond to the constant flow of social media commentary, text messages, appointments and deadlines – I’m as guilty as most there!
And don’t get me wrong, it is important to do your part, reply to messages, schedule the car service, grocery shop; we each have our individual roles and responsibilities, but being constantly engaged and ready to pounce is having a major impact on our health & wellbeing – we’re becoming more stressed with an alarming and costly 3 days on average, a year lost to stress and mental health concerns.
Through my training as a Lifestyle, Food & Wellness coach we were introduced to the term ‘flow activities’, the gist being fully immersed in an activity which has us feeling eager, focused, involved, and experiencing joy.
Flow is about being ‘in the zone’ and sounds like a fabulous place to be, yes?
Another angle we were also encouraged to flesh out was to just ‘do something’ because you enjoyed doing a particular task with the outcome being a muted issue.
Sounds even better; in the zone just ‘cause…
I love the concept of doing an activity regardless of the perceived expected outcome; just ‘cause’ is a rather liberating concept in today’s busy world where many day to day transactions are outcome focused and time and/or financial efficiencies are encourage for maximum return on investment…. I’ve realised some things just need to be and can’t be measured against a scale.
My ‘in the zone just ‘cause’ activity? …. Gardening it seems, vegetable gardening to be precise.
Let me firstly explain, my vegetable harvest amounts are always way below my expectations – remarkably low in fact, if anything at all. Broad beans being the exception; somehow every year we get broad beans; great…..loads of broad beans no one wants to eat…
I was incredibly close to sowing lawn seed over the sad vegetable plot space this summer just gone; my endeavours had been largely fruitless, or vegetable-less as the case may be…..and let’s not mention the financial cost; heritage tomato seedlings cost a bomb!
But then there was that moment I realised gardening was my ‘in the zone just ‘cause’ activity and not something I needed to be good at, or even obtain a moderate harvest from; and not only did it hit me by surprise, it hit me in the heart.
It was spud harvesting time of late summer and to my dismay only a few taters later; some well sized but most allocated to the ever growing pile assigned to yet another warm potato salad, so again I’m saddened with a lack the return on investment.
However, to my surprise our youngest son Ryan’s reaction to the ‘meagre-to-me’ yield had his big brother’s gum boots falling off his feet as he literally jumps for joy! The sense of achievement and pride as he squealed in delight of becoming ‘a real life farmer Mummy’ was all too much for him.
Ryan was beyond ecstatic with our results, and I with his perspective on things! We had spent the time together tending to the garden, so to now reap these rewards and for him to feel so proud of the effort overwhelmed me, and it was at that moment there was no question to continuing the vegetable gardening in seasons to come – regardless of the yield.
I’ve tended to the patches needs over winter and now as spring looms with the warming glow that inspires a movement in most home fronts, we’re back out there with those costly heritage seeds in hand!
Finding your ‘thing’ and doing it just ‘cause’ on a regular basis will have a number of benefits:
- Your mental health improves as the constant chatter within you diminishes;
- Your stress levels go down by allowing the happy hormones dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins to flow;
- You’re healthier and happier as the blurred line between work and home is better traversed;
- And if you’re lucky there’s something to harvest, share, place on display or admire at the end.
Gardening is my ‘Flow Just Cause Activity’ to slow me down, keeping my perspective near. Others go bush walking, clean the bathroom (No, I don’t get that either!), prepare a detailed recipe, sew a dress, wander bookshops; it’s the doing that brings you your flow – regardless of the outcome.
This article was supplied by: Penni Lamprey is an internationally recognised lifestyle, food and wellness coach and the founder of Healthy Happy Staff, she is also mum to three quickly growing babes, who believes we can create our own incredible life with our physical, mental and wellbeing in hand – enjoying an intentional life!