- Thoughts for inspired living

July 29, 2008

Sacred Idleness

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:00 am

I came across my new favorite phrase when seeing a quote from Scottish novelist and poet, George McDonald. It read,

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.”

You could certainly use the expression as a cover for being lazy, or you could explore the phenomenon it represents and see how productive you become.

My experience is that all inspiration and learning comes to us when we have spaces show up between our thoughts. It’s from this space of sacred idleness that the font of creativity flows. The only work that’s required is to find the best way for you to get idle and have more spaces show up. This idleness of thought is a sacred, silent sanctuary that provides the missing ingredients in our lives.

I can remember being in the work-a-day world and thinking how much more productive I would be if I closed my office door and took 20 minutes and closed my eyes and allowed my mind to calm down. It certainly would have been frowned on then because of corporate conditioning alone. It would have never been considered an investment in increased productivity.

It seems that companies only invest in the treatment of poor performance after the fact. Some offer a hiatus to troubled employees and pay for alcohol and drug rehabilitation which is noble. Others invest in team building training which is also quite helpful. My contention is they would pay out less and get more ROI (Return on Investment) if they offered a daily 20 minute mental health break. No coffee or donuts, just 20 minutes of silence during the day.

I would love to see the research on such an experiment.

I’m not looking to put corporate training out of business. They provide excellent services and job training, but companies are missing a giant opportunity by exclusively working from the outside in. My message is simply for them and us to get curious about working from the inside out. Creativity and productivity are born from the nothingness of silence, not from the sound of a cracking whip.

Here is something to wonder about: Is there a way for you to become sacredly idle on a daily basis? You could start slowly with just a few minutes a day and work your way up. You can be your own research project. Find out how much more energy, creativity and productivity you bring to your life by engaging in the spiritual practice of “Sacred Idleness.”

All the best,



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