Today in a society so advocating of productivity, boredom is a word we likely won’t admit to. We avoid it as if allowing boredom would be a slight on our productive character, perhaps it would be even felt as a failure. We no longer allow ourselves, or are willing to participate, to do nothing….all alone….all by ourselves.
And yet boredom is where new things are born, through contemplation, solitude, stillness, our mind drifts and coheres together thoughts that may or may not become something. This is where futures have new possibilities and solving and releasing long held problems can happen. We slow down our input to the point of being unsatisfied and then the slowness and the resulting boredom begins something new. We think, we observe, we yield, we explore and yet we have rested.
Boredom I believe, allows often forgotten capacities such as observation to occur. Observation allows the previously unseen to be seen, something new. From observation comes daydreaming and from daydreaming creativity thrives and from creativity ideas become and grow. Suddenly you have anticipation and then the desire for action, both born from but opposite to boredom.
Being bored is also being unafraid to meet yourself. After all the excitement and busyness is gone you are truly just left with yourself. Do you know you?
Most of my ideas come not when invited but during long road trips, waiting for a plane, a kettle to boil, a childs training to finish, while laying in bath, or trying to be involved in my daughters doll house set up.
As much as I look forward to a bath I often am disappointed when boredom comes on. Like the hardest part of a run, if I persist and stay the boredom becomes a drifting of thoughts at first rapid, then slow and then effortlessly rolling on from one another until one takes hold and starts a journey of daydreaming and creativity so engaging I am neither noticing nor inclined to remedy the cooling water around me.
There is a stillness, yet also an attention in boredom. Ideas come forth and stay, they grow.
Unlike when I am bored and reach for Facebook or Instagram where no thought is allowed to stay beyond seconds as I scroll and scroll, to what end I wonder?
When I’ve put my phone away and surrendered to my predicament of having nothing to do I find the boredom more relaxing, fulfilling. With a realisation that being bored was the right thing to do, that surprisingly the experience of being bored had an outcome, a lasting one.
Had I chosen to “scroll” I likely would have had no outcome, like as if I was just “starting” over and over again and having ended, gotten nowhere.
Boredom……see where it takes you.