For the last week, this picture pretty much sums up the way I’ve felt…and looked.  I’ve had Bronchitis and a general case of the crud.

What I thought started out as allergies almost a month ago has proven to be a nasty bug that just won’t quit.  What’s worse is that I could have probably prevented it from getting this bad if I had just taken some time off to get some rest.

Unfortunately, I did what so many of us are guilty of doing.  I ran at 100 mph, continuing to work, run errands, and manage all of life’s little responsibilities.  It culminated in me feeling like I had been hit by a Mack Truck last week, losing my voice, and having to cancel a class (something I’ve only had to do one other time in the last fifteen years).

Interestingly enough, while it was still in “allergy phase” I attended a couple of RISE sessions.  One session I attended was by James Ochoa, owner of The Life Empowerment Center, and was about the neuroscience of thriving in an attention-challenged world.

My favorite take-away was that while mindful meditation, exercise, and peaceful walking can calm and center your brain, it is also critical for the brain to have at least 20 minutes of time doing nothing more than staring into space each day.

Extensive research has proven that the simple act of doing nothing spikes our brain function.  Things come together in a way that is necessary for the brain to come back to center.

According to Mr. Ochoa, confusion, irritation, overwhelm, and disorientation are all signs of an unbalanced mind.  Sense of flow, Zen, peace, and harmony, on the other hand are all signs of a balanced mind.  I don’t know about you, but I need to spend a little more time doing nothing to get well and become more balanced.

If staring into space spikes brain function, I must have been a genius when I was a kid.  I just wish my teachers had known this all of those years ago when I got in trouble at school for day dreaming!



  1. Awesome blog, Ann! Somehow we probably suspected this, but it’s great to have the research to back up the importance of giving your brain a break. I have found that when I take a break from the hustle and bustle, somehow, my creative juices start flowing again. Now I know why!

    I hope you feel better and restored soon!!

  2. Okay, Anne, now I’m going to have to confront my nagging allergies, and the cough that has gone with it, because you may have just proven my employees were correct. They have been telling me that I need to go to the Doctor ’cause this shouldn’t still be happening almost a month later. If they are correct I will hear about it for at least the next 6 months.

    Thanks for your great posts they are always motivational and usually very thought provoking. You get better soon and since I will now be going to the Doctor maybe I will too!

  3. Anne,

    I am fascinated by your motivation! No one would be sending these emails out in a situation that you’re in.

    And also what you are suggesting is what I’ve been doing last 4-5 years and I can’t remember the last time I got sick, it’s pretty amazing!

    • Hi Selim! Sounds like you’ve figured it out! I could learn a lot from you! We’re all motivated…it’s just how we use the energy 🙂

  4. Been there totally. Thich Nat Hanh in his book Happiness has a chapter on sitting and not doing. It’s good reading.

  5. I read your blog weekly…heard you at an Austin partnership conference in January 2011 and thought you were great. I’ve been sick, too, and did the same darn thing you did to yourself by not slowing down. Because you published this ON THE WEB for the whole world to see, I now feel like I finally have the justification to start doing nothing every now and again. Thank YOU!

    • Hi Heather,
      Great to hear from you. I think we all need to feel like we have justification or permission to do that. I guess when we start doing it proactively, we’ve finally learned our lesson 🙂 Get well and take time to do nothing. You have full permission 🙂

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