About Psychic Matters Podcasts
Ann Théato, International Psychic Medium and Spiritual Tutor, investigates psychic development, mediumship techniques, and paranormal science, so that you can come to understand your own innate psychic ability and expand your knowledge, whilst learning to develop a curious mind.
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This Week’s Episode
“The art of doing nothing isn’t about laziness or wasting time. It’s about self-care and rejuvenation. It’s about finding balance in our lives and recognizing that our worth isn’t solely determined by our productivity.“ – Ann Théato
THE ART OF DOING NOTHING: LESSONS FROM MY VACATION
Welcome to another compelling episode of Psychic Matters, where I delve into the transformative concept of ‘The Art of Doing Nothing.’
In a world that often glorifies constant busyness, I invite you to explore the profound power of stillness in your life. Discover how moments of quiet can lead to enhanced clarity and a more fulfilling existence. This journey empowers you to reconnect with your inner wisdom, fostering a life aligned with your truest self.
Join us as I discuss the art of doing nothing, a practice that goes beyond idleness and time-wasting, promoting self-care, rejuvenation, and a balanced perspective. Let’s navigate the path to a more meaningful and purposeful life together.
- How to reconnect with your inner wisdom
- How to practice time wasting
- Why day dreaming is so important
- Why doing nothing is a great use of time
- How to find the greatest clarity in silence
- Why our worth isn’t solely determined by our productivity
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Thanks for listening.
Why not share it now?
Or ask a question over on Psychic Matters! Podcast Facebook page
Ann: Hello. My name is Ann Théato, and welcome to episode 99 of the Psychic Matters podcast. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the show and if you loved last week’s episode with Nick Kellet from Deckible, or if you love this week’s episode about the art of doing nothing – then please leave me a written review because they really help the podcast to move up those elusive podcast charts.
In news this week, I am just back from a seven-day vacation in Crete. Have you ever been to Crete? It’s absolutely stunning. I just love everything about Greece. I believe my family on my father’s side came from Greece, going back and back. So, maybe it’s because it’s in my blood. My father’s father came from Luxembourg, and I believe his ancestors came from Greece. And that our family name, Theato, comes from Theado, and the ancient Greek name Theodoro, which means God and gift of God, which I rather like. I’m a gift of God, but then again, aren’t we all?
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I hadn’t been on a vacation with my partner, whom my students will tell you that I always refer to as The Beard, on account of the fact that he used to have this absolutely ginormous beard. It was huge! It was really long. It reached his hips. He loved it. I hated it. It took up his entire face and the front part of his body. So, it used to enter the room before him. It had its own personality and its own ecosystem. I couldn’t even see him underneath it. I’ve called him The Beard ever since, even though that ginormous beard has now been shaved down a little bit. It’s certainly trimmed down now to a very short beard. Much to his upset ’cause he loved having that big beard. Anyway, I digress. The Beard and I had not been on vacation together for four years, since pre pandemic, so we were both really, really looking forward to it.
I was in a really, really high state of stress before I left. I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to go at all and that I’d be called back over to Ireland as my mother lives there on her own at the age of 90. She’s got some very difficult health issues at the moment, which means I’ve been flying backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards to Ireland every few weeks for the past couple of months.
So, it’s… All been very challenging and I found it incredibly mentally and emotionally upsetting and not to mention physically practically impossible trying to fit all the trips over there in, amongst trying to survive in the world like all of you are having to do out there as well. And I also teach all my classes and do my private readings and produce my podcast.
So not easy. But anyways, um, the last time The Beard and I had gone to Greece, we had Um, been on the aeroplane about to take off and this was four years before and there’d been an announcement that for some reason we couldn’t take off that day, something wrong with the plane. There was no spare plane and we were taken to the hotel room at Stansted airport and spent a night there instead. And a day, a whole day and a night there instead. Um, and we all had to get off the plane and take the bags back and go back through um, passport control, you know, it was mad. And of course, we lost the whole first day of our holiday because, um, first two days actually, because the first day we were in Stansted Airport, woke up there instead of waking up to look at a beautiful view.
And, um, it’s tricky, you know, when you’re self-employed and you’ve only got a few days a year, um, and then you lose one or two of those days. It’s really tough, but anyway, that was the holiday before. So, this one we were really looking forward to and we were on the aeroplane and the plane had taxied down the runway and I’d given The Beard a little sweetie because, you know, like to suck a little sweetie each to save our ears from popping. The little rituals one does on flights and we had our water as well for the same reason. Um, we got all the way down to the runway and there was one aeroplane in front of us, and, um, an announcement came over the tannoy from the pilot saying we can’t take off because there’s a problem and Greece has closed their airspace and, uh, we were heading back to the terminal.
So, I just looked at The Beard and The Beard looked at me, and we both just went back to reading our books because in a time like that, which is so upsetting, there are no words. So, we opted for silence, um, and no comment. So, we went back, all the way back to the terminal and sat in the aeroplane. And then the pilot came on and said, we can now go back to the runway. It’s okay. We can now fly, but we can’t go for another hour. We have to wait, but I’m not going to disembark. We’re going to refuel the aeroplane so that we can fly there faster, and I’ll get you to Greece. The Beard and I looked at each other. And we didn’t say anything and we went back to reading our books. Just in case that prediction from the pilot was not going to come true. Anyway, the gist of it was we took off that time and we arrived in Greece maybe an hour, two hours later than we should have done. Which was fine. We got onto our transfer bus and we waited for an hour for everybody else to come. And then after an hour, we set off for our hotel, which according to my Waze, was 45-minute drive away and we got to within 15 minutes. I was looking at my Waze, which is if those of you don’t know, it’s an app that you use when you drive and you can, um, follow the map. So, um, the gist of it was the bus then turned around and went in the opposite direction. It took us four hours on that bus to get to our hotel. So, by the time we got there, it was three o’clock in the morning.
We, we were so tired. The gentleman in the hotel was very kind. He gave us a bottle of water each and um, a sandwich. And we took the sandwich to our beautiful room, which was so spacious and air conditioned. The bed was so soft. We had a little balcony that looked out over the pool and looked out over the coast, which was just stunning. Although we couldn’t see it at three in the morning, it was rather dark. And I opened up my little packet of sandwiches, um, and, um, unpacked my case when I went back to my sandwich it was sort of dry and curling at the edges because the air con and the atmosphere was so warm and delicious and I’ll tell you what was one of the most tasty sandwiches I’ve ever had and then we fell into bed.
And I could go on and on and tell you all about my holiday, but that’s not the reason for the podcast. The reason for this podcast is to talk about the art of doing nothing, which I found incredibly difficult. My mind races all the time. I can’t stop coming up with creative ideas. I need a piece of paper and a pen with me at all times to note ideas down.
I’m looking in my phone and… a thousand times every five minutes it seems, to check on my notifications from Instagram, I have several Instagram accounts, Twitter, which is of course is now X, Threads, Facebook, I’ve got several Facebook accounts, all my email accounts, my podcasts and checking on podcast statistics, you know, how well are we doing in the charts? You name it, crazy stuff. WhatsApp messages from family about family or friends about outings and, you know. The crazy life that every single one of us leads at this moment. Okay, maybe you don’t have to check your podcast stats, but you’re still checking all your messages and being hustled and harried down the road of life.
And so… to switch all of that off for me was really important and The Beard and I left our telephones in the hotel safe at every meal time. I think we took the telephones out once or twice for a mealtime, just to take photographs of the view from our table. And, um, things like that, but when we did that, we found ourselves looking into the telephone and falling into it and all that it contains.
And all of the beautiful days where we left the telephone in the hotel safe, we chatted to each other and… There wasn’t anything particular to say. It wasn’t long, meaningful conversations. It was just time spent, banter, fun, conversation, connecting, reconnecting with each other. And I hadn’t realized how much I was missing of life by not being fully present for it.
And I’ve really noticed since I’ve come back home that I’ve fallen, um, straight back in to checking the telephone all the time. It’s crazy. My computer and stuff. Um, but anyways, so the art of doing nothing, it was very difficult for me to begin with for the first couple of days. And I really. Wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep because I was exhausted and that’s what I did.
I slept and slept. We’d get up in the morning and go for our little hotel breakfast and then I sometimes went back and I went back to sleep. I went back and had a beautiful snooze. The Beard would go down to the pool and I would join him later. When I went to the pool, I did take a book, um, nothing to do with spiritual stuff.
The Beard had bought me a beautiful book called Melford Memories by a gentleman called Ernest Ambrose and the book It was all about a village which is just up the road from where The Beard lives in Suffolk in England in the UK and it was written by a very very old man and it was all about his childhood in that Suffolk village and because I know the area, I found all the references really, really interesting and he was just talking about the characters that were around at the time and the Penny Farthings and the slow pace of life, the horses and carts and um, the pubs that were used, not necessarily for drinking, but for community gathering spaces and things like this.
And it was just beautiful reading about this sort of vanished world of rural customs and culture and. It was just the perfect holiday read really and helped my mind slow down to those slower days and just made it all the more poignant and really made me consider my life in a very, very different way and the, had to really think about the changes I wanted to put into place when I got back home.
And one of the first things I did was I’d taken this great big fat journal with me with the intention of writing in it every day to journal my innermost thoughts and when it came to doing that, I just found it so overwhelming I decided not to do any journaling at all. Not to, not to do it. So, um, but what I did do on the first day was, I’ve got the book, the journal here, and I’m just turning to the page. I emptied my head of everything that was in there that was disturbing my thoughts. And all the projects that I had on the go. All the things I’m trying to achieve and I just put it onto the page. So that I could objectively look at and consider that which was whirling around in my mind. So, I’ve written down, I’m just having a look at what I wrote that day.
I’ve got the books that I’m writing. So, I’ve got one, two, three, four, five, six. six books that I’m writing, um, a one woman play that I’m writing, and a book, two book, uh, one book series for kids that I’m also writing. So, that in itself is enough in anybody’s mind. But then I’ve also got all the voice work that I’m wanting to bring in, that I’m considering, that is half written meditations that I’ve got to sell on my website, um, special podcast episodes that I want to particularly focus on.
Um, so I wrote all of that down. Then I wrote down the card decks that I’m creating, and there were one, two, three, four, five card decks that I’m creating as well in my brain and then I wrote down all the courses that are almost ready to film for my downloadable content on my website and there are one, two, three, four, um, five of those that are nearly ready to go but aren’t quite. So, I wrote all of those down, just the names of them. And then I wrote down all the premium courses I’m also creating. And there are one, two, three, four of those. So, I wrote all those down. Just the titles again, like I said. And when I look at this thing, I’m thinking what a…
Goodness me, no wonder my brain is spinning with all of these things that I’m trying to create and achieve and bring into my life. And I made a decision then not to do any work. Not, not to do it when I came back, you understand, but not to consider it. But once I had written it out of my brain and I was able to to understand why I was so tired, understand why my brain was absolutely at full capacity.
And I was also decided I wasn’t going to worry about this podcast because as you all know, it’s, it’s a lot of work. It takes about four days to make each episode. And the reason I’m doing this particular episode at this moment is because I had four podcast guests cancel their guest slots with me just before I went away to Crete, which means I don’t have any, I don’t have an episode and I’m having to create one out of thin air.
Hopefully you’re finding this. If not fascinating, at least of slight interest. Just learning a little bit about me and what goes on in my mind. So, I found it incredibly useful to write everything down. Get it out of my brain and then stop thinking about it. Once I could see it and look at it and I knew that it was all there on the page, I didn’t have to consider it anymore.
And also laying it out like that allowed me to decide what I was going to focus on when I got home. And, um, I also had a list of all the online courses that I haven’t, I’m in the middle of learning. I’m, I also am a student, a lifetime student, as I’m sure all of you are as well. So, there are 1, 2, there are 7 online courses that I am currently studying that I haven’t finished, completed as yet and then there were all the things I’m trying to master in my business. I’m trying to master the art of creating a YouTube channel and I’m trying to understand how to use Descript, which is podcast Um, somebody with a podcast. I don’t even know. What is it? Uh, another thing to learn.
ConvertKit, my mailing list, email, mailing list provider, um, Kajabi and Zoom and Calendly and all of these things. All of them need my attention because I only barely know how to use all of them. I don’t, you know, I’m jack of all trades and master of none as per usual. So, and of course, that doesn’t even take into account the fact that I now have to sit a Diploma for the Spiritualist National Union, which is going to be about 65,000 words.
I haven’t even started those essays or research as yet, oh my goodness. Anyway, wrote it all down. Put it in the book, decided not to do anything about it, but just to get it out of my brain and look at it, was really, really restful for me. And then what I did was, I spent as much time as I could, not even reading that beautiful book that, The Beard had bought me, but just staring at the horizon, feeling the breeze, feeling the sand between my toes, going into that lovely warm ocean and being very aware of the feel of it, the sensation of it.
And just being fully, fully present in each moment. I really, really enjoyed it. And the result of all of that is I feel so rested since I’ve come back. Almost too rested because I am creating this podcast episode with less than 24 hours to go before it drops out into the world. Um, but my brain feels powerfully rested, powerfully back to the, um, reset really, that factory reset.
And that for me, it was absolutely fantastic. And I think we all need to do that. I think we all need to get away. Even if you can’t go to Crete or afford a holiday abroad or whatever, we all need to stop and get off the roundabout. Deepak Chopra has a great quote and, um, which says to make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul and to do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of because in the silence, you hear the truth and know the solutions.
I absolutely love that quote. So, the first lesson that I learned from my experience of being on vacation is the importance of disconnecting and in our hyper connected lives, we are constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, and the demands of our digital devices, but by intentionally disconnecting during my vacation, I found a sense of freedom and mental clarity that I hadn’t experienced in a very long time.
The act of sitting still allowed me to fully appreciate the beauty of the natural world around me. I watched sunsets, I listened to birdsong, I felt that gentle breeze on my skin and it There’s so much wonder and beauty in the world when we take the time to notice it. And another valuable lesson I learned was the power of introspection.
When we’re constantly on the move, it’s easy to avoid our inner thoughts and emotions. But by sitting still and doing nothing, I had the space to to reflect on my life, my goals, and my priorities. And it was a powerful exercise in self-awareness. Perhaps the most profound lesson of all was the realization that doing nothing is not a waste of time.
In a society that often glorifies. Busyness and productivity, we tend to undervalue that simple act of being I discovered that in doing nothing, I was actually replenishing my energy and nurturing my soul. So how can we bring the lessons of sitting still and doing nothing into our daily lives? It doesn’t always require a vacation.
We can set aside moments of stillness each day, whether it’s through meditation, a walk in nature, or simply sitting quietly with our thoughts in a world that is constantly pushing us to do more, achieve more, be more. It’s essential to remember that there is wisdom and power in doing nothing. It’s a practice that can bring us closer to ourselves and allow us to savour that richness of life.
We live in this era defined by constant activity and productivity, and the pressure to achieve more and do more and be more can be so overwhelming. Yet, there’s an often-overlooked beauty in the art of doing less and embracing stillness. Let me clarify what it means to be still and do less. It’s not about laziness or inactivity, but rather it’s a conscious choice to simplify our lives and reduce the unnecessary clutter that consumes stillness.
Daydreaming involves moments of quiet reflection, mindfulness, and simply being present in the here and now. It’s about releasing that compulsion to fill every moment with action and distraction. It’s the art of wandering within the vast landscapes of one’s imagination. It’s something I love. It’s something I’m really, really good at. Something I was always told off for as a child. Daydreaming is a mental voyage where the boundaries of reality blur and the mind takes flight. In those solitary moments of reverie, the mundane constraints of the everyday world fade away and your mind is free to explore uncharted territories of creativity and insight and self-discovery.
So, daydreaming is not mere idleness. It’s a profound and essential aspect of the human experience. It allows us to process emotions and to solve problems and envision a brighter future in these mental escapes. It’s where we find those seeds of inspiration and the blueprint of our desires. Daydreaming is a sanctuary for the soul, where the symphony of possibilities plays and the colours of our aspirations come to life, reminding us of the infinite potential that resides within our minds.
Why is it so important to incorporate stillness and less into our lives? For one, it allows us to recharge and nurture our mental and emotional well-being. In the midst of the noise and chaos, stillness offers a sanctuary for inner peace and clarity. Additionally, it can foster creativity and innovation, and when we pause and allow our minds to wander, we often discover fresh ideas and perspectives that elude us in the rush of daily life.
But how do we begin to incorporate stillness in our lives? How do we do that? It can start with small intentional steps. Dedicate a few minutes each day to meditation or simply sit quietly in nature. Disconnect from those digital distractions and reconnect with the world and the people around you. Of course, being in nature, in natural settings like forests and parks and beaches and mountains, of course that provides a deep sense of peace and connection with the world.
Because the beauty and tranquillity of nature can calm the mind and rejuvenate the spirit. Decluttering our schedule and making space for stillness, we can also prioritize what truly matters. And this practice can help us identify our values, our goals, and the activities that align with our deepest desires.
It’s really important to recognize that embracing stillness and doing less might require us to confront societal pressures and our own inner restlessness. We may feel guilty for not constantly hustling, or this FOMO, fear of missing out, maybe we’re frightened that we’re missing out on opportunities, but it’s so crucial to understand that the pursuit of stillness Doesn’t mean giving up on ambition or dreams.
Instead, it’s quite the opposite. It allows us to approach our goals with greater clarity, purpose, and authenticity. You can create a quiet and serene space at home. Um, you could visit a meditation sanctuary or, um. Mindfulness practices can help bring, you know, reduce stress and promote your emotional well-being.
For those of you with religious or spiritual beliefs, places of worship like churches or temples or mosques or synagogues, they can serve as sanctuaries for prayer and reflection and a sense of community. Art galleries and museums. Always has a unique way of stirring the soul. Exploring the world of art in galleries and museums, or even drawing yourself, can be a source of inspiration and emotional connection for many.
Libraries and bookstores, if you’re an avid reader or a knowledge seeker, Libraries and bookstores are beautiful sanctuaries of learning and introspection, that quiet atmosphere and the abundance of books containing wisdom and knowledge that can provide such a solace for the soul.
Maybe you’re into yoga and you go visit a yoga studio. Of course, yoga really benefits physical health, but it also nurtures the soul through movement and breath and mindfulness. So, yoga studios offer. dedicated spaces for these kinds of practices. Sometimes the best sanctuary for the soul is a personal space within your own home. Might be a cosy reading nook, a meditation corner or a garden you’ve cultivated with care.
I, since coming back from Crete, have decided to create for myself a traveling altar, because I’m so often not in my own home, I’m in Ireland or in Suffolk or in London where I live, I’ve decided to create this beautiful traveling altar. It’s going to be very, very small and it’s going to fit inside my handbag and I’m going to be able to open that up and inside there it’s going to be um, a beautiful crystal, a beautiful candle, um, maybe some incense or fragrance.
Um, yeah, I have to create it as yet. Maybe I’ll do a podcast episode about it. So that I’ve always got a sanctuary whereby I can just open it up and instantly connect to my own soul self and my own goals and dreams. Travel and exploration, which of course I love and want to do even more and more.
Travelling to new places, experiencing different cultures, that can be a soul enriching adventure. The excitement of exploration and exposure to diverse perspectives can broaden your horizons and provide a sense of wonder. And don’t forget, those of us without budget, to travel abroad. There are places and cultures and people from all over the world living in your neighbourhood.
Beautiful restaurants, cafes, books, different shops, different fabrics. It’s all around us all the time. Travel and exploring can be done at home. Music and concerts, live music performances, even listening to your favourite songs on Spotify can be a profoundly moving experience because music has the power to evoke emotions and transport our soul to another realm.
Acts of kindness and volunteering, giving back to others and engaging in acts of kindness can provide us with a sense of purpose and fulfilment, and in itself can be a sanctuary for the soul by fostering a connection with humanity. Ultimately, the best sanctuary for your soul is a place or practice that resonates with you personally and offers you A sense of peace and reflection and then, of course, rejuvenation.
It’s a space where you can connect with your inner self, find solace and nurture your well-being. Two great quotes I want to leave you with. Stephen Fry said, “We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing, an actor, a writer. I am a person who does things. I write, I act, and I never know what I’m going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun”. And I absolutely love that because I’ve often thought to myself, well, you know, I’m a medium, I’m a psychic, I’m a spiritual teacher, tutor. I’m also a voiceover artist. I’m a, I’m a script writer for film. I’m, I’m an actor for theatre. I’m all of these things. I’m a creator. I, I love making clothes and, and, um, drawing pictures, all of these things. What am I? And I’ve just come across this brilliant Oscar Wilde quote, and Oscar Wilde said, “If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it, and that is your punishment. If you never know what you want to be, if you live what some might call the dynamic life, but what I will call the artistic life, if each day you are unsure of who you are and what you know, you will never become anything and that is your reward,” and I love that because it’s so much about the expression of the soul.
We are so many things. We can’t be pigeonholed. It’s not possible. Society tells us, oh, you’ve got to be one thing. You’ve got to follow this linear career and that’s what you are, but we’re not. We are each individual soul beings with so many expressions of the soul. I think it’s absolutely fantastic and it excites me no end.
And I just want to say thank you for joining me on this episode of Psychic Matters, The Art of Doing Nothing. And I encourage you to take just a moment today to pause and breathe and embrace the power of stillness in your life. Remember, in the quiet spaces, we often find the greatest clarity and fulfilment. In a world that often glorifies busyness. Slowing down, being still and doing less can be transformative and can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilled life. It’s a path that invites us to rediscover our inner wisdom and live a life that’s aligned with our truest selves. I want to leave you with this thought.
The art of doing nothing isn’t about laziness or wasting time. It’s about self-care and rejuvenation. It’s about finding balance in our lives and recognizing that our worth isn’t solely determined by our productivity. My name is Ann Théato and thank you so much for listening to Psychic Matters.
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