How Being Idle Pampers Our Brain


I finished preparing all the required documents I needed to submit for my retirement, claims for death and survivorship benefits, and clearing the tax liabilities of my late husband. And that was it. No more self-imposed deadlines to meet.

So I’ve decided to spend a few days tolerating idleness.

As I was sitting at the entrance of the school owned by our family and selected friends, I watched carefully the construction workers doing the upgrade of the school grounds. At the end of the day, I felt overworked doing nothing.

My envious feelings for people in the barrios just sitting on benches along the alleys with their neighbors and chatting, clueless of what to eat next, was suddenly wiped out. What a hard way to spend the day, I realized.

Essayist Tim Kreider of The New York Times wrote that idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as Vitamin D to the body, and deprived of it, we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.

Having been a workaholic for the last thirty-nine years, my only relaxation is reading, cooking and some brief chats with friends. These did not in any way give my brain a downtime.

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and her co-authors had these arguments about downtime:

  • When we are resting, the brain is anything but idle and that far from being purposeless or unproductive, downtime is in fact essential to mental processes that affirm our identity, develop our understanding of human behavior and instill an internal code of ethics processes that depend on the DMN (Default Mode Network).
  • Downtime is an opportunity for the brain to make sense of what it has recently learned, to surface fundamental unresolved lessons in our lives and to swivel its powers of reflection away from the external world toward itself.
  • By treating ourselves with idleness, we become more productive. Our capacity to be more attentive is increased. Our memories become more vivid. Our creativity is enhanced.

I see the contrast why I experienced too much fatigue by doing lazy things that day. The moments I spent was focused on the negative thoughts. I figured out that working in construction is power intensive. Instead of using my idle moments thinking how the school can attract more enrollees with the improvements being introduced, I dealt more on the heavy load of workers.

Using our imagination while relaxing allows us to do performance reviews of ourselves. This allows us to ask how we treated others recently. What are the things we did right? What are the things we did wrong? What changes do we have to introduce to correct our faults?

I thank the social media for providing a wide array of information. One that got my interest was on meditation. This gave me time to make reflections before I sleep and before I get up the following morning. It is never too late. I have achieved the level of happiness I didn’t experience when I was still working in a tax administration organization.

Looking at the scene of some of the persons I envied for being relaxed in their lives, I now believe that the absence of worry in their mind attracts blessings but only up to the limits of what they wanted for the day.

Being idle pampers our brain by allowing it to process the stored data in our mind. Just like writing blogs, the brain needs concentration to make recommendations to its host body on how to be productive and abundant in life.

Let us pamper our brain with idleness. I consider it as a spa treatment.

What Our Thoughts Are Echoing To Us?

When I am all alone, I wonder why so many people come to me complaining about their lives. The complaints range from nothing to eat to getting a job. After learning a lot from the teachings of Rhonda Byrne and Louise Hay, I can tell where I am when it comes to what I bring into my life.

I figured out two things why this is happening. One, I am attracting complainants because I also complain about my life secretly. There are times when I couldn’t avoid thinking about negativities. This mindset, I realize, is the reason. Then another way I attract these people is I don’t want to hear complaints. The vibration on not wanting something builds more power to bring to me what I do not want.

Fast forward, when I am able to help somebody in whatever capacity, I feel so blessed especially when I hear the words “Thank you” and “You’re so kind.” By focusing on helping others through kindness, I am creating kind and wonderful vibrations into my life. I have a lot of testimonies regarding how the blessings I share multiplied a thousand fold. I am not sharing money but oftentimes, I share my time and talent.

You can start now. Take a moment to think about an experience you had that resulted to the same or even better experience. Take notice of these moments and find out the good results they bring about. By echoing the vibration you create, it will surely bring more into your life.
Focus on the positive side of each and every situation when others talk to you. Then focus on what you love about what they are telling you. Focus on what you enjoy in life. Focus on the truth. The rest will no longer be your obligation. What you sow, you will reap. You create your life. Just trust.

How My Imperfections Kept Me Going

For many people, it’s a point of pride to be a perfectionist. When I was just starting my career, I aimed to reach my highest potential. I decided to do my job perfectly so that my superiors will notice my performance. I realized later that perfectionism is counter-productive. I needed more time to revisit and correct my work. This attitude took away some precious time intended for my family just to put my best foot forward.

Here’s a list of what I did to change my paradigm:

1. I started to take risks.

Risk taking is necessary for one to grow and improve. I must admit that I communicate better in written form. The first time I was made to present to the CEO, my heart was beating at the rate of 180 bpm (normal rate is 60-100 bpm). My opening statement was, “This is my first time to speak before a CEO. I hope I can relay my message well to get your approval.” The CEO replied that I must consider that presentation as my second. The next presentations became easier for me, not to mention that I was one of the presentors during the launching of the new system to the highest official of my country.

2. I used my own ideas.

Following established procedures is safe and organized but this does not give me a room for stretching my thoughts. I do not go by the book. If I feel that I should take some initiatives to do things differently, I propose the changes to reach the target. I give weight to my intuition.

3. I became courageous to commit mistakes.

Living and doing things right is just a temporary shield in avoiding pain. Time will come that being perfect will prevent one to develop himself. It is acceptable to fail because of mistakes. These learning eventually molded me to become better.

4. I did the same things differently the next time.

I have second thoughts when at some point in my career, I put myself in an uncomfortable situation. It’s a given in our office that when you make suggestions, you will do the next steps to effect your recommendations. My share in reinvention, although unnoticed, increased my creativity and innovation. My reward may not be a promotion but I got more increases in my private life.

5. I became open to unpredictable demands.

Part of doing business especially in government service is to expect the unexpected. That’s why I am always ready with Plan B. If I insisted on the perfect option, I could have been in catastrophic mode by now.

All of us need to know what perfectionism may be costing us. Cut loose from any thoughts that prevent us from taking risks, showing initiative, learning in the process, developing our leadership skills, and growing in wisdom.

Be happy!

Why Being a Pauper Still Needs A Skill

Look at this!

A lot of people are hungry because of circumstances that beset their personal lives. Let me categorize them into groups.

First group are the happy go lucky people who rely on other people to feed them. They keep asking for leftover foods or money to get by.

Second group are those who need “money only” assistance. I came across a person of this sort who was asking for money to buy goods for his family. When I gave him sandwich, it was thrown away right in front of me.

Third group are the lazy homeless who despite their big built prefer to stay in the street and do nothing. Are they of sound mind?

Fourth are those who are part of a gang who use paupers to earn money for the syndicate. This is the group that you wouldn’t differentiate from “real” beggars. This is the reason for the DSWD’s call not to help them directly but rather through the government agencies or any non-governmental organizations.

In one of our long trips south of Philippines, I came to know a child named “Tabo.” He was seated outside our favorite hangout. He was just staring at our table. Never sounded to us that he’s hungry. Instead of giving him our leftover, I ordered a meal for him. His face showed being grateful and told me that he’s bringing the food to his family so all of them could share. His father left them. His mother lost two legs. Tabo is about ten years old.

Deeply touched by his story, I ordered for 3 more meals for his family and shelled out Php 1,000 (around $23.00). He was crying when he left. Whenever we are passing that restaurant when we have our annual pilgrim, I always look for him and would always volunteer to help.

Last year, I failed to see him. I asked the waitresses where I could find Tabo. “He can no longer leave the house ‘coz his mom has no companion,” said one of them. I was told that Tabo’s sister who used to care for their mom is now working after finishing high school.

The story of Tabo is just many a story of any other pauper. But his style attracts more help than anyone because at his tender age, he has tact and dignity. He doesn’t dress like he’s very poor. He just communicates sincerely what is in his heart.

We couldn’t blame the poor. They can’t get back on their feet simply because of their “weakness.”  They need encouragement. They have to listen to those giving them pieces of advice.

The government is doing its role in guiding these people but they always return to the same life they are used to. What if the “skilled paupers” be made as resource persons to convince their flock that after all there is a brighter life if they act now and do something. The story of Tabo not only gained my patronage but also other people who came to know his story.

P.S.     If you know the solution to this worldwide problem of hunger, please comment and share this post. We have to share in one way or another.

How I Started A School Without Even Planning

We started a daycare center primarily to accommodate age 3 to 5 children to help our community cope with providing free learning. Our circle of friends pledged monthly contributions to pay for the salary of the teachers. My family offered our place to house the children totaling 100 who would be attending nursery classes for 2 hours each session.

We made the place comfortable and the grounds became the playground of the happy tots. This project run for four years. All parents were satisfied to have their children in our daycare center!

In one of the meetings with parents, they sounded off that they are willing to pay affordable tuition fees to add comfort and other amenities. Their kids were actually developed in the learning center. At tender age of 3, some can already read simple words.

This opened our eyes to continue the good deed. “Let’s keep our pupils and startup a preschool and elementary,” said one of my friend. Then I asked where do we get the money to build a small schoolhouse?

To cut the story short, we were able to build three classrooms on the lot of another trustee, contributed our funds and sold some personal properties. We made use of the existing building to house the library where majority of the books were donated. A play area was also fixed for the children. SURPRISE! We were given permit to operate the school by government authorities.

For a new school, we were informed that they would only have less than 20 enrollees. It’s hard to attract parents try their luck in a school with still no name. But would you believe that we had 90 enrollees for the initial school year?

Here’s an example of how “good deed attracts good karma.” The parents were sure of our sincerity as partners in shaping their children. They even helped us enroll their relatives. The fees we charge are just enough to cover the salaries of teachers and the school’s electric consumption. Now they are in air-conditioned rooms!

We are now on our second year of operation. We are sure that we’re going to double our student population this year.

Looking back, I now believe that there are times in our lives when we should plan before making decisions. And there are times when we just let things happen.

I am on my way to fulfilling my dreams for my family, for my community and for myself.

P.S. If you are interested in knowing the ins and outs of starting a school, post a reply so I can get in touch with you.DSCN2588 I just want to share my knowledge to help new school owners.