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  • Writer's pictureGina Greenlee, Author

Bore Into Boredom

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Two Bored Girls at Window

If you are bored with something after two minutes,

keep doing it for four minutes. If you stay bored,

do it for eight, then sixteen minutes. If still bored,

press on to thirty-two minutes, and at that point

you might begin to find it fascinating.

John Cage

Boredom is not a lack of interest, motivation or initiative. With that as definition, we find ourselves “staying busy” and “killing time” just to have something to do for its own sake, even if it doesn’t nourish us. Boredom is the signpost that lets you know exactly where you stand. When you are bored you are deep within your comfort zone. There is sameness, a penetrating familiarity with circumstance – of the moment, the project or your life.

Man Sitting On Train

Running from boredom is painful. Oh, you will fill the hours, but at a cost that may add up to years. At the end of which you’ll ask, “Why did I waste so much time?” Counterintuitive though it may seem, to free yourself from boredom is to dive through its core.

Modern Dance Duo

Boredom’s true character is a call to action, to step outside the doldrums of familiarity, toward your edge.

And beyond.

Woman Dancing

  • Let yourself be bored out of your mind.

  • And stay within that space.

  • Resist temptation to grasp at whatever or whoever is nearby so you won’t have to feel what you think of as a void.

  • Boredom is not a void; it is a question that seeks an answer.

“The busyness and distractions of your life have pushed [boredom] away,” writes Danielle Marchant in her book, Pause. “It’s longing for your attention. And as you let yourself slow down, and the noise subsides, the whispers inside can be heard. Remember, logs on a fire catch alight when there is space beneath them for the oxygen to ignite the flames.”

Woman With Red Hair

Boredom is that space that will “let your fire rise…this void is a place of richness, fuel for your creative flame.”

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