“Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life”

“Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life

 – Socrates

Apparently way back in ancient Greece (400 BC) the great thinker Socrates was warning us of the danger of being too busy.  What would he think of our multi-tasking, multi-texting, I Phone, I Pad, I Pod, tablet, computer, TV, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tweeting, electronic, digital world today?  Here’s a classic example.  As our spring garden began to bloom, I texted pictures to a few good friends with the following replies:

  • Bearded Iris – our spring blooms
  • Beeooteeful!! I want some
  • Looking at them is like meditating.
  • Who has time to meditate?
  • Can you teach me how to meditate while multi-tasking?

While tongue-in-cheek, this is a perfect example of the busyness we impose on ourselves further isolating ourselves from opportunities to de-stress and reunite with our spirit and its connectivity to nature.

Richard Louvre, in his great book, Last Child in the Woods, discusses a concept called  “nature deficit disorder”.  While not officially a clinical diagnosis, it is a new term for the many unhealthy conditions caused by not enough exposure to nature, and he cites the mounting scientific evidence to support this.

An entire new industry is being created which looks to nature for real world solutions. Biomimicry analyzes nature’s best ideas to adapt them for human use.  Think solar energy panels and leaf cell conversion of sunlight to plant fuel.

It’s clear we have much to learn from nature.  Even if we are not studying nature, simply being in nature and appreciating its beauty, bounty and peace can have startlingly positive effects on our demeanor, psyche, and physical health.


“Progress does not have to be patented to be worthwhile. Progress can also be measured by our interactions with nature and its preservation. Can we teach children to look at a flower and see all the things it represents: beauty, the health of an ecosystem, and the potential for healing? ”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder


Today, take time to slow down, observe something in nature or from nature. Reflect upon its loveliness, perfection, just as it is… and how it bloomed, blossomed, grew, evolved, unrushed in its own time. Breathe, relax into your own little mini vacation – a respite from the barrenness of a busy life.

Is this something that your team could use as an exercise? Do you create a healthy work environment or does the busyness take over? This too takes time.


“It takes time to see a flower, like it takes time to have a friend.”

Georgia O’Keeffe