Is it OK to DO NOTHING?

How do we find space and validation for doing nothing in our pragmatic, hard-working, Western culture?  Is it ok to do nothing?


After a week of perceived (notice I said perceived) setbacks I am feeling a little (actually A LOT) deflated.  The primary perceived setback is that I did not get the house I wanted and have been coveting since I first saw it online some 6 months ago.  🙁   I feel as if the rug has been pulled out from beneath me and that everything I thought I knew about this house and how it was supposed to be mine has been shattered.  I feel a little (no, a lot) like someone reached deep into my being, grabbed whatever inner source it is that gives me movement, breath, life-force, etc. and pulled it right out of my being, and all that remains is a shell of my former self, able to move, but only with an enormous amount of effort on my part.


All I want to do is find a cool, dark cave somewhere, crawl into the deepest, darkest corner of that cave, curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb.  Sadly, there are no caves in Oshkosh that I am aware of, I gave up sucking my thumb long ago (and paid the price with 5 years of braces!) and there are those two things named Maggie and Wil who stare up at me with their loving eyes and remind me that I can’t just run away.   That being said, I still feel inclined to take to my cave – in whatever form that can take in the midst of the responsibilities of life and motherhood.


But then, as I entertain the idea of taking to my cave, I am confronted by the barrage of Western expectations.  I hear the mantras of our culture, “Pull up your bootstraps, kick the dust from your feet and move forward.”  “You should let this one go and start looking for another house.”  “Back to the drawing board.”  “You can’t do nothing, you need to be a productive member of society and productive members of society don’t do nothing!”  As I listen to the cacophony of “shoulds”, I feel the guilt within rising to take its place as agent and director of my life.  Contemplating the idea of doing nothing triggers that darn voice that shakes its finger at me and tells me what to do.  The good news is that I am mostly aware that the finger wagging, guilt ridden voice is not the voice of the higher self, but the voice of fear, manipulation and intimidation brought forth by the outside “authorities” to whom I am tempted to surrender my truth and my energy.

So, as I contemplate the deep desire within me to retreat to my cave, I am reminded of the profound wisdom that my friend Marcy shared with me so many years ago.  This wisdom that she shared was drawn from the wisdom literature that had been her own saving grace during times of struggle and deep spiritual growth.  The wisdom literature from which she drew this spiritual nugget is “A Course in Miracles.”  And these are the words she shared with me as channelled by Christ to the author of  the course:

YOU NEED DO NOTHING!


Startling words, don’t you think?  YOU NEED DO NOTHING.  A great meditation exercise is to state these words aloud several times, changing which word you put the emphasis on each time you read it:

YOU need do nothing

You NEED do nothing

You need DO nothing

You need do NOTHING

The deepest wisdom of these words is that there is nothing I need to do and nothing I can do BECAUSE there is a Divine Source that is doing what needs to be done….all for my highest good.  AND….in order for me to connect with the plan, course, direction of the Divine…I NEED DO NOTHING!  Here it is….permission to indulge my inner hermit and DO NOTHING.  I don’t need to start looking for another house, I don’t need to take time this weekend to execute my marketing plan, I don’t need to work on the manuscript submissions I have floating out there in the universe.  I CAN DO NOTHING!!!!   So, instead of pushing my square peg into the round hole of Western pragmatism and work, I can indulge my NEED to do nothing.  I can lay on the grass and suck my thumb if I want to.  I can take a nap, or two.  I can be extra indulgent and instead of WORKING, I can watch a movie, read a book, or simply sit and DO NOTHING!



So….nothing is exactly what I intend to do and I intend to do it well!  I welcome the cave and welcome the call of my inner hermit that needs to simply be so that the Divine plan can unfold unfettered by me!

How are you called to embrace “YOU NEED DO NOTHING” in your own life?

What are the obstacles within and seemingly outside yourself that prevent you from doing nothing?

Where can you carve out space in your life to do nothing and feel ok about it?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

While I am doing nothing, you can help me in my goal of achieving 200 subscribers to this blog by November 1, 2010.  Share this blog on your social networking sites.  Invite and encourage friends to subscribe.  IT IS FREE!  Pass the word!  Thanks!



3 thoughts on “Is it OK to DO NOTHING?

  1. When I am experiencing setback, I “allow” myself days off from conscious thinking about it as best I can. The number of days off depends on the weight of the setback. When I was dumped by someone I knew was not good for me, it was 3 days. When someone I loved decided to renew his previous relationship, it was 7 days. When I felt betrayed by Spirit when my daughter nearly died, it was a year. That doesn’t mean I did nothing; it means I allowed that particular event to filter in my subconscious while consciously letting it go repeatedly, and I got involved in other-things, not no-things. Not aimlessly, but with direction, a different direction, an altered direction. It was a fork in my path that I knew I had to take even though on some level, I still wanted that old path. It’s not no-thing, it’s other-thing, and trusting that Spirit is directing us in the right-thing.

  2. Your suppose to do WHAT? The hardest thing to do yet the one thing we need to do. As Americans we were told to get going, keep your eye on the prize, yet now we need to “let go and let God.” Yeah right…but I believe it’s God’s way of telling us to take a time-out, to rest in him and trust yet how can we when we have just been stripped of a vision we thought was through Him. It dosen’t make sense but when we try to make sense of it the reason it seems to be further away.I empathize with Lauri, It is hard to be strong when our beliefs are rocked. Do nothing except keep looking up. Tomorrows gifts will surely be there. We just need to recognize the wrapping. Mike

  3. I needed to hear this today. I lost my job last week and my mind is frantic about what to do, what to do. I have severance until the end of the year, and I”ve been praying to be released from this stressful job that I had. I have spent months fretting about the job and when I would be fired, as soon as I took a breath and decided to relax, they pulled the rug out from under my feet…which makes it even worse. But I feel pulled to do absolute!ly nothing right now, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do

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