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?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth
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