ROUND FOUR: The Awesomeness of Nothing
Round four folks – both EGO and SOUL are having a little nap today. These are the days when my mind goes to sleep and I celebrate doing NOTHING. By not trying to do it all, I feel the quiet hum of peace wash warmly over my chest. Days like this are important. We can’t always be ON, even if SOUL is out front. It is true that when SOUL is out and EGO is not, I am more energize, creative and excited about my life. But there are times for quiet, for reconnecting inside myself -for DOING NOTHING – to which I dedicate today.
Doing nothing isn’t as easy as it sounds for some of us. No thinking, no fear, no negative self-deprecating thoughts, no future projecting; it is time for quiet. Shhhh….the world won’t fall apart if you’re not thinking it into the way you believe it should be.
I feel SOUL beside me, like a steady companion, patiently awaiting my attention. I know the minute I give it to her, in meditation, prayer or creativity, she will transport me to some other miraculous inspiration. But for now – just for today, I am peaceful and happy, unafraid and equally unmotivated to do anything but nothing. It is a day to just BE.
My husband came home the other night to find me sitting in a chair.
He said “what are you doing??” Since he is use to seeing me either springing into action or laying half dead with exhaustion.
“I am just doing nothing”. I smiled at him.
” Are you ok? What do you mean “nothing” did something happen?” his questions come at me in a concerned barrage of machine-gun fire queries.
I smile at how much he loves me.
“I mean, I am sitting here, and not meditating, not praying, not thinking – not nuthin…I am doing NOTHING”.
He looks a little baffled, but shuffles out of the bedroom leaving me for my five more minutes of mandatory nothing.
Being overly active in our lives gets to be a bad habit. It creates chaos. You train yourself and those around you to become habituated to constant motion, thought activity and action. NO one can sustain this their entire lives! The body has to rest, and if you’re like me, even sleep isn’t rest. I travel, save animals, put out fires, handle floods, fire, famine…craziness. My sleep is better than TV. Last night I had meteors raining down on the farm and I was saving children and dogs. Sleep is not restful for me. I think SOUL has a whole other life going on while my body is asleep. Then when I am awake, even if my body is still, I think. I think and think and think about everything. I realize that if I’m thinking about a thing it doesn’t actually mean I’m doing something about it, right? Wow…only took me half a century for that one.
From my waking moment to the minute I put my head down to sleep, inevitably, I am active. I am fixing solving, planning, doing, running. I get up and go…and go,…and go. It’s a bad habit borne of being raised in a family that put a high value on how active you were. If you were doing – then you were useful. Not doing meant laziness, to which few sins could compare. Breaking bad habits takes conscious decisions to make a different choice about what to do with the minute you are existing in right now. Becoming aware of the [patterns and habits we are taught from infancy, the most pervasive of which are the ones which are not spoken, but exemplified, is a part of growing up and becoming your own person.
This kind of programming had me believing that if I wasn’t like a “June Cleaver” 50′s mom, while I was upholding a singing career, running a barn full of horses and managing my home – then I was a failure. Stopping and doing NOTHING helps me realize how wacko this kind of unconscious thinking can make me.
I fight the habitual urge to get up and do laundry, read a book, clean a floor or yell at my teenagers for making another catastrophic mess in the living room. I instead choose not to care for that moment, simply not to care. The mess will still be there, the bills will (unfortunately) wait for me to struggle to pay for them. I can just be for a while. When thoughts of worries, unpaid bills, how will I handle next week, what is going to happen to my mom…stuff…came up in my mind, I just reminded EGO that for a little while, we were just going to do NOTHING. I reminded myself that the world would not fall apart if I wasn’t directing traffic for fifteen minutes.
I am not meditating. Meditation holds within itself another kind of intention; purpose to reconnect to our spiritual energetic centers. I’m not looking to do anything that fancy right now. I am doing nothing. and when I am compelled to do something, I once again give myself permission to be slack, loose and I fall easily into peace.
I stand up renewed and ready for the next leg of my day. I feel my shoulders softer, my belly less tense and my smile comes more easily and less contrived. I could get used to this “doing nothing”. Try it – I promise you’ll like it.
UPDATE: The past four rounds have been up and down. Ego wining the first round clearly, SOUL making a slow but steady come back. EGO could make a come back next week as real life events and stress management become of key importance. I will need SOUL to be rested and ready to come out fighting…on Monday. For now, our score remains at: EGO – 1 SOUL 3