Here’s a question… how do we “do” nothing? Lately the call to simply sit with ideas and do nothing is stronger than it has ever been-but doing nothing is not something that comes naturally to me.. so how to proceed with not proceeding at all?
In making changes- I often sit down and figure out what I am going to “do”
What is the plan? What are the milestones along the way that let me know I am on track and moving forward towards achievement of the goals I have set? What does the final vision look like? Am I there? When will I be there?
I can seize control if I have a plan- but the whole purpose for writing this blog and thinking about change at this time of my life is really to admit- none of that actually works particularly well for me.. what can I do differently?
But there’s that question again- “what can I do?”
This morning I received my friend Vince Gowmon’s newsletter (a wonderfully inspiring collection of thoughts and videos called Remembering to Play that I receive every Monday morning) The article for this week is about leaving space in between all the doing – to see what emerges. His imagery is beautiful- talking about the deep quiet before a rain storm, a silent opening, a place that honors and prepares for the coming downpour. This idea resonates with me- but the question still begs..
“How do I do that?”
Dr Wayne Dyer posted this quote by Reshad Feild today:
“If we stop for a moment, it is possible to perceive a pattern in our lives; the motivators that have influenced us become more obvious. We are able to see life unfolding from both ends at once, coming into the present moment. But until we have got to a certain point of realization, this is not possible, because everything is still seen as a series of apparent causes and effects.” – Reshad Feild
Sitting down to think about “what got me here?” has been an eyeopening experience to say the least. When I decided to map out my life in a visual way – creating artfilled maps focusing on events that shaped my belief system over my 50 + years, I discovered that no one event or two or even three in combination created the me I am today.. each event an ingredient in a complex recipe. Each depending on the other to gently massage or dropkick me into the me I am today. Nothing has happened in isolation and nothing can be isolated out for that reason.
I have been reading a poignant new book by Margaret Wheatley called “Far From Home” in which she tells us that if we continue to try to get the world out of the mess it is in by focusing on small pieces of the puzzle as though there is one embedded thing to be fixed – we are doomed. Rather she says that the problems of today’s world have emerged through a long and complicated series of events and no one thing or person or group of people is to blame. In fact no one is to blame.. Many events merged over time to get us to where we are today…
Our lives are like that eh? A complex stew chock full of meat and veggies unique to us. We add this and that over time, others wander by the pot and throw in more salt or meat. When we taste it and it is not what we want we add more carrots, another bay leaf and work to find the balance of ingredients that please the palate.
It is unlikely that a stew we don’t like is the result of one bad potato, more likely a combination of too much salt, not enough stock and meat that should have been used a week ago.
It’s the same with our lives- our dimply butts or dwindling bank account are never the result of one small piece of the puzzle and yet – all of my life I have been looking for that one elusive and extractable component, and living my life in a kind of limbo.
What to do? The choices are multiple.. we can live with the stew the way it is and hate it or love it or be ambivalent about it. We could add to it and see what happens or we can keep trying to find that rotten carrot to no avail. Maybe we go vegan and start all over again… the choices as I said are multiple. It’s what makes our lives both incredibly rich and incredibly exasperating at the same time..
Moving forward. What does it mean? How do you do that with intention?
Being of a certain age, everything is tinged with a certain urgency… not high grade urgency.. just the low thrum of time passing, having a history and thinking to myself.. “I wonder what it all means?”
Also being of a certain age, I find myself struggling to keep from overwhelm in this fast paced world of social media. After much back and forth- I realized that I really want to become a better writer and it was suggested to me that a blog could be the tool to do that.. so here it is… I am moving forward.. deep breath… jump!