Mastering the Art of Doing Not[adamn]hing

"I do nothing and yet nothing is left undone." Lao Tzu
December 13th, 2015
9:40 PM 
Now Playing: Electric Relaxation - Tribe Called Quest 

Last night, after leaving La Maison d'Art, I sat on a bench in front of the park on St. Nic and 135th for a few hours, straight chillin, without a care in the world. Can you imagine? All dressed up in my black pumps and ruby woo. By myself. A Saturday night. Under the new moon in NYC. Today, I kept the party going - not blogging, not finishing lesson plans, not grading papers. I didn't do a got-damned thing! It was lovely! I am mastering the art of doing nothing. 

Before I could begin to do this, I had to understand the difference between being lazy and doing nothing. 

Lazy is: 
-Having an idea but lacking the motivation to attain it - most often because of the overwhelming amount of effort it will take to complete 
-Not the same thing as tired; yes one may lack energy, but it's different from being tired, in the sense that being tired is a result of exerting ones energy. 

The problem that I recently discovered about using that word to describe ourselves when we are doing nothing is: we tend to use "lazy" to measure how much we are not doing, in comparison to how much more someone else is doing or how much more we have done in the past. The common misuse of this word is dangerous and can cause depression, amongst many other mental battles within one's inner self. 

Doing nothing is:
-Embracing stillness 
-Allowing yourself to simply breathe and let go 
-Relaxing your thoughts and quieting your mind 
-Mentally surrendering to see yourself from the inside out 
-Strengthening your intuition
-Going with your own flow and trusting yourself to mentally take you where you need to be 
-Knowing that your desires will manifest without your help because of the movement that exists in stillness

Doing nothing is a practice that I wasn't taught until I began reading Alan Watts' books. Initially, I was pissed when I found out about this concept. It's crazy that we don't learn about this in church or school. We should all be taught how to detach from our thoughts starting from the time we learn how to read and write. I must've been a toddler when my elders taught me the evangelical way to pray. I've spent so much time learning how to worship and please a higher power outside of myself that I've missed out on the experience of just sitting and focusing on me. Because "just sitting is wrong, just sitting is lazy." No! It's not lazy, it's healthy! 

"If you cannot find enlightenment right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?" There is healing in doing nothing, in not thinking about anything, in not working on anything, in not trying, in just breathing... just listening to what comes and letting go of all that you cannot control and putting what you can control on hold, to give complete attention, love, time, and praise to yourself.

Doing nothing is so fulfilling, so nurturing, and so very intimate. It's causing me to fall in love with myself and in love with where I am. It's the reason I can honestly say, I love my journey.

Today, I did nothing as I water-colored and played with my oil pastels, gazed at the whiteness of my ceiling while blasting Cold Play, and inhaled the sage as it purified my space. I spent hours with my eyes closed, feeling the way the air moved freely through my body. 

I'm new to this so, sometimes I drift back to reality and think of other things but I've learned not to be hard on myself when my mind flows to work or a person. I don't judge myself for daydreaming. I simply refocus my mind and go back to concentrating on my breathing. And I then just breathe. I breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Ba-reeeeeetttthhhh. Naturally. 



Comments

  1. I often think, in my Sagittarius way, who am I to judge? Who are they who judge me? My journey, my path, had many hills and valleys. I am tired but I kept it moving. I look forward to those Do Nothing moments where my brain begins to rummage threw my earliest memories and my deepest thoughts till I'm blank and the beating of my heart is the only thing left. At that point is where I find me. A pulse in an abyss. I smile, I'm just a beat.

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