I sit, wandering around the trails of my own mind. What am I searching for? Where can I find it?
Lost, perhaps, but maybe not lost at all. Sometimes it helps to be a rudderless ship on the open sea, just allowing the wind to take you where you need to go. Sometimes it helps just to breathe when the stress of resistance becomes too great to bear.
The Art of Doing Nothing is not doing nothing at all. It is the active work of the enlightened, and it takes serious practice. It takes active participation in surrender. It takes fucking balls.
I’ve found that I was once way too afraid to practice the Art of Doing Nothing. I believed I had to act out, to be actively engaged in creating the life I thought I wanted. The problem is that I never really knew what I wanted. I just thought I knew.
Where once I sought security through strength and violence I now find them in peace and love.
Where once I sought happiness in wealth and materialism, I now find them in myself and in simplicity.
Where once I sought love in your approval, I now find it in my own sense of joy.
Where I once thought I knew what would define me, I now know I am beyond definition.
There is such a peace in that place of surrender. You watch the little things fall away, then the big things until, finally, you reach the place you were always destined to be. You find your home, your palace, your place of peace, and you find that it looks very little like you imagined it would.
Yes, there still is fear. When you have something to lose you fear its departure. Yet, when that thing is taken by the Great Wind you realize that nothing worth holding on to truly wants to be held on to. You realize how awkwardly irrelevant your fear was, and how beautifully constructed things are in your surrender. Things seem natural, pleasant, and happy.
How often did I resist this change? How much suffering did I create in this resistance? How much joy have I found in surrendering, in letting go, in the mere observation of a process to which I participate by Doing Nothing?
How often was I consumed by the fear of standing in the very space I now call “home”?
Yes, it seems silly to me now. I am at home in a place I once feared, happy in a space I once thought hopeless, consumed by joy in a place I once fought hard never to visit. I can only guess the fear I feel now in where I may be going is equally silly. I know this, yet embrace the experience as a matter of personal growth, not personal criticism. There is no need to criticize that which was created perfect, a Sequoia was not born an earthly giant, but a small seed. The small seed was not, however, imperfect just because it had not yet reached its full potential.
It was perfectly a seed. It was perfectly a sapling. It is, now, perfectly itself as a tree.
We are all works in progress, but we have to surrender in order to become works of progress. Sometimes progress is in the realization that we need to stop grasping and need to start letting go, that we need to stop resisting and divert our energy toward the commitment to surrender.
You will have to work very hard to surrender. You will have to develop strength you never knew you had. You will suddenly see how little you actually accomplished before, and you will see how much you get done when you simply stay out of the way.
You will be afraid. You will be very afraid. Old voices and conditioned behaviors will arise, and you will fear what happens when you let go of them. You will start judging yourself as they judged you, and you will feel shame in the act. Pay attention here, for you will learn a lot of how little you love yourself. You will understand your own self-loathing and the poison you swallow that makes you feel abandoned in your glory, and lonely in your suffering.
You will not like this at all. If you discover that you don’t love yourself here, you have to admit that those you need to love you must not have truly loved you either. You learned this self-loathing from them, you didn’t create it on your own.
Forgive them, for they knew not what they did. They loved you in the way there were taught how to love you, and you learned to love you in the same manner. Perhaps that’s the original sin, that we are born to learn love from those who likely never learned to love at all.
Believe me, it is easy just to embrace the status quo. It’s easy to just be like everyone else, both creating your own drama and becoming absorbed in the drama of others. There is nothing I’ve ever done as hard as this transformation has been, but I can promise you it’s been worth it. Where I once spent hours actively engaged in the life I thought I wanted, I now spend that time actively letting go, in active surrender. Where once I tried to do everything, now I Do Nothing.
I still hear the voices judging me. I still hear their voices telling me what to do, how to do it, and that “failure” is not an option, albeit something that is easily attained in their judgment. Then, I sit still, and Do Nothing. Invariably I realize I cannot answer to them any more, that my own life and health are at stake, as is my own sense of sanity. I must remain resolved to my own journey, to the symphony of music I dance to, and to the absolute love I have discovered in the process.
So, to that end, I let go. I love you, and wish you could let go, too. Maybe, someday, you will see.
Don’t get confused. The Art of Doing Nothing does not mean you just give up. Surrender is not an act capitulating to the whims of magic outside of the Universe that is you. It’s just the opposite. It’s finding your true path and sticking to it. It’s in removing the brush that clogs your route. It’s in knowing what brings you joy, and Doing Nothing to get in its way.
It’s in love. Complete and utterly in love. It is in being in a relationship not only with yourself, but with your joy. It’s about putting your joy first, in whatever version that looks like now, and in being aware of the slight deviations that will take you off course. Love, that awesome Wind that, once filling your sails, will never let you down. You’ll see…one day I promise you will see.