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  • Writer's pictureS. Rae

Sometimes doing Nothing is Exactly what you Should be Doing

Just as silence can be construed as inaction, so can doing nothing. But what is doing nothing exactly? Resting the mind? Resting the body? Resting the spirit? Or all of the above?

This reminds me of a book I read years ago titled, “Wherever You Go There You Are”, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and a story told to me long ago by someone who taught me a very big lesson.

Many years ago, I was acquainted with a person who had been working on improving herself, so when a trip to Europe came available, she jumped at the chance to go.

This person was in a long-term relationship, had a really good job she had held for years, and when she decided to do the Europe trip by herself to continue her self-exploration, she found there was a catch.

The trip to Europe was three weeks long, and when she returned, she told me she had spent the first two weeks trying to get away from herself. She felt the trip would free her somehow, but instead she found she had brought her insecurities and anxiety with her. That comment stuck with me to this day, because it is so true.

After two weeks of trying to run away from herself, she realized she had brought herself with her to Europe, and once that realization set in, she calmed down and began enjoying her vacation. She said the last week was the best week she had ever had in her life, once she got out of her own way.

This is so true on many levels. We are usually our own worst enemy, or our own best friend, depending on the state of mind and perception of the moment we are facing. When severe storms are approaching, I pretend a shaft of a huge umbrella comes up from my yard, and covers the whole area, putting everything under the protection of the umbrella.

Inaction doesn’t necessarily mean inactivity. Lewis Grizzard, a former syndicated writer for the Atlanta Constitution used to say in his standup routine, “I may walk slow, and I may talk slow, but I’m thinking all the time”. Just because I’m not breaking a sweat doesn’t mean I’m not working. Sometimes resting is exactly what I should be doing.

Thoughts create realities, so watching thoughts should be the most important thing people do. If you find yourself uncomfortable in a situation or a place, look at your thoughts. Ask yourself why you feel uncomfortable. Is it you that is making yourself uneasy or is it the actual surroundings? We can go to a cemetery and talk ourselves into being scared, when there is nothing to fear.

Watching thoughts requires alertness and patience. And that's an extremely important job. Words usually follow thoughts, and since words can be used like bullets, watching thoughts and thinking about what to say before it is spoken is indeed paramount.

So, the next time someone says you’re not doing enough, tell them you are creating the world you choose to live in by thinking happy thoughts. Then think happy thoughts, and happy things will come to you.

Carpe Diem Happy Thinkers.

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