If I were able to do nothing I would be at eventual peace. Doing nothing comes down to choice. We choose what we do. We can choose to do less. True nothingness is a zen-like quality that few can accomplish with ease. To be comfortable in nothingness is a goal achieved through multiple lifetimes. As in any worthwhile activity, although hard to attain, we must aspire to this state for ultimate and unlimited freedom.
My eighty-three-year-old mother has always been a doer. Now, she literally does nothing, all the time. Her body and mind are suffering. This is not a state of contentment for her. There is no balance. All activity or all nothingness leads to a disruption of the natural order. The earth is not stagnant, but it does rest. It rests at night while the sun is revolving. It rests in winter while the trees and animals are dormant. We must rest. We must do nothing in order to regain our strength, energy, and equilibrium.
After a busy week of traveling, a hospital visit, and normal life activities, I slept for ten hours last night. As I sit here, I am debating how much I want to do today, the week before Thanksgiving. There are dishes to wash and organize, school supplies to buy, and a visit to see my mother planned, but self-care is in order. Yoga and writing started my day, but I fear once the active mind starts, I will wear myself out once again.
Activity choices are overwhelming in today’s endless beckoning for more of everything. We are constantly bombarded with things to read, to buy, and to do. Choices must be made and accepted with love. Doing more doesn't make you a better person. It makes you tired, stressed, and anxious. Balance your options depending on your greatest personal need at the moment. Being mindful, instead of overthinking and planning the day ahead, will lead to a life of peace and calm. Knowing that nothingness is an active option, you can choose to be present and aware throughout your day.
Susan J. McFarland
November 24, 2019
Thoughts from a Mindful Mama
Susan J. McFarland