Many would say that the last thing I need any more of is coffee. It is true: my energy level is high and my ability to persevere intact. Most days I go nonstop from the morning’s dark hours to far past the evening’s same. And in the midst I rarely rest.
Some of this is because I have a lot to do. And, truth-be-told, some of it is a defense-mechanism. My busy-ness can perpetuate the wanted feelings of productivity, value, and worth while simultaneously disguising the unwanted feelings of futility, insecurity, and pain.
So you can imagine how I feel about doing nothing. It’s not my strong suit.
More than once I’ve heard my boyfriend quote his father, saying, “Sometimes when you don’t know what to do, the best thing to do is nothing.”
I’m not going to lie. This is hard for me. It feels counterintuitive at best, counterproductive at worst. But sometimes, despite my resistance, it is the best choice.
There are times when I find myself in circumstances that are wildly awash in emotion. I want certainty and clarity more than all else, but cannot find it. And when I push, demand, prod, or pout I only make things worse. Doing nothing would be the best thing to do.
It means that I sit still. It means that I be quiet. It means that I let the storm pass, the anger wane, the heart rate slow. It means that I take stock and gain perspective. It means just that: doing no thing.
Stop. Look. Listen. Pay attention. And trust.
Ahhh, there’s the meat of it, the hidden gem, the thing I resist at nearly every turn.
Trust that in doing nothing I will discover vast stores of internal knowledge and truth. Trust that in doing nothing wisdom longs to accompany and guide. Trust that realities will sift and sort without my meddling, arguing, reasoning, or fixing. Trust that in doing nothing, the most important thing of all is occurring: I am resting; solid and secure; able to let things go on around me without the need to frantically keep pace or more likely, control. Trust that doing nothing is hardly doing nothing.
I’m hardly doing nothing when I invite an intentional slowing – long enough to be able to gain focus on all that maniacally swirls around and within. I’m hardly doing nothing when I catch hold of myself long enough to find equilibrium and balance. I’m hardly doing nothing when I allow myself to make out the still, small voice within that has all-along known what is most needed. And I’m hardly doing nothing when I discover what I should do.
And sometimes the best thing to do is nothing…and trust.
But let’s be clear: I’m still drinking coffee.