Busy doing NOthing

Yesterday I was writing about the importance of sometimes allowing yourself to do nothing, and I really did take my own advice. One reader thought that I was advocating never moving into action, which is certainly not the case. It is more like night and day, where you swing from one natural phase to the next and then back again.

So, back to yesterday…. Having finished writing, and having dealt with a very welcome business call that delayed me still further, I looked out of the window and my sunny day had vanished… only to be replaced with grey and wet! None-the-less, I was off to the woods to test out my new satnav1 system and see if I could navigate round some places I really didn’t know. I have mentioned before that I love ‘exploring,’ which for me, is going places I don’t know, even (and sometimes, especially) if they are close to places I do know.

So I took myself off to some woods & heath not too far from here and surrendered myself to the unknown. I was on my own so there were no distractions. During the course of my walk which last about 2.5 hours we had every kind of weather from sun to hail. I was moving at a fair clip so by the end I was pretty tired.

However, and here is the point of my ramble about rambling, all this time I was very active, but on another level, fitting into my ‘nothingness’ mode. I had no work to do, no purpose other than to open myself up to my surroundings and experiences. I won’t be so arrogant as to claim it was a ‘zenlike state’ but it was a very English version of that.

By letting go of the focus control and just allowing ourselves to notice what we notice, by going somewhere new and surrendering control, by being open to getting lost we can find so much. So if you are not sure what to do about something, perhaps you should put Nothing on your menu…

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” Aristotle

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” Lao Tzu

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself” Zen Proverb


  1. Bing Crosby is busy doing nothing

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