“What I like doing best is Nothing.”
“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
“Well it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say ‘Oh, nothing’, and then you go and do it.”
“Oh I see,” said Pooh.
“This is a nothing sort of thing we are doing right now.”
“Oh I see,” said Pooh again.
“It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
“Oh!” said Pooh.
The House At Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
Chances are we pretty much stopped doing Nothing around the time we were Christopher Robin’s age, six. Remember the unplanned hours of childhood, being outdoors wandering around checking out the world? In the blink of an eye much more important things had loomed up on our young horizon, such as growing up and getting on with the business of life.
What’s so special about doing nothing anyway? As an adult, what benefit, if any, can this space of unutilised time offer us? May be just that. Space. Space to see, space to listen, space to be. For those of us captive to a world where we must always do more, work harder, achieve greater, space can be a rather daunting prospect. What exactly are we supposed to be seeing, hearing and feeling? Sorry to play the childhood card yet again but that’s where the answers lie.
Almost as soon as we can understand language we start hearing subtle messages that point to a road where we begin a lifetime of questioning ourself and second guessing our ability to know what’s best for us. If we behave like good girls or boys, people will like us. If we want to be admired and respected we must somehow exceed expectations. If we are to win we must be better than everyone else. And so we begin to shift from a place of being enough to not being enough. No longer anchored to our own voice we start looking outwards for direction, validation and approval. Human beings are a social bunch and the need for acceptance by our community is not only important but integral to our growth so it is only understandable why some of us can find it difficult to come out of this unconscious state. However, if we do not take our eyes of the prize for a moment, we may never have the chance to check if this is indeed the prize for us or if it’s worth a lifetime of sacrifice and single minded focus.
In taking out the time to do Nothing, we are realigning ourself with the wisdom of our very young self. We are allowing ourself to remember that good and bad weren’t amongst our objectives for the day, living the most fun version of our life was. There were no expectations, our own or other people’s, to fulfil. We were open, engaged and connected to life and to ourself. Us at our creative peak, life supporting our every whim, well almost! The keys to the kingdom safely in our little pockets.
There is a sacredness in doing Nothing. It brings us out of the limitations of our minds and returns us gently into the infinite flow of the universe so that we can feel once again how worthy, powerful and loved we are, just as we are.
And you thought we were going to go for a nice little walk through the 100 Acre Wood! Well perhaps we did, metaphorically speaking 🙂
I can’t say enough how much I feel calm and more ‘it will all be ok in the end’ every time I read your words of wisdom. Life is short, celebrating it means being gentle to the stillness within us and letting go what was and what it will be …. x
Beautiful and thought provoking as always! Your blogs always bring about a clarity of mind for me. Thank you!
I once read a book titled Nothingness and it was a pointless discourse but i do remember searching for something more and what that was I have no idea. So bloody true our brains are wired in such a way from birth , never stopping to realise if it’s worth all the effort – seriously I can cut 3/4 of my life out as just wasted time there was nothing in for me and not worth the effort really,,,,,I wish had the luxury to be in oblivion – the book Nothingness was meant to be read ,to enjoy the language , context setting and the moment nothing more..