UNDOING  

The lists are never ending. The “to do’s” and “ought to do’s” pile up. The pressure to produce, complete, prepare, create, and [insert your own verb here] is relentless. Do more yoga. Do more parenting. Do more service. Do more self-care. Do more housework. Do more…

We’re living in a cultural moment in which it’s acceptable (and even assumed) that we fill every waking minute of our days with some form of doing. We’ve moved so far in that direction that now we’re creating apps that remind us to pause and take a moment.

But we need more than a moment.

We need to take time and space to digest all that we’ve done, experienced, made, felt, been a part of. This is a missing ingredient in modern society. We’ve forgotten how to undo… or rather, how to “do” nothing.

So, I’m off to explore the power of that doing-nothing. Or if not nothing, then certainly less verb-ing. Ultimately the thing we’re seeking through all this doing is love, affirmation that we’re loveable. Ironically, of course, the anxieties that drive us to overdo often keep us from the very thing we’re deeply seeking.

In an attempt to disconnect from the addictive cycles of being in the swirl of it—being needed, being available, being self-demanding, being a doer, being the person who puts pressure on myself to be more being—I’m headed to the Himalayas to undo some of that focus on being-something… and focus on simply being.

For the most part, my travels are packed with teachings, meetings, photo shoots, check-ins, kid-tending, and so on. I forget the grace that can be found in meandering. In days of open space. In setting aside time to listen inwardly and make choices based on what feels relevant in the moment, rather than on something that was pre-planned and scheduled into the day’s itinerary.

So I head Ladakh, to remember this art of undoing, of not “accomplishing” anything beyond checking in with myself… and then checking in some more.

How can we support ourselves and each other in taking these moments? Whether we’re away in some exotic location or simply setting ourselves down in the quietness of home, turning down the volume on the doer and turning UP the volume of our intuition, that inner knowing that comes through when the deafening hum of constant pressure subsides?

Clarity is only possible when our lenses are cleared of the fog of endlessly attempting to be relevant, seen, “effective,” and prolific. So, bye-bye for a moment. I’ll be wandering aimlessly in the highest mountains on this great earth, attempting to clear my lenses, my mind, my body… and allowing the full exhale of non-doing. Of “being” nothing, except being.

Wherever it is you are, wanna join me in committing to taking some time to “un-do”?

Practice in undoing:

  • Schedule time in my calendar to do nothing. Literally writing DO NOTHING and make sure I put a reminder prompt on it.
  • Pick a half day or few hours once a week to put phones, computers, all things down and interact with my actual surroundings.
  • Come up with “reward” or appreciation for taking unplanned time (give myself uninterrupted work or busy time.)
  • Give the same level of attention I place on the “things” I “need” to insert into my schedule to the places I need to elbow out to do nothing.

OM
Janet

 

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