Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Year of Doing Nothing (post 1.02)

A good friend of mine and Yoga teacher gave me a valuable piece of advice which has become a tool that I use all of the time. She said, "Whenever you find yourself deliberating and unable to make a decision, let it go, and then see how it comes back to you." I've used this tool over and over again and it really works. If I'm stuck and unable to make a decision, I'm usually obsessing. I can weigh the pros and cons as well as anyone, but sometimes there is something else weighing on my heart and I just can't figure it out. This is when I let "it" go. I stop thinking about what I want to have happen and what I don't want to have happen. I stop worrying. I stop wondering what it would be like if I pursued this thing I'm thinking about. I just let "it" go.

When you really let something go like this, you actually forget about it. You go about your business as usual, get back into your routine, get grounded in yourself, and then at some point, and it could be fifteen minutes later or perhaps fifteen days later, a thought occurs to you and you realize what it is you truly want or need to do. It's called clarity.

After I let go of my thoughts of taking a year-long sabbatical, (and I must admit that first I had a pretty good laugh with a friend about what a crazy idea this was) I completely forgot about it. About a week later, I was reading Pema Chodron's book as I was preparing for a yoga workshop on life transitions that I was going to give in January and "it" struck me. I suddenly realized that The Year of Doing Nothing wasn't about doing nothing at all. It was about non-striving. The Year of Doing Nothing was exactly what I needed to do.