'Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing' ~ Lao Tzu
Bethia: Do you find yourself getting caught up in the momentum of ‘busy-ness’? There is a LOT to pack into each 24 hour period - friends, family, work, hobbies, leisure, good causes, bad causes, future plans, current-urgent-things-I-need-to-do-yesterday. It’s a difficult pressure to live with - all the things that need doing. I think it affects most pockets of society and our cultural framework puts high value on working hard, achieving, being ambitious, driving forward, aiming high. These are all great things, but the insidious, underlying state that results is often high levels of anxiety, stress, overwhelm, not feeling like we’re good enough, doing enough.
It’s ingrained in many of us and undo-ing that habitual way of living often takes deliberate focus. For the strivers and the grafters - sometimes to DO nothing takes as much planning, attention and motivation as all the DOING somethings! A major step forward though is becoming aware that there is sometimes equal value in NOT DOING.
Which is why I absolutely love the first tip for rewilding on the Rewilding Britain website. It is permission to STOP. It’s asking for NOTHING. It says DO NOTHING FOR A WHILE. I looked out of the window at our overgrown vegetable garden last week and my first instinct is to do - create, plant, order, do, do, do. And there is a place for that - the vegetables we get save us money and are really good for us. I’m not saying don’t grow vegetables. But if this summer there just isn’t time, then remember the equal value there is in doing nothing - it counts too. My vegetable garden is full to bursting with other creatures and plants getting a look in while I’m leaving it alone this summer. I can sit down and have a cup of tea and know that it would’ve been GREAT to get the vegetable patch and myself at peak performance this summer but it is also GREAT that I haven’t.
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