A few years ago I began to wonder whether that little urge to ‘make a difference’, I’d always been encouraged to cultivate and demonstrate in my life, wasn’t just part of a fast-breeder-mass-effect fuck up for the planet. What if I could just take a step back and let it all just be. And what if everyone else could just do the same? The amazing subversive Taoist principle of Not-Doing (Wu-Wei). The counter-intuitive behavior of responding to the demanding voice which says ‘Don’t just sit there DO SOMETHING’ by quietly replying ‘Don’t just do something- SIT THERE’
When I first started this practice it felt like I was taking my hands off the steering wheel, blindfolded whilst driving at full pelt down the M1. Now it feels more like gently being driven along in a Google car (but still with that nagging fear of imminently getting mangled beneath an undetected articulated lorry!)
If you want to do something radically different in 2017 I strongly recommend giving this practice a try- at least for a few hours here and there, just to see what it feels like.
As a very tiny element in a vast and elaborately complex system with little or no definite understanding of the Grand Master Plan I am starting to humbly recognize the dangers of believing that I know and understand more than I do. By practicing ‘Not Just Doing Something and Sitting There’ I find that the planet Earth not only continues to rotate on its axis but it also continues to revolve in its orbit around the sun!
A favorite expression of my dear departed mother’s was ‘Leave it in the hands of the Lord’ which was her Christian mantra for dealing with fears, anxieties and uncertainties. Maybe I’ve somehow inherited this outlook and, though I said goodbye to the Christian Male God story a long time ago, I am becoming increasingly trusting of some organizing principle which is much, much greater than my little flesh and blood self and which just might possibly know what it is actually doing!
How do I harness my personal power then, so it can act in harmony with this organizing principle? How do I purpose myself to be a fully effective participant in this amazing dance party we call Life?
Without hurting anyone, I try to simply tune into being who I am without guilt or shame; to dispel ideas of who I should be or what I should do. I also contribute towards attempts to hold safe space where folk can feel free to try out being who they are too- without guilt or shame.
And what seems to happen next is the experience of Joy and Love. I begin to feel joyful. And I sense the joy of others. And I feel Love. (Cue for song: Donna Summers “I feel Love”)
My hope then, for 2017 and beyond, is for more of all this please!