HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS TO DO NOTHING
“My favorite Spanish proverb says, ‘How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.’ In Spain and in other parts of the Mediterranean, local custom still honors the natural rhythm of the body, which slows in the afternoon. Most of Spain shuts down for several hours in the afternoon for a civilized siesta.
For those of us not lucky enough to be afforded a siesta, we feel a deep yearning to break out of the treadmill that is driven by an ever-increasing sense that we don’t have enough time, that most precious commodity. Where did it all go? How did we lose touch with nature’s rhythms? Where did the timelessness of our youth go, when long summer days stretched into hazy eternity?
Life in the natural world isn’t bound by clocks and schedules. When we are in nature, learning from her natural rhythms, we begin to notice the frantic, harried pace in which we move. We see how we are barely attentive to what is in front of us in our lives, because we are always rushing to the next thing. It can be useful to ask ourselves what price we pay for doing and accomplishing a lot…
We can let go of this incessant urge to move so quickly when we understand the belief that is behind the rushing. Usually, it is an idea that happiness awaits us somewhere in the future, when all tasks are done, or when we’ve arrived at some end goal. In those moments we postpone our happiness to some imaginary future and unpleasantly rush through the very real present trying to get there. This process leaves us perennially chasing castles in the sky…
The writer Goethe tells us: ‘Keep your eyes fresh and open and joyful. And move with sure steps, yet flexibly through the fields of the world so richly endowed."‘ In this meditation you will take a leisurely nature walk with the intention to slow down the pace of your body and mind while you feel the tranquility of your habitat… let go of any agenda around trying to reach a particular state. Your walk will be more like a meandering. Walk at half your normal pace, and imagine you are caressing the earth with your footsteps. Feel the connection of the soles of your feet with the earth…
Whenever you feel like stopping, resting, or sitting with a particular old tree, bubbling stream, birdsong, or anything else that invites you to slow down or be still, allow yourself to listen.”
Mark Coleman, Awake in the Wild
NOTE #1 - Everything that pops out at you, or calls to you as you meander - means something - it’s a symbol to be worked with (for more on this see Episode 5 of the podcast).
NOTE #2 - Even though Coleman advises doing this practice in nature, I have had EXTRAORDINARY experiences meandering in urban and places with lots of litter, etc.
NOTE #3 - If you are in need empowerment, instead of feeling as if you are, “caressing the earth with your footsteps”, imagine your feet are actually turning the earth.