The impossible task
How often you are doing nothing or feel like it?
The answer is simple: almost never because, as far the go is concerned, doing nothing will be unacceptable, detrimental to our social and self image. Our ego believes that we are important and indispensible then, “Doing nothing” is impossible, sort of personal and social failure. We base our identification with what we are doing, what we are thinking.
Look at your average day: From the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep we are running around like a hamster in its wheel. We have to achieve whatever.
Even when we have a rare free moment we are rushing to do something, somewhere : surfing the net, texting, emailing, reading a book, cooking, gardening, shopping, travelling, going to the movie, watching TV, etc.
We are “alcoholic doers” and if we do not do something we feel like being on standstill, frozen in a huge vacuum, sort of emptiness, usefulness or failure.
“I am, therefore I must do x ,y, z, non stop in total automatic behavior.” Zen calls that: “ Day sleep walking”
Our body and mind are restless and busy non-stop, wandering continuously: thoughts, worries, anger, planning, expectations, god and bad memories, analysis, judgment, etc.
We are complaining that we don’t have time but we automatically accumulate or create things to do all day long making the time shrinking.
Not only we are busy at doing one thing but, more and more, we must be “multi-taskers”.
We have to do zillion of things at the same time because we believe that we do not have enough time before the end of the day.
This is a vicious circle: More stuff to do = less time to do = less stuff done=more stress and anxiety.
Why are we resisting so much against “doing nothing”?
To keep ourselves busy, to feel busy or to project being busy is part our ego self-image and socio-professional profile.
We don’t want to be perceived by others and ourselves of perceiving being useless, inactive, lazy or failing. We want to be and to look productive. Doing nothing is simply not acceptable and ill perceived by self and by the society. Beside, we don’t want to be bored.
We don’t have the mental skills nor the courage for doing nothing because doing nothing goes against our ego which perceives “doing nothing” as “I am not existing, I am lazy, I am useless”
Subconsciously we feel guilty of doing nothing with the fear of boredom.
Doing nothing is in fact doing something that is perceived by our ego-mind as meaningless, empty, useless and a waste of time.
The feeling of “doing nothing” is just an ego-generated perception, a pure reaction of a defense mechanism. This perception is crazy and detrimental for our emotional balance because of its negative image
What “doing nothing” really means?
Doing nothing does not mean anything and should not carry any negative meaning. This is a mindset.
Doing noting is a weird concept, a contradiction of terms since doing nothing is, in fact, doing something called “nothing” whatever its means in your mind.
So, “doing nothing” is a delusive perception created by an ego-driven mind. It does not exist.
“I am, therefore I do or should do this and that non stop.”
Also, what you perceive as “nothing” can be “something” for someone else.
Doing nothing and doing something are identical, only the way our ego perceives and understands the words create this artificial difference.
It is up to us to choose the proper meaning.
Maybe doing nothing is doing something outside our mandatory daily duties and outside the routine, without any specific purposes, goals or achievements. Does just breathing is doing nothing?
Does sitting still during meditation is doing nothing? Our ego wants to do “something, to be active and for many, sitting still is doing nothing. On the contrary, sitting still and focusing on breathing is doing a lot.
Next time if some is asking you “ How are you doing?” , reply “I am doing nothing”.
You will trigger surprise and concerns since you are supposing to be busy.