I am on holiday right now. A holiday that I did not want to take at first, because… too much to do!! But I was invite by some family members to join them on their trip. And so I now find myself at the lakeside. And then… a heatwave happened, and so on top of that it became too hot to move.
And so I find myself forced to be lazy… and finding that that apparent laziness is exactly what I need right now. For so much happened in the past year, so much experiences that need to be processed. And what better time to do that than now, when I literally have nothing to do?
And so I would like to share with you some wisdom from Salmon on the topic of emptiness…
This is Salmon
This is a reflection on emptiness. You know, the condition in between things, when you allow yourself time to process and move forward to the next stage.
I know how impatient you can be. I know how motivated you are to learn and make progress and move to the next thing on your to do list. This is not to tell you that is wrong. This is how you are. This is why you are who you are. This is the fire in your soul that is burning strongly all the time.
But it is not possible to live like that all the time: there are some processes that simply cannot be rushed. That need time to be properly integrated. That means that sometimes you have to agree to nothingness and emptiness. Because it is the space in between where the strongest magic often happens. It is the silence that makes it possible for the sound to be heard.
Give yourself that time. Be patient when a natural time-out presents itself to you. Accept the gift that you are given. It is valuable. It is the time where you will probably learn most even though you have the feeling that you are procrastinating and being lazy.
I would like to give you an additional advice for times when things are lazy and you feel like you are being forced to waste your time.
There is one thing you can always do. You can always go deeper in that silence and that emptiness. You can take time to explicitly do nothing, by sitting in meditation or doing an activity that will force you to not do much else for a while. It will give you the feeling that you are still on the path, and not procrastinating. It has the same effect, but by making things more conscious and more deliberate, you will stop feeling bad about it and instead actually start enjoying yourself.
Make emptiness a habit. In the middle of a busy week, take at least an hour where you do not put any expectations on yourself, and you put yourself no goals other than simply being in the moment. Be nothing. Do nothing. You will find that you actually start looking forward to that time of emptiness pretty quickly.
Of course you should not overdo it. Do not mistake this for advice on being lazy and stopping to do anything at all. What you need to do is to learn the correct balance. To learn to feel when it is appropriate to take a time-out.
If you find this difficult, you can let the moon help you by taking the time to observe your monthly cycle. When do you feel most energetic? When do you usually feel lethargic? Once you know this, you can plan your activities accordingly. It makes no sense to do much when your whole being says you need to stop. This is your natural processing time. So, respect that and do actively make space for processing. You will find that it actually makes you more effective during other times of the month. Similarly, track your energy during the yearly cycle of the sun and find your lowest and highest energetic nodes, and when possible, use them to your advantage. This is how the ancients lived instinctively.
If you are a woman, pay attention to your menstrual cycle. The tine of lowest energy will be related to that cycle. So learn to honour it, and do not be ashamed to actively let your cycle govern your rhythm. This is your body after all, who else would know better than it what is best for you? You modern people are trying too much to live against the natural cycles. This is very bad for both your physical and emotional health. Stop being such idiots and use the gift that was given to you.
I have one final thing to say. The journey to enlightenment is a long one, and it does not have a fixed endpoint. That means that there is no point in comparing yourself to others, as you have no idea on where you are supposed to go during this lifetime. And that is actually the whole point. So simply continue by always putting one foot in front of the other, and trust that they will take you where you are supposed to go. And if that is to your own garden rather than to a different continent, then assume that your garden is the teacher you need right now. And that the time spared by not having to make that journey can be used more usefully to get in depth with your house plants. You cannot know enough about these, after all, or did you even bother getting to know them yet?