Getting better at not-doing

I used to think that if I didn’t plan things, they wouldn’t get done. Now I feel that if I do plan them, they won’t get done. What happened? I started rebelling against my ego.

I simply got tired of listening to that inner voice, you know, the one that tells you that something’s always missing… that tells you that you have to try harder, that you’re not “doing enough”… that steals your present moment by always telling you what have to do, or what you’ll do next. Surprisingly, I’ve found that – even without that voice – everything gets done all the same… just without the stress… without the self-flagellation.

I watch myself now as I go to the gym. I don’t think “I want to go to the gym” or “I don’t want to go to the gym.” I just go… or I don’t. I don’t think that I should go, I don’t even know why I do go. I don’t need an excuse, or a reason. I just go… or I don’t. The same with my graphic design work; it just happens. I remember a client who came to my office to work on a project together. At a certain point, he said, “I like to watch you work.” I responded, “I do too.” I simply don’t feel like “I” am doing it. My hand move the mouse around, my heart shows me the way, and right before my eyes (voila!) the work gets done. It does itself… naturally. Was “I” just in the way? It sure does looks like it; what used to take hours now takes minutes. So what happened?

Somehow, I just began to let it all happen… I relax and watch it… I allow it to run its course. I neither push to do it faster… nor berate myself for not doing it. I just wait until it does itself. It’s like having total trust in your instincts. It’s like the zen saying: “When effort is needed, effort will come.” Weird, eh? We’ve always thought we needed to effort things to get them done!

I can see this in many things now, how uncomplicated they’ve become. On playing guitar, I’ve become like Zorba: “I can only play when I desire to, not through obligation.” The same happens with this blog: I can only write it when I feel an inner urging. I don’t know why I do it, or want something to happen because of it. It just happens… like trees blooming in spring or the sun coming up in the morning. The ego always wanted to take “credit” for what was naturally happening all by itself… isn’t that a hoot?

Perhaps what I’m discovering is that – contrary to what the ego would have us believe – we actually do things from an inner impulse… and not because some critical inner voice tells us to do them. If we listen to that impulse when it happens – and not try to force it – it has a flow, a spontaneity and a humility that our impatient egos never respected… and would never allow.

It’s like we become co-creators of our lives, instead of the “bosses.” And that’s a beautiful way to live… in the sense that we admit that everything we do – in that state of grace – is done by The Universe itself… and is therefore miraculous.

Truly, we don’t need our egos to babysit us anymore!

Once we see these deeds as not “ours”… but “the Universe’s”… we get to watch them unfold with amazement. Who knew that – together –we were capable of such beautiful actions?

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