Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

Let my doing nothing
When I have nothing to do
Become untroubled in its depth
Of peace like the evening in the seashore
When the water is silent.
Rabindranath Tagore

I was attracted to this thought today as I find myself attached to the keyboard, dashing between this document and that, checking bank accounts and payments, researching things and formatting yet more reports. So many 'shoulds'. So many 'musts'. So many things to keep every second of every moment occupied.

I think we (I) can get caught up in the nature of being busy - of feeling the need to fill each moment with industry of some sort; of occupying blank spaces with effort and chores. Of trying to make each and every part of the day purposeful.

And yet we need to remember the counterpoints, those moments which are the opposite of drive and purpose and effort.

I love these lines, as I read them I feel my body and my mind easing, softening, letting go; hearing a whisper of what it feels like to relax and stop and be. A tantalising hint of how good it can be.

To sit. And be. Simply that. Letting noises, work, demands and expectations wash past me, letting me simply be. In that moment. Perfect as it is. Without guilt.

These are the sorts of moments that replenish me; that fill me up and energise me; that nurture and comfort me and in the end, enable me to do the things I do. Here's to many more moments of doing nothing. And simply being.

©2011 Fiona Dempster - early morning Umbakumba lagoon


  1. Beautiful thoughts, F, just like the negative space in a painting - creating the quietness that allows the business to breathe.

  2. Amen to this post Fiona! I'm thinking the same kinds of thoughts myself. I'm wondering if I can perhaps trick my "purpose-driven" self to be satisfied by the fact that even doing "nothing" is highly purposeful, as when we relax, amazing things can surface, including ideas and insights we'd never otherwise have. On the other hand, at the same time, I'd have to trick my side that wants to do nothing and just be, that I really am doing that and not necessarily trying to be purposeful! So many competing forces...inside and out!! Enjoy the moments of calm! Thanks for this post! P.

  3. Tagore's words are worth pondering. I find that if I'm at home I must fill every moment with artwork, housework and all the other 'musts' but when I'm away I seem to give myself permission to just be and take in the beauty surrounding me.

  4. Sometimes it doesn't seem that simple, yet to sit and 'be' takes but a moment or two. We can all manage that, if only we'd remember to do it.

  5. fine image, fine words. here's a thought-balance between laziness and industry is somewhere you were talking about, easy to slide too far to either pole.

  6. Perfect time for such a quote, F! I no longer suffer guilt if I am allowing myself a day off to "be," whether that means doing literally nothing or doing things I enjoy that serve no real arguable purpose in terms of accomplishing undone chores or advancing various projects personal and professional. But I do still find myself thinking of this as a day wasted, a day that will mean tomorrow's to-do list will be even longer and heavier. So hard to let go of what remains undone, and just breathe and be. And yet so necessary, so rewarding in the end.

  7. F- great quote - one of the hardest things - to do nothing and yet see it as actually doing something - not easy when there are always the lists. Then again we need to let go of the lists - we will never get it all done - what is that old saying - even when we die we will still leave a list behind? Lovely serenity in the photo of the early morn in Umbakumba. B

  8. Hi N-a lovely analogy; creating the space to breathe...

    Ahh Patti I laughed at the conflicting many sides to trick; it would be wonderful to be able to integrate them equally - their is purpose to doing nothing and doing nothing is the purpose?

    Robyn - so true. Being home brings with it so many more 'shoulds'. I always relax and unwind much better away from home - somehow permission is given?!?

    I agree Jo - just remembering to do it in amongst the madness can be tricky!

    I like that V - the balance is in between the points; and take care not to slip/slide too far down one end.

    Thanks G/TT - good to hear that you manage 'bunk off' days! Hopefully the pluses outweigh the minuses and the to-do lists still get done...

    B - thanks! Lists can be good servants, bad masters perhaps? Yes, I love being reminded that on the day I die I'll still have a to-do list; so don't EVER think you'll get it all done!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.