2005-09-02 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Doing No-Thing
By Dr. Nancy Gahles


DR. Nancy gahles
DR. Nancy gahles The hot and humid days of August are so steamy that we are often unable to move about with comfortable ease. The heat makes it difficult for us to carry on the hurried pace of life that we are used to. This makes us cranky, irritable and exhausted. Have you ever noticed the lifestyle of peoples in cultures where the weather is always hot? They take life very slowly. They work in the morning and take a siesta in the afternoon. They return to work after they have rested. Productivity is much higher under these conditions and they enjoy good health. I have noticed that people living in these climates are happy. They live life. They do not rush. Most importantly, they take time to do nothing. No thing. When nature tells you to slow down, it is a good idea to listen.

In our characteristic fast paced lives we are under the impression that to do nothing is a waste of time. The ancients used to call this state non-action. The polar opposite of action. All of life is manifested in opposites and we must have the mirror of one to know the other. If we only had day we would never experience the beauty of the moonlit night sky. When nature gives us sunlight to pursue our activities, she also gives us nighttime to rest and renew ourselves. Likewise, the lazy, hazy days of summer are given to us to enjoy the bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables. Take time to just be. Sit on the beach and smell the coconut oil; watch the waves roll in and out, changing their rhythm but never ceasing; ride your bike through the dunes and look at the types of foliage that are native to this region; make a barbeque and invite friends over to laugh and reminisce with. Life is short and before you know it, the summer will be over and you will be plunged into the hustle bustle of school, work and all of the activities attendant to these facts of life.

Take the rest of the summer to develop the gift of non-action. Cultivate your ability to do no thing. By doing no thing you will clear the muddy waters of your mind. You will be able to see below the surface to the depths of your soul. By being still, you can see to the bottom, like the undisturbed waters of a calm lake. There is peace in stillness. Stillness is the opposite of action. Try it on for size. See how it fits. When summer is over, bring stillness into your life as a way of refreshing and renewing yourself when the activity builds to a frantic pace. Doing nothing is a dynamic state.

All possibilities exist in opposites. Shoot for the moon. If you miss, at least you’ll land among the stars. I’d love to hear your personal experiences. E-mail me at askDr Nancy@ aol.com.

May The Blessings Be!

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