The Art of Non-Doing

This week we are facing a new time in history that we have never faced before… Week 7 of quarantine from Covid-19. Each of our experiences through this quarantine have been so unique – stories of those who are thriving and those who are extremely struggling. No matter where we fall on the spectrum, we can all agree that we’ve faced times of uncertainty and a shift within our lives. For myself, this time of stillness has brought up much needed things within my life that the light was waiting to be shown on. However, through the struggles and turbulence, I am looking into the silver lining. This silver lining I see is the beauty within the stillness.

We have been gifted the ability to stop. To listen. To observe. To be still. Much of what we face today in our society is stemming from the old story – the story that we are have infinite resources, we are separate from Earth and our individual actions don’t have an impact on our environment.

We are stopping in our tracks and looking at our lives in a new way. A new perspective. A new light. Because for the first time, we have the ability to stop running in the continuous rat-race and reflect upon our lives.

We are in a space that is shining light onto the darkness. We now see that we’ve relied upon a system and society that wasn’t working for the resiliency of the people or the planet. We see the affects of relying upon the industrialized food system, exporting our goods and gaining income from one source (monoculture). We’ve also been shown the importance of our relationships, long hugs and meaningful conversations and connection to Earth.

We’re able to reflect and dive into what ways are we going to move forward in a different way that embodies our ethics and morals?

We come into a place between stories where there is emptiness. In that emptiness, there is something that has never been born before. We aren’t acting out of habit or patterns. We are truly gifted such a potent time to make shifts that are carving new pathways to brighter future. We are able to act from the essence of what arose in the emptiness. A future that is more aligned with our passions and our hearts. A life that represents our individuality from it’s core.

The first principle of permaculture is to observe. Without the space for observation, we act out of intrusiveness, reductionism and habit. We act with what we think we know, not with what is actually existing. Now is the time for us to observe and move forward in a way that incorporates the whole system. This whole system is every facet of our life and every output that we have as human beings. We can observe with what wasn’t working for us and take the reins into our hands to move towards what feels aligned in our hearts.

But right now we are in the space between spaces. The emptiness. The vastness between what was and what will be. It’s uncomfortable. It’s unknown. It’s uncharted territories. It’s a place of vulnerability when we move past the stories that no longer serve us, but it also rings with a sense of freedom. It’s also incredibly exciting to know that we have the opportunity for some of the greatest change. It is the source we must return to if we are to be free of the stories and habits that entrap us.

We clear the fog and can move forwards by stepping into a true vision of the new world, the next story, the next phase of life.

The Taoist principle of wu-wei, translated as non-doing, means freedom from reflexive doing. Acting when it is time to act, not acting when it is not time to act. It invites us into being fluid in going with the stream, rather than against it. To be like bamboo that bends in the wind or the plant that adjusts itself to the shape of a tree. It involves letting go of ideals that we may otherwise try to force too violently onto things; it invites us instead to respond to the true demands of situations, which tend only to be noticed when we put our own ego-driven plans aside.

This is a potent time in history. We are being called to act in ways that fully align with us. We are being called to act from our new story, that is born from our deep inner-knowing of what we want our lives to look like. We have a brilliant opportunity to shift.

I hope this gives you any sense of ease or comfort in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar spaces we are all facing. You, my friend, my brother, my sister, are not alone in this journey. We are all in this scared time of transformation to the greatest versions of ourselves. We are divinely supported in the unfolding of our destiny.

With so much love,

Mandalynn


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