The very first challenge in my book, You Don’t Owe Anyone, is to do nothing for 15 minutes. To stop all effort and simply be still.
It’s hard, yes, but it’s also the cure for much of what ails us. Doing nothing is a powerful antidote for the perfectionist poison we’ve been swallowing since childhood.
(Plus, as Martha Beck has taught me, doing nothing is a profound act of resistance in a culture that expects us to live as machines, not human animals.)
So nowadays when people decide to work with me in coaching, they know that I’m going to invite them to stop striving for a second and do the hardest thing for a recovering perfectionist: Nothing.
And with that, I bring you the sublime beauty of today’s subject line (sent to me by a client, and quoted with her permission): “Doing nothing wrong.”
To quote: “I tried doing the 15 min of doing nothing but I can’t seem to do it right. How do I mentally SHUT UP and do nothing? Please help with that.”
Since her mind wouldn’t be quiet, she thought that she was doing nothing incorrectly!
But as any seasoned “nothing-doer” knows, the endless mental chatter is just part of the experience.
There’s nothing to change, and nothing to fix.
Instead, you just witness it. You let it be what it is … which is mostly nonsense. And then one day you begin to notice that the nonsense is not you. It’s just noise.
And who you are is the silence underneath the noise.
Who you are is Stillness, something far more vast than you ever imagined.
And if we can speak in paradox for a moment, sometimes that Stillness speaks. Sometimes it whispers, “You’re doing nothing wrong.”
But it doesn’t mean it as a judgment. It means it as a mercy.
It means: “Honey, you’re fine. Right here, right now, you’re perfect. I love you.”
Yes, to our judging minds, this sounds crazy. Doing nothing wrong? Being perfect? That’s bananas!
But, when we go deeper into our loving hearts …
When we remember how it feels to look at our sleeping child in their crib …
Or how it feels to have a loved one’s arms around us after a long separation …
Then, we remember what it’s like to love someone so much that the truth of their perfection is totally obvious.
When we’re in the heart space, it’s not so crazy after all.
When I got that email from my client, I could see both realities so clearly.
There was the reality of the judging mind, where we all fault ourselves (and others) harshly for what we apparently lack.
Then there was the reality of the loving heart, the one where we’re actually whole, actually complete, right here in this moment.
And as I read that one line – “Doing nothing wrong” – it was clear to me that we get to choose. We get to decide which one we trust more: the judging mind, or the loving heart.
So here’s what I want to know. Here’s what I hope you’ll share with me today.
If you knew that you’re okay as you are, if you knew that you could trust yourself … then what would you create next?
Or, to put the question another way:
What’s the best gift that you could give to yourself, from the heart?
What do you most want to experience and receive this year?
Please hit reply to this email and let me know your answer(s). I read every email, and respond wherever I can be of service.
Hearing what you have to say makes a big difference to me! It helps me to know what to write next, and how to serve you better.
Please do hit reply by the end of the day Friday, November 11th.
Thank you very much in advance. I appreciate you.
PS – If you’re ready to make significant shifts in your life, there’s a rare opportunity to work with me this week, through a complimentary Clarity Call.
Together, we uncover what you really want, what’s stopping you, and what you can do about it. At the end of the call, we discern whether coaching is a mutual fit.
I only open my calendar for these complimentary calls a few times a year, so times do go quickly. As of this writing, there are just a few spots left this week.