Quietly seeking Nothing
OK – raise your hand if you feel just a little worried when you aren’t doing something with the intention of seeing results . . . getting to the end, nailing down the details, tying up the loose ends, putting the icing on the cake. All you - with your hands in the air? You are my people! But now, I’m trying to figure out how to also be in life outside of our circle.
I’ve had the real pleasure over the last eight weeks of organizing and helping to facilitate a book study of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown. It is a little jewel of a book, chocked full of reminders that my lifelong perfectionism is not necessarily a great thing. I’ve had eight weeks of saying to myself . . . “Really?” and “Dang!” and “Not again!” Anyway, one of the activities this book suggests is to make a list of permission statements – those things you are willing to practice doing differently as you consider all the ideas the book offers; the intention is to help readers think about and experiment living their lives with less striving, in more wholehearted ways.
My permission statements list grew longer each week. And one that really sticks out is giving myself permission to be purposeless. Just be, take up space, breathe, walk and talk, all without striving to make something happen. I’m not talking about forsaking purpose, but just allowing myself to honor those pockets of time when I am aimless and open and still. As a Concrete Sequential introvert perfectionist with a book to complete, this idea has become both intriguing . . . and crazy making. Still, I think it might help my shoulders disengage from my neck and that would be a good thing.
So, here I am, recognizing moments in my day when nothing needs to happen. Planning for time over my week when I will have no plans . . . yeah, I know . . . planning for no plans . . . obviously I’m struggling here. If you raised your hand earlier, you know what I’m facing. And if you didn’t, do you have a secret for those of us who may want to try a little purposelessness? Share it! Let me know what you do to run untethered in your lives. I want to be that someone in the group who can say "Nope, nothin' to do" with a smile, and mean it.