Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more? ~Matthew 6:28-29
If you’ve placed your order (see Friday’s post), and you’re struggling with not doing something (attempting to let go), you may find yourself becoming fidgety, anxious, nervous, or restless. The idea of not doing something while you wait is more difficult than restraining yourself from “helping” the experts.
In American culture, there is much emphasis on doing. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop,” “God helps those who help themselves,” “Success is only achieved through hard work,” “If you’re not moving, you’re lazy,” “You’re only valuable if you’ve accomplished something,” “If you haven’t done anything the day is wasted,” and the list of stories and mantras goes on. If you’ve bought into this perspective you may have difficulty relaxing…ever. Even if you stop long enough to care for yourself by taking a bath or getting a massage, your mind is racing…calculating all the things you need to do next after this massage is over. The idea of simply being is so far removed from your way of thinking that the mere suggestion of it is laughable.
I’ve known people like this…one delightful woman in particular. She was raised in Detroit in its height of abundance in the 1920s and interacted with very influential people on a regular basis. Her sharp wit and keen intellect made her stories not only fascinating to listen to but incredibly funny as well. I loved chatting with her and learning about her life experiences but I never felt fully comfortable in her presence…because she wasn’t comfortable. She was so nervous when she sat that she could only sit for five minutes at the most…and even that was torturous for her. The only way I could get her to talk was if I worked along side her…which wore me out because she was so obsessed with constant moving that she would expend energy on pointless things. I often wondered if she could ever learn to just be…exist…allow her mind to empty and simply breathe…and let this be enough.
So today, as we wait for our orders to be filled, I invite you to examine where you have bought into the idea that “doing” is more important and is better than “being.” I invite you to ask why “doing” is more valuable than “being”…what it offers you (including challenges), and what would happen if you didn’t “do.” Then I invite you to ask why “being” is less than “doing”…what that belief offers you (including blessings), and what would happen if you simply “were.” For some, just considering that idea will be a stretch…for others, you may be ready to practice “being.”
If you are ready to practice “being,” I’d like to invite you to practice “being” grateful today. This doesn’t mean that you take five or ten minutes to list all the things you’re grateful for, although that is a wonderful practice to implement and I highly recommend it. I mean that your entire being throughout the day is one of a conscious state of gratitude.
For example, as you drive to work, being aware that you have a car or a means of transportation to work and express gratitude in the moment…that you the means of moving yourself to your transportation and that there is fuel to get you where you need to go…that you have a job and a way of supporting yourself and your family…that there are paved roads to drive/ride on and padded seats and a suspension system on the vehicle…that you have eyes that can see the sunrise or the earth awakening…that you had breakfast when many people in the world don’t have access to food on a regular basis…that you have weather appropriate clothing when many in the world do not…that there are sidewalks and pavement to walk on as you walk to work, so that you don’t have to get mud all over your shoes and clothes…that you can walk because your legs work and your balance co-ordinates with your legs and eyes…and on and on.
It’s a practice. Of course there will be moments when you must focus on something other than being grateful, but simply setting the intention to “be grateful” will offer you ample opportunities throughout the day…even if it’s just a thought of “Wow!”
In this place of gratitude and being, you are practicing receiving all that the Universe is preparing for you. If you can’t slow down enough to enjoy the food when it’s served to you, you won’t be able to receive all the blessings it has to offer you. So practicing receiving before your order arrives allows you to exercise that muscle and prepare yourself for the abundance of blessings that are headed your way…for they are amazing…just like you.
And so it is.