Do less and achieve more. Do nothing and achieve everything.
Whoa. What does this crazy quote mean? How is this possible? Isn't this contrary to everything our society embraces? My active, spinning, busy mind rebels against this thought. My need to be in control rises up against this thought - but no, I need to do, I need to act, I need to take charge, I need to do something! I can't sit, and rest, and do nothing. Then nothing would get done!! I alone am responsible for making everything happen and everything work. (sarcastic, yes, but I think I really think this is true!! how kooky!!) I can't do nothing!! And how in the world could I achieve everything, by doing nothing?
Let's look at how this relates to asana, or the physical postures. Sometimes, we go into postures with a lot of effort. We're holding a pose, and we feel tension build in our body, and we begin to feel pain, but we're going to hold it anyway, because we are used to "acting", to doing. But the truth is, if we're in a pose and unable to find sthira and sukham (steadiness and comfort or ease), our bodies remain tense, and we can't fully experience the benefits of the pose. If we can back out of a pose, find that ease, and just breathe, we will actually go deeper into the pose and our mind will become quieter and more still. The less we do, it seems, the more we "achieve". After a physical practice, we lie in stillness in savasana (corpse pose). In this place of stillness, of doing nothing, our bodies, on a subtle, deep level, integrate the physical work that was done before. Our breath quiets, our mind comes to stillness and quietness, and perhaps, we drop into a deeper, altered state of consciousness, where only light and clarity and beauty exist. In this act of doing nothing, we achieve everything. Everything that is truly important. A connection with our true, higher Self.
The truth is, this is the opposite of what our society embraces. Our society values busyness, values doing and acting and moving, in order to achieve. Think of the people who have the title of "successful" in our society. Usually, they are A-type personlities, involved in a multitude of projects, high-paced, their days are planned out minute-to-minute, and even their holiday time (if they take holiday time!) is tightly structured. They are busy, doing much. And perhaps they feel they are achieving a lot. Certainly, career-wise and materially they may be! But with such busyness, and doing, I wonder if they come to a place of stillness and quietness, ever. If they ever get to stop, breathe, and appreciate what is in them, and around them. Maybe they do, and if so, I applaud them! But the people I've chatted with, who live such active, doing lives, never seem satisfied. There is always one more thing to be involved in, one more thing they should be doing.
What do I know? These are just my observations. But take a moment to think about it, if you will.
I know, certainly, when it comes to life things, such as relationships, and job searches, and friendships, there are things I need to do. I need to invest time. I need to send out resumes. I need to show the people I love, that I love them. But I'm sure I can simplify. And I KNOW I can allow my mind to rest more. I've written about this before - my mind spins and worries and tries to figure things out. And tries to act in desperate ways, to make things happen. But, when I let go, when I release, when I can breathe and trust, I seem to "achieve" more. When I can let go of all effort, when I can stop worrying and spinning and scheming, life evolves, naturally and beautifully and effortlessly. Probably in the way it would have turned out, with or without my worrying. Except I feel peace. And calm. And clear. And quiet. And connected. To Myself and the beautiful Universe and everyone around me.
And perhaps, right there, in doing nothing, I have achieved everything. Hmm.