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The Value of Doing Nothing

5 Comments 20 June 2010

I am not one to gravitate towards the contemplative.  It takes discipline for me to bring my whirling brain to a halt and give it time to ponder things.  I have started reading When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions again and I could possibly be finished in the next day or so.  How you ask?  Because I have run away from home!  Not really, but kind of…  I have mentioned that I am a much better wife and mother, not to mention person when I am able to step out of my Big Life and breath and rest.  So, my sweet friend Kat sent me to her condo, at the beach to get away. (yes, it is the beach that has oil, but it isn’t too bad!)

Anywho, back to being contemplative…I am reading two books while I am here, When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions and My Life So Far, which is Jane Fonda’s autobiography. Crazy, huh? I am finding them both fascinating and at the same time I am amazed at the similar themes that are woven throughout both.  I think when you allow yourself to truly be contemplative about your own soul, your own life and where you are along this great continuum that we travel, then you begin to see the truth that you are learning in multiple places.  It is that same way with learning a new word, you know, all of a sudden you hear that word every where you go.

It is that way with this idea of waiting, of being contemplative, and of considering really where I am headed on this “dark and twisty” path that I am traversing.  I hear about it and read things and see these ideas that seem to be floating about me and I just want to reach out and grab them and put them all in one place, like a mosaic and try to make sense of them all.

One of the hardest things for me is that I am a teacher by nature.  When I learn something I can hardly begin to apply it to my life or begin to absorb it before I am compelled to turn around and tell someone.  That can be the danger of this bloggity blog thing here.  I want to learn myself.  I want to think myself.  I need to contemplate myself.  This takes me to the grand and fabulous wisdom of our Sunday philosopher…Pooh!  Well, today, it is actually the great friend of Pooh, Christopher Robin, giving our dear Pooh some wonderful advice.  What does he have to say to me today.  He says, stop trying to figure out what you need to say to someone else Jorja dear, and just do nothing.

“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, `What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, `Oh, nothing’ and then you go and do it. It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

So, I am at the beach and I am going off to do nothing, going off to listen to all the things I can’t hear.  I think that means being contemplative…either way, I just can’t bother about it now.  Have a great Sunday.

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5 Comments so far

  1. Paije says:

    A fact that I learned early in life, sadly through failure after failure, is that I am not “the Best” at anything. As a child/teenager/young adult this was a hard pill to swallow. I so wanted to be really good at something… anything! But as I matured I realized that just being “okay” at multiple things is a good thing. So I’ll never be picked 1st for a team, I’ll never win a trophy or get singled out as “The Winner”; but at least I’m trying, at least I’m participating and not sitting on the sidelines because I’m afraid of failing. But now you’ve totally blown my cover, after reading your blog today I realized that I am really, really good at something, actually probably the best I know! What you ask am I the champion of? Doing Nothing!! There is nothing I enjoy more than just sitting and being. In fact right now I’m sitting feet in the sand on the beach where I’ve been the last 2 hours….doing nothing! Nothing but watching and listening, listening and thinking, thinking and contemplating about all that happens while I do nothing. Thank you Jorja!!! Thanks for allowing me to realize I am the Best. In fact I might just go and order a Trophy for myself!!! Enjoy your time at the beach…. And remember nothing is good!!!

    • Jorja says:

      Paije, you make me smile, really, really, really smile! That is one of the funniest things I have read in a while and I love who you are…you are good!

  2. Kristy says:

    You’re speaking my language, dear one. Great post.

  3. Judy Helfand says:

    Jorja,
    I hope this comment finds you still resting and waiting on a beautiful beach. I was taken by your statement: “I hear about it and read things and see these ideas that seem to be floating about me and I just want to reach out and grab them and put them all in one place, like a mosaic and try to make sense of them all.”
    I understand what you are saying, but instead of making a mosaic (which I think of as being rigid, with fixed dimensions and breakable) why not gather the ideas and put them in one place like a comfortable and comforting quilt?
    I will share a little story with you. I save a lot of stuff, but I am pretty organized about it, or least I used to be so. When our oldest son was a baby my husband traveled a lot. He got in the habit of bringing home a souvenir t-shirt for our little boy. Time went by and I saved the t-shirts. About five years ago, our son came home for a visit. We were in the middle of sorting stuff. The younger son handed the bag of t-shirts to his older brother and said: “Do something with these!”
    About three months later a package arrived in the mail. It was a quilt, each square was made from the front side of the t-shirts.

    Sometimes when I want to do nothing, I sit down with the quilt and marvel at the memories.
    By the way, I love doing nothing.

    • Jorja says:

      Judy, I love the quilt idea. I have always loved quilts. They remind me of my Nana. As always, I love your story!!!!


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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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