Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Doin' nothing..."

"Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobblestones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.
Hello lamppost,
What cha knowing?
I've come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,
Feelin' groovy...."

I've been thinking about this 1967 Harper's Bizarre song, "
59th Street Bridge Song," (otherwise known as, "Feelin' Groovy") today.  It's a song that makes me feel...well, like a child.  Talking to lampposts, kicking my way down a cobblestone street, making the morning last, wiggling my toes in the sand, accepting the moments -- one at a time -- as they come...this is what being a little child is all about for me. 

Giving yourself permission to live in the moment of discovery.  To be open to the serendipity of the day. 

Why do we deprive ourselves of this gift of Life, this sweetness of our living? 

There have been decades when just giving myself permission to even ask that question seemed foolhardy and irresponsible.  Looking back, I can trace many of my best-laid plans...especially the ones that "often go awry"...to my penchant for bull-headed task accomplishment, and a dogged commitment to  project management and meeting my personal goals. 

But as Dr. Phil would have asked, "how was that workin' for ya?"  Well, not so well, thank you.

Finding a deeper, and more conscious, connection to God has been key to recognizing the value of stopping in the midst of it all, and to just:

"be still..."

To put tasks and deeds on hold...even the ones that seem most important, vital, inspired, and well-planned...and become as a little child. 

This practice doesn't get me those brownie points and merit badges I have learned to work very hard for...being able to put a "completed" check on my TO DO list, or systematically work my way through the inspired writings of great spiritual thinkers.   But there is nothing like the directness of hearing the voice of your divine parent...in pure childlike moment of watching the grass grow, seeing the clouds shift into new shapes, and listening for to the music of tapdancing ladybugs...to realign your priorities.  

And you know, the more I have explored the lives...not just the writings...of those spiritual luminaries, the more I have discovered about their own practice of regularly walking away from the strains and demands of the day...the cares of this world... to just listen.

As a child I loved the writings of A. A. Milne.  His wisdom...as shared through the heart of a stuffed bear with "very little brains," still reaches me in ways that other writers can't.  This passage speaks to me this morning with fresh joy:

"What I like doing best is nothing," Christopher Robin thinks aloud. 

"How do you do nothing," asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.

"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, They say,  '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."

"Oh!" said Pooh."

Yep.  That's exactly what it is.  Going along and listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering...not being bothered, stirred up with anxiety, worried, stressed by, in a fret about, troubled with, disquieted by the storm that roars around us.  It's a perfect agenda for a new spring day....

That doesn't mean being unaware, clueless, or careless...childish. It just means not being bothered by it all...childlike. To give it prayerfully, unguardedly, trustingly into the hands of your divine Parent. Leaving you free to listen for all the things you can't hear when you are trying too hard to be the grown up in the "room."

Don't you want to put that endless loop message on hold...the one that plays in your head saying, "hey you, don't you even think about it. You've got to stay on that grownup, big girl treadmill, or everything will fall apart"...and give it a whirl?  Like...today?  Even if all you have is a coffee break or a lunch hour, give yourself that time to stop having it all sorted out like a grown up, with your ducks in a row, and do nothing...it might just waken something in you that is so inspired and divine that it takes your breath away. 

"Got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy."

May your adventures in doing "nothing," lead you, as Shakespeare hoped:

"To unpathed waters, undreamed shores."

on to a day of wonder and delight...with Love, 
Kate Robertson, CS

*Here is a fun video set to Simon & Garfunkel's version of "
Feeling Groovy" if you prefer hearing their voices, to the original Harper's Bizarre recording shared above. 

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