I came across a new Taoist quote by Lao Tzu quote the other day, one that I’d never heard before. I found it on a blog I’d never been to before and just happened to stumble across via Twitter (it was Elle Sommer’s lovely Reflecting a Life blog). It was a day of “coincidences” (I put that word in quotes because, being the LOA-savvy types we all are around here, we know that there are no such things as coincidences, right? ;-)) that centred around the concept of inspired action and brought to a head all my frustrations with not being able to recreate the kind of momentum I experienced a while back where I got an absolutely amazing amount of stuff done.
Frustration: the state of getting nothing done.
The frustration came from my desire to be able to generate the kind of energy, intensity and focus that I’d experienced that weekend, at will. This intense desire was clashing with my underlying belief that keeping that kind of pace up is not possible. I desperately want to be able to put on those incredible bursts of productivity whenever I get the chance to because the time I have for uninterrupted work is really rather limited with two preschoolers in the house. When I get a weekend or an evening to myself my biggest desire is usually to generate as much stuff for my web site as I possibly can – whether it’s writing new blog articles, recording and mixing podcast files, or researching, learning and implementing new techniques and systems that will help me turn all this into the kind of resource and business that I want it to be.
So when I get a block of quiet time and find myself unable to focus or create anything… it drives me absolutely batty. Which, by reason of the Law of Attraction, just brings more and more frustration and battiness-inducing incidents into my life. Which escalates said frustration and battiness to ever greater heights.
Coincidence? Or Law of Attraction at work?
Which is the point at which all the inspired action coincidences started cropping up. It started with a bunch of posts that I noticed on other people’s blogs having to do with subject of inspired action. Which I just thought was funny, because they came so close on the heels of the one that I had written (Incidentally, that sort of thing happens all the time in LOA communities – I’ve talked about this synchronicity thing with other writers and they’ve noticed it, too – we all have had these experiences where we seem to be tapping into some greater need out there that people have to learn about particular subject areas, because we often end up unknowingly writing articles on the same sorts of topics at the same time. Kind of cool, huh? :-))
Now where was I? Oh yes… the inspired action coincidences.
So, I started noticing all these inspired action posts on other blogs, and then started coming across quotes and things in places like Pinterest and Facebook that had to do with patience and being still and listening to the voice within. Which was when I realized that I hadn’t been following my own wisdom; for the love of the Universe, of course I couldn’t just command the kind of productivity that I wanted! And it wasn’t because it’s not possible to keep that kind of pace up — there is nothing out there that is truly impossible when we believe — no, the reason I couldn’t do it was because, on some level I didn’t believe that I could. The frustration that I was feeling was evidence of this: frustration can be seen as a kind of fear; fear that the thing that you want won’t actually manifest.
Clarity manifested through the Tao.
The thing that really brought this home for me, that made me clearly see the underlying, and previously unconscious, belief system that I had about this was the quote:
It was literally like a smack in the face or a light bulb going off; my waters (my thoughts, my mind, my beliefs) were muddied. And by flailing around in ever-increasing frustration trying to make myself be productive, I was just stirring up more and more mud and making it harder and harder to achieve the things I wanted to.
I needed to become still. I needed to have the patience to wait, to let the mud settle and the waves from the attempts at forced action peter out and become calm. I needed to have patience with myself and my perceived lack of creative ideas, to understand that the “stuckness” I was in would pass, and to just take the time off to enjoy other things (like watching a movie) that I hadn’t done in ages.
I needed to remain unmoving… ‘til the right action arose by itself.
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I have noticed too what seems like a synchronization when several people are writing about the same subject in a relatively small span of time. I just figured it was the Universe trying to drive the point home to me. Or, “Are you listening? Here, more hints for you!”
I get all caught up in the inspired action thinking. The last few years, I am buzzing all over the place and not only can’t I sit still, I don’t want to. I feel very driven, and I think part of it may have to do with the old Mid-Life crisis thing hitting in the 40-ish years. Sort of how like one feels when they’ve snapped back to attention after daydreaming; there’s suddenly a lot in which to catch up.
Up until very recently, it had been a very slllooowww year for me. I had become accustomed to things running in a higher gear and I liked it. I was getting sign and synchroniticies one after the other. Then, when things slowed down and got quiet, it drove me crazy! I sought spiritual guidance about it but the only thing that impressed upon me was, “Just rest up. Be still.”
But I still had all of this nervous energy and intense desire to “do something”. Every day, as I had learned, “do something toward your goal”. So any day that seemed fruitless to me actually stressed me out more. I couldn’t stand the thought that the time and possible opportunities could be wasting. When I’d be inspired creatively, there would never be time, and then when I was presented with unlimited time, the inspiration wouldn’t come. ARRGGGHH!! Throughout, I kept hearing the still, small voice say, “Just rest. Be still.”
“But I caaaan’t!” I’d protest. And then I’d continue to buzz, buzz, buzz around, expending needed energy fretting.
Wish I’d listened. Wish I’d taken naps and just “chilled”. Because even at those times when we think nothing’s happening, it is often in these times when everything is. We may not be able to see it all from our perspective. But that’s often when the Universe is conspiring for us, behind the scenes, orchestrating, arranging, putting it togetherm, directing the flow.
It’s so funny… When we can finally relent and surrender, it seems that is the thing that often gets it all going again in the direction that we envision. I have to think Great Spirit must have a sense of humor: “Just wanted to make sure you were listening… (wink wink)!”
Hello Ayla! I always interpret these synchronicities that way, too — they always show up when it’s a topic that’s prominent in my life at the time, so I always see it as the Universe providing me with the information and guidance that I need, in enough different ways and from enough different perspectives, that I can’t help but get what I need from it (thanks, Universe! :-))
I hadn’t considered that this drive and desire to “do something” was age-related, although I am coming up to those 40s myself, so maybe there’s something to that. But I don’t consider the 40s to be middle aged, so maybe not. My father passed away just days after his 70th birthday, and when he told us that he’d been referred to palliative care, one of the first things that popped out my mouth was “but you’re still so young…!”. I think that age is all in people’s heads… I know 80+ year olds who are still out playing tennis every day. 🙂
I think you are so right in your assessment that in the times we think nothing is happening, these are often the times when everything is happening. It’s like a caterpillar in a cocoon. Just because we can’t see what’s going on, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything going on beneath the surface. We just need to give ourselves enough time for the metamorphosis to complete, and who knows what kind of awesomeness will emerge!
I need that button.
YEs we need to be still even if our inner nagging is trying to tell us otherwise. Having a clear mind makes a world of a difference.
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That button is awesome, isn’t it? I think all computers should be outfitted with one. 😉
I think that clearing time in our schedules for stillness and silence is really important. It’s really hard to do sometimes, especially with little ones around, but I really feel the difference in my stress levels when I go too long without having that time — I’m just so much more easily frazzled by little things. Like you said, it really does make a world of difference.
Ah, yes, being still is one of the fundamentals, isn’t it? How true. I was depressed on and off for three years but during which time I was not so productive ,at least so I thought, and you had reminded me of this, Nathalie. During that time I found LOA which I now have with me, and I am much stronger than before, not too many things rattle my cage now or faze me. So, these periods are there for a reason and can explained. The main thing to do Is chill.
40s is now still the young adult stage. I think elderly is 80. I know of someone who wrote a book at 90 and another who held a seat in parliament until her passing at 103. You are right, it is all in one’s head!
Yep. Even the times we think are the worst in our lives always seem to have a greater purpose, if we allow it to be that way. It’s one of the most important things my father ever taught me: when awful things happen, they will either make us stronger or they will make us bitter… and that choice is always ours. We just need to look for the opportunity, or the good, in any situation — like your discovery of LOA.
As for the age thing — I love C.S. Lewis quote that says: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Dream big, the whole way. 😀