Interesting for me to say that “I am going nowhere”. In the corporate world that I worked in for 34 years, those words would be the last words imaginable. In business, you might cringe if someone said that about your company’s prospects. I venture to guess that most wouldn’t want that label associated with them personally for even a minute. But, consider for a moment that going nowhere might be a path to sanity.
There is a book from a TED talk by Pico Iyer titled, “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere“. I got this book about a year or so ago and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The introduction is named, “Going Nowhere” and the first chapter is “Passage to Nowhere”. It’s a very small book and a quick read, just 74 pages. Every chapter is awesomely thought-provoking, full of nuggets of wisdom and will calm you by reading it but most certainly by practicing some of the ideas / techniques listed in the book. It’s a book that is perfect for 2017 and the times we are experiencing although it was published in 2014.
Essentially Pico Iyer says, “Going nowhere is a way of cutting through the noise and finding fresh time and energy to share with others.” “More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk.”
“…stillness is really a way of talking about clarity and sanity and the joys that endure.”
“…an invitation to the adventure of going nowhere.”
My mother used to say a quote to me and I only recently realized it was from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
Pico writes that so much of our lives takes place in our heads so we can benefit from being still, doing nothing, literally going nowhere to find sanity and clarity.
I have had a whirlwind busy 9 days and will have another two days of busy-stuff for the beginning of this week. But on Thursday of this week, I am going nowhere. I am going to re-read this book and sit. I am going to inhale deeply and exhale slowly. I am going to be still. I am going to take great pleasure in one to two days of nothingness. The next issue of Oprah’s magazine arrived while I was out of town, it needs to be read. Today, the next issue of Essence magazine arrived, it needs to be read. Both will require at least two cups of tea steeped slowly and then drizzled with honey. And, for some moments I won’t read at all. I will sit still.
“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.” In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.”
“The deeper blessing of sitting still … going nowhere … is that it can get you as wide-awake, exhilarated, and pumping-hearted as when you are in love.”