Inaction and My Menial Existence

I’m having a pre-midlife crisis.travel-to-see

On my yoga mat, I can strike the balance between action and inaction, effort and surrender. (Sometimes I’m tired and the most “action” I can eek out is getting to the class. Yogis, you know.)

But off the mat, it’s hard to find time for appropriate action (for how long have you been trying to finish that painting?) or motivation (do you only deep-clean the house when the in-laws are coming?) We come up with excuses and then feel guilty that another day has gone by without having done ________.

In Last Night in Montreal, by Emily St. John Mandel, Eli struggles with how his brother seems to be “accomplishing” so much while he’s just wasting away in a menial existence in Brooklyn. His brother sends postcards from various exotic locales, where he does noble and exciting work. Eli says, “These letters come from these unbelievable places because one day years ago he decided to travel, so he travels. He doesn’t talk about travel. He doesn’t theorize about travel. He just buys a ticket and goes. It isn’t [my job] that’s been bothering me, it’s the inaction… All the theorizing we do. Everyone talks about being an artist, everyone theorizes about their art, but no one actually does anything. No one ever takes the leap.”

This is my current struggle. More action, less thinking about the action. It’s what I tell people when I’m teaching them handstand. And they kick up. And they succeed.

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3 comments

  1. bravo. I have learned over the last year that sometimes, it’s best to just “say yes,” regardless of how compelled you are to just stay tucked under your covers. Since saying “yes” to things, I’ve found better balance, more peace, love and light. I may be tired 85% of the time, but my life is harmonious thanks to lack of inaction.

    love the blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tiffany! Like you said, feeling tired and fulfilled is way better than feeling well-rested but emotionally restless. I’ll think about your simple phrase “say yes” when my alarm is going off and it’s still dark out! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sitstandbalance · · Reply

    Excellent. Agreed! Great post!

    Like

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