Giving Up With The Idea Of Doing
Throughout the course of our life, we will say the following phrase hundreds of times: “I have to do ___”.
While we will always be doing something, and while we will always strive for the next thing in our life, I often wonder where the line gets drawn? At what point in our life do we tell ourselves “I’ve done plenty” and mean it? At what point do we feel complete, and is there a place in life where we won’t have to “keep doing” to fulfill a void that feels in lack? I’ve been asking myself this question a lot because I am a business owner, I do also work a full time job on top of building my own business, I have a lot of family balances that need my attention, and other “life” what-have-yous; so there are times where I feel incredibly overwhelmed by the task list at hand. You too?
My next dilemma: Who put these lists in front of us in the first place? Us? Society? Family pressures?
The Act of Doing
The act of doing means we are reaching for a goal, and at times goals can either feel purposeful or pressured. Regardless of the why, the act of doing is something that will never change. I wish I could say today, right now, that I will come to a point in my life where I won’t be reaching for something new; but that most likely won’t be the case as I am a Manifesting Generator with a Gemini Moon, and I am someone who needs constant stimulation, constant feedback, new ways of doing things, new projects, new new new new.. and if I don’t have the “new”, I get bored. Sound like you?
There’s a lot of wonderful things that come out of the act of doing.
You re-did that resume from a few years back to land the new job.
You finally made it to the grocery store to feed you and your family for the week.
You took the time out of your weekend to clean your home so it’s prepared for the following days ahead.
You packed the kids lunches, meal prepped and did the dishes in one day because it was the only moments you had to do it all.
You scheduled car maintenance, because nothing is worse than unexpected car issues.
You finished that paper you needed to write because it’s due in a couple of days.
You took yourself to the doctor just to get a wellness check so you could focus on yourself and your wellbeing.
.. I could go on.
You. Did. The. Damn. Thing.
There’s so much to love about the act of doing, being busy, accomplishing something, ticking something off of your to-do list, and getting yourself to the next phase of whatever it is you are wishing to progress to. You did it, and that’s amazing. Although, what about the other side of doing that completely saturates your ability to do nothing at all? Where does that balance come into play? When do you make time for nothing?
The act of not doing
To be honest, the act of not doing anything sounds horrible 90% of the time. That’s coming from someone who is deeply taking the time to write this because it’s weighing heavily on my mind, but I also know I’m a selfish human being who can’t stop wanting more— and sometimes these “wants” aren’t superficial, they are just cravings, joys, goals and abundance. These wants are okay, and wanting is okay; but at what cost?
Every single one of us who live in this overstimulated society has a hard time resting, and the outcome of not having rest causes more than just the lack of sleep, but it makes us sick. Our bodies are incredible, I’m sure you are aware, but did you know that your nervous system is not one entity, but multiple? In summarized terms, our nervous system mainly works off of two simulations: the sympathetic state, and the parasympathetic state- however these states represent two of the three components of the autonomic nervous system, which controls unconscious functions such as breathing or digesting.
The sympathetic state is where most of us are at. This is our fight or flight response.
The parasympathetic state is where most of us don’t spend enough time in. This is our rest and digest response.
When the nervous system decides that we are experiencing stress, the sympathetic nervous system (or SNS) takes over. When the SNS is stimulated, the adrenal glands receive signals to release hormones called norepinephrine and epinephrine. These hormones are what cause the fight-or-flight response Through initiating the fight-or-flight response, our capillaries narrow, increasing blood pressure and the heart rate. When this happens continually over a long period of time, the blood vessels and the heart can be damaged. Digestive function decreases and lung capacity increases. There is also increased brain function because epinephrine helps the brain take up more glucose than it typically does. This all happens very quickly—minutes after we perceive a stressful situation.
By the act of constantly doing, we are telling our bodies that we must keep pushing and running, and if we stop, there will be consequences. Afterall, this is how you are also speaking to your body when you are not acting on something. For example, if you come home from work and you know that you really should start dinner, but you are so mentally and physically exhausted that getting up will cause a migraine and dizziness, you then start to feel guilty about not getting up to start dinner; so in response you are subconsciously telling your body to increase your blood pressure, your stress cortisol levels and your neurotransmitters to heighten, to make you feel stronger. You’re doing all of this while feeling depleted before getting started on the actual task at hand, let alone then acting on it.
So I ask you..
When was the last time you did nothing?
Herbal allies for your nervous system
First, before I go any further please know that these are simply suggestions, and without a proper 1:1 session with me, we won’t be able to fully and constitutionally, address your nervous system.
When we think of herbs for the nervous system, our mind goes to: Adaptogens. This class of herb is herbs that enable the body to adapt more efficiently to stress and to maintain homeostasis through stressful shifts in our environment. That’s why it’s gone fairly mainstream, but I have my own opinions about that.. but that’s for a different day. Adaptogens work to maintain our energy conservation, enhancing the process of recovery from chronic stress, and bring it back from depletion. A few examples are: Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Asian & American Ginseng, Eleuthero and Reishi. However, some of these plants are at-risk, so I would stick with Tulsi, Reishi and Ashwagandha (my personal favs).
Next, Nervines. This herbal class is probably my most favorite area of herbal exploration that I enjoy studying the most, because I am incredibly fascinated by the human nervous system, human emotions and.. everything in between. These class of herbs are basically just the “smooth sailing” herbs, they allow you to stay calm and really focus at the task at hand. I tend to use them most often when I’m in a pinch. They contain volatile oils, which are a key compound in relieving stress. Tip: these are the herbs we can really smell! Think of: Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Lavender, Catnip, Linden, Skullcap and Chamomile.
Try My Calming Evening Tonic Recipe:
2 cups Organic Oat Milk
3 TBSP Organic Chamomile
2 tbsP Organic Lavender
1 Organic Cardamom Pod
2 Organic Cloves
Pour Oat Milk into a pan on the stove and let it roll on medium-low heat. In the MEANTIME, measure out herbs and crush Cardamom and Cloves. Once it starts to roll (never boil) add in all of your herbs and steep for 10-20 minutes. Then strain over a blender, being sure to squeeze the herbs with the back of a spoon. Blend for 10-20 seconds to froth and pour in a cup!
Simple! Feel free to have honey or ghee in hand. Here I used both, but do what’s right for your wants and needs. I’m also a really big fan of Ashwagandha or Shatavari in these elixirs as well.
In all, I just hope you can find time to do absolutely nothing. Do nothing for as long as you want, as often as you want, and don’t think twice about it. Allow yourself to feel so completely within your being. Plants have their own energetic playing field, as so do we. Our energetics come through waves, they crash to the shore or they elegantly roll into the sand. Our emotions are at play with everything that is in relation to our health. Health is rooted in emotion, whether that’s joy or grief.. or the act of doing. Depending on our emotions, the frequency in which these feelings vibrate can cause depletion and stagnation through the meridians or channels racing through our bodies. With any good healing modality, like yoga, we begin with mindset followed by integration. So sometimes, the integration looks like nothing, and that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.