Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Embrace the Fullness of Nothing


This is my 100th Post and I would like to talk about NOTHING! or to be precise embracing the fullness of nothing.

Here is a celebratory thought. Here is a freeing action. Here is a key to faith. Did I like it when I first stumbled on it?

NO NO NO!!

Enjoy having no pictures on the wall and nothing decorating the sideboard?
Enjoy empty flower beds in the garden?
Enjoy not having food in the fridge or cupboard?
Enjoy not having a partner and living alone?
Enjoy having no one to hear me 'debrief' at the end of a busy day?
Enjoy not having money in my bank account?

You can see where I was coming from. I saw 'nothing' as a poor, deprived state to be in. I didn't understand it was merely an alternative state. It is a state pregnant with possibilities. To appreciate the possibilities, I needed the beauty and fullness of nothing. If I spent most of my days filling in gaps and silences, I was not coming face to face with reality and faith.

All my life, I have worked to fill in the gaps. As soon as I moved house, for example, out would come the decorative items to place on sideboards, and pictures to go on empty walls - and, the quicker I put Peggy's pieces of homeliness in place, the quicker I felt in control and content.

Filling in the gaps ensured I didn't see the empty spots. It meant worrying about some things and not stopping to consider and look at the blessings I did have. It meant not stopping to think that perhaps there was another way.

Control is what it was all about. Doing nothing, and having spaces of nothingness around me, was inefficient, empty and scary. My senses were frightened by blank walls, blank gardens and blank days.

When I embraced the concept of nothing, it was as though a gentle breeze of love drifted into my life. For a self-confessed workaholic this was a big change. I am coming to terms, still, with doing nothing in particular, except pleasurable escapades, at weekends. Being free from guilt around my strongly entrenched work ethic is taking some time. To be constantly busy is no longer my goal. Emptiness, once disliked, is now tolerated and, quite often, appreciated.

It is a wonderful experience. The controlling Peggy who liked to see spaces filled, still chaffs at this new direction. I have confronted and handcuffed the emotional clutter of my past, and am working on discarding it as easily as I do paper rubbish.

I have been single for quite a few years, spending time discovering who I am, sitting in my quiet courtyard and enjoying the solitary journey. It is the best journey in the world, this journey to yourself.

Do I struggle with the concept? Often. Have I learned golden insights about me? Yes.

The process of enjoying the fullness of nothing is cleansing and freeing. If you feel stuck, or lack direction, try it. The downside of it is feeling out of control and alone. The upside is listening to the real you and appreciating yourself devoid of material things.

It will make you whole. "Be really whole" the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu said, "and all things will come to you".


Photo taken at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, November 2003.

28 comments:

Naomi Munn said...

Hi, Peggy. So I sat in my porch swing alone last night, watching the sun set and talking to God. I talk alot to God, especially lately. And I talked about the lack in my life, and the emptiness I feel. And I asked God, and the Universe, if it could see fit to give me a sign on what to do with my path.

And then, this morning, I read your post. And I understand. I understand that sometimes the waiting, the emptiness, isn't empty at all, is it? That the blank spaces between adventures are also adventures. The spaces between the notes are also music, even in the silence in my head.

Bless you.

Silver said...

Congratulations, girlfriend.

Roban said...

"Nothing" makes me a bit nervous, too. I've always been a workaholic, and it has been a struggle these past few years trying to work like a "normal" person.... By that I mean leaving at a normal time and just being home, doing nothing, at the end of the day. That's my big goal this year. I keep failing at it.

Just reading your post, though, brings a sense of peace. It also relates to a quote I've read (but can't remember) about the journey being the most meaningful part of our lives, not "arriving" at whatever it was we were working toward.

Thanks for nothing, today, Peggy! And CONGRATULATIONS on your 100th post!

Hugs,
Roban
Hugs,

HappyOrganist said...

this is only your hundredth post? I'll never understand you folks who do things in moderation.. My hundredth came and went and I didn't throw a party; I was on a roll. ;-) !

fullness of nothing.. that sounds pretty weird. but I'm all for getting rid of clutter. been cleaning the garage the last few weeks. (and sustaining my effort in said project, as well). I may actually get something done this time! I love getting rid of things.
trying to learn to give up the emotional clutter as well. hopefully i'm making progress.

nice post.

hasta pronto
- J

Shannanigans said...

Happy 100th post!

When I was in art school, a blank canvas was the most exciting thing in the world because it could become anything I wanted it to be. Sometimes nothing can be something.:)

Christine said...

Congratulations on your 100th post. Great topic today, I love your concept of 'nothing'...I think I strive toward it every day..the freeness of no obligations and responsibilities. It must be why I hate planning too much into the future, I don't want to clutter it.

McMGrad89 said...

I enjoy DOING nothing. :-)

This is a great reflection for you 100th post.

Congrats.

Cozyflier said...

Congratulations Friend!
As always you make me think and you reach my soul. Your photos are amazing. I love them, and am glad you are posting again :)

Hugs from TX
Carrie

Mike Smith said...

It is the best journey in the world, this journey to yourself.

Very true, Peggy. Although it can get a bit bumpy!

miruspeg said...

Gee thanks guys for your feedback and congrats for my 100th post. You know it took me nearly a year to reach this milestone....but sure and steady wins the race...not that blogging is a race!

The next 4 days I am involved in a major fundraiser for Lifeline so if you don't see me floating around the blogosphere adding my two cents worth, that is the reason.

Hope you all find time to take that journey to yourself and spend some time doing nothing.

Big hugs everyone, big big hugs.
Peggy

Hybrid J said...

Congrat on your 100th post. And this one particularly touched my heart! :) It is so nice to read of other people's positive take on being a single person. Maybe it's just me, but I believe it is still a bit of a stigma of being a single at a certain age.

I've been on my own almost 10 years now. And yes, from time to time I have an urge to want to find that other special person. But then the more I think about it the more I realize I enjoy my own solitude. AND apart from writing / reading, I don't really go out much and even when I go out, I go out to activities on my own.

All in all, I do Nothing and love the quiet-ness of it. As you said: "Do I struggle with the concept? Often. Have I learned golden insights about me? Yes."

I love the ME being my best friend and I can't see myself without my solitude (nothing-ness)!

Great post, Peggy!

jenX said...

I always discover something about myself when I read your posts, Peggy, and honestly, I know myself pretty well. You have so many good things to say. I still reflect, almost daily, on the words you wrote a few months back, about weight gain. It continues to help me.

Chapter Forty said...

Awesome post Peggy. It reminds me of a chinese saying that goes something like this...

"You can not see yourself in a stream that is running"

Monica said...

I can relate to Roban. I too struggle with doing nothing. Right now my life is just the opposite with school and too much to do in not enough time. I always have to remind myself it isn't the destination........

Caroline said...

A beautiful post Peggy! Congrats on 100...woo hoo!

I love this line: "It is the best journey in the world, this journey to yourself."

I am on this inward journey too. My life has been a little too full lately and a bit of nothingness would do me very good!

Lance said...

Through the nothingness, discovering who you are...at a much deeper level - Peggy, this is such wonderful advice! And so hard to do. To really embrace the nothingness. Yet, when we do - we connect deeply. And that's so worth it! So, thanks so much for this today.

And congratulations on your 100th post - that's awesome!

miruspeg said...

You ALL spoil me with your wonderful thoughts.
I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful blogging friends.

You ALL Inspire me. Comfort me. Support me. Play with me. Enlighten me. Amuse me. Feed my soul!

Lots and lots of love
Peggy

Stoneweaver said...

Brilliant thought-provoking post Peggy. Like you, the thought of nothing feels scary. We carted a whole container load of stuff from the UK so we didn't have to sit with 'nothing' in our house. But I like the words: "It is a state pregnant with possibilities." I wish I could live with much less than I do - imagine never worrying about burgalers because you have nothing to steal! But when meditating I find that when my mind is clear, what I thought would be 'nothing' turns out to be everything. I was reading 'Life of Pie' today and there was the story about Krishna as a boy eating dirt. When his foster mother told him off he denied it - and she asked to look in his mouth. There she saw the Universe and everything in it; all of yesterday and all of tomorrow. I guess that whether we have nothing or everything is a matter of perspective.

Roban said...

Oh, I would love to have you walking my route with me! I'm sure you would see things that I don't see, and I would definitely enjoy the conversation!

I used to have a running buddy who would get up at 5:00 to run with me.... We could solve all of the problems in the universe during those runs. She moved away, and I miss her a lot.

Until this year, I never enjoyed walking much. Always preferred running once I had gotten in shape for it. Now, I'm enjoying the walks just as much.

Hugs,
Roban

miruspeg said...

Stoneweaver - Meditating is a very good example of clearing our minds of the clutter and then everything becomes much clearer. What a fabulous story about discovering the universe and everything and all yesterdays and tomorrows....sounds like my type of book!

Stefunkc said...

I applaud you. I am an only child and being raised by a single parent for so long has made me afraid of being alone. I feel the need for those moments but am afraid to have them.

Linda Pendleton said...

Very inspirational, Peggy. Keep the great posts coming. :-)

Jan said...

this is an absolutely wonderful post! i am so glad to find your site. such wisdom here and I concur. there is magic and mystery and unfolding grandeur in nothingness. "nothing" creates so much room in us--it creates spaciousness, one of my very favorite words. :-) room for all to be as it is. blessings to you...

Loving Annie said...

Good Friday evening to you Peggy ! Thank you for the sweet comments you've been leaving - I really appreciate the time and thought you put into them :)

Nothing to me means the bliss of no noise (no radio/tv/telephone/distractions) which equals peace...

No-one around which used to equal lonelinessa dn now is a space where I enjoy my own company...

And no obligations without realizing they are all choices - and the freedom that comes with that. To say no - or yes - with joy.

((hugs))

AVT Coach said...

Congratulations!!!!! Oh my, isn't is amazing that there has been so much to experience in 100 posts. And the friends we make!! This is an wonderful 100th post. I am working on using some of my free time "doing nothing" so this is timely. In my quest for abundance I have sometimes felt drained from the responsibility of doing, adding, acting. You are an amazing thinker and a gifted writer. This one could not have been better!

Lilly said...

Congratulations on your 100th post. I think the only way to determine how resilient we are is to take away everything we have and our normal material crutches. And be truly alone with nothing but our thoughts.

Debra W said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! Quite an accomplishment.

As human souls, we are so busy "doing" all of the time, that we forget how important it is to just "be". The art of doing nothing gives us time and space to allow things into our lives that might not normally find space there.

Wonderful words to think about. Thank you!

Stopping by from JenX's site to say hello.

Hugs,
Debbie

Nina P. said...

Catching up on some posts I missed, This one was a little hard to grasp at first. But, once you do, it's so true.
I read and re-read, and suddenly began to get this picture in my head of sitting in nothing. Sitting in a hole (if you will), with nothing around, no possessions, no ego, no hurt, no anger, no distractions of life, no self.....It was in doing so that I then could grasp the essence of whole, and being whole, and being content with whole. Letting go of the "need" for possessions, things, ego, self.... Once you let the "need" for these things go and have Nothing.... You are suddenly filled with the Whole of Life, Spirit, Divinity. Being and enjoying "nothing" is the most freeing experience there can be. Thank you for opening us to "Embrace the Fullness of Nothing" for in doing so, there is a hole created to allow the wholeness of the Soul, of the Spirit, of Life to enter and we have Everything we need. Thank you for this wonderful fulfilling insight. Love and Light, Nina P.