This morning, while watching the sunrise at the beach, my friend reflected at the current state of humanity and said, “We are all exhausted, aren’t we?” Immediately, as if stricken by a lightning of verity, I effusively agreed, “Yes! Isn’t that true? Aren’t we all exhausted? Yes, definitely: we are all exhausted indeed!”
When I think about our society and the way we live, I fantasize that we have been hypnotized and conditioned to believe that we are not OK, and that in order to be OK we have to have more. The voices of our culture are constantly telling us, “You don’t have enough. You don’t do enough. You aren’t good enough.” It seems that we are always doing more in order to have more and be more. Our egos are constantly telling us that we are what we have, what we do, and what others think of us. So we engage in this perpetual laboring in order to accumulate possessions and achievements and build up big reputations for ourselves. Think about it: isn’t that so?
Let’s pause for a moment and think: Isn’t this mindless pursuit of power, position, possessions, prestige, and privileges — the Perilous P’s, as I call them — exhausting? And is this chase worth all the sacrifice? Will these things ever bring us enduring happiness? We know the answers, right? So why do we continue chasing things out there when we already know that all that will bring us lasting satisfaction is already here, with us, around us, within us?
Rest is the title I gave to the first chapter of Peaceful Ways, a book I wrote some years ago. It opens with this quote of Jesus: “Come to me all of you who are exhausted, and I will give you rest.” In that chapter, I urge the readers to exercise self-compassion, be gentle and kind with themselves, and give themselves permission to do nothing, just rest.
The questions that arise are:
- Is it possible, in this society of ours, to do less, or remain idle doing nothing at all, and not feel guilty for not being constantly active and productive? and,
- Is it possible that by doing less we may end up having more of the things that are truly satisfying and therefore be happier?
It is stated in the Tao-te-Ching that the Great Tao – the Universal Life Force Energy — does nothing and yet leaves nothing undone.
What about considering, and perhaps coming to the realization that actually we are not doing anything; we are just being done?
What about, perhaps just for today, taking time off and giving ourselves the gift of rest?
What about simply living with ease, flowing with the natural flow of life, calmly accepting whatever may come, enjoying what is pleasant without clinging, and being with the unpleasant without aversion?
What about, perhaps just for today, letting the Universe fight our battles for us?
What about taking time in silence and solitude to look at ourselves, express gratitude, and just be?
Enough is the magic word. Enough. We do enough. We have enough. We are enough. We have nothing else to do and nowhere else to go. We have arrived already. We are here. And we can rest now.
Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect, and write, and who not only strives to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation, mindful living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He organizes Silent Peace Walks.
Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”