Daily Riches: Do Nothing … and then Rest (Anne Wilson Schaef, Soren Kierkegaard and Mary Oliver)

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.”  Spanish proverb

“For many of us the thought of doing nothing is terrifying. We can’t imagine what life would be like if we were not slaving away at our projects. Not to have our projects waiting for us is like trying to live with parts missing. We have become so dependent upon the security of the next project that they are not longer our projects. We are owned by them. Workaholics often experience some depression when they complete a task. Instead of dealing with the natural feeling of letdown, we overlap completion with a new beginning. Hence, like the relationship addict, we never have to deal with separation or beginnings and endings. In fact, we never have to deal with anything.” Anne Wilson Schaef

“The press of busyness is like a charm. It is sad to observe how its power swells, how it reaches out seeking always to lay hold of ever-younger victims so that childhood or youth are scarcely allowed the quiet and the retirement in which the Eternal may unfold a divine growth.” Soren Kierkegaard

“I asked the boy beneath the pines.
He said, The master’s gone alone
Herb-picking somewhere on the mount,
Cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.’”
Chia Tao – 8th Century

“Whereever I am, the world comes after me
It offers me its busyness.
It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand why the old poets of China
went so far and high
into the mountains,
then crept into the pale mist.”
Mary Oliver

“… in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,
and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”
Exodus 31:17

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you imagine living without “slaving away at your projects?” Are you “dependent upon the security of your next project” to anesthetize yourself to painful feelings or realities?
  • Are you able to “do nothing … and then relax?” Have you learned how to creep “into the pale mist?”
  • If it’s “quiet and retirement in which the Eternal may unfold a divine growth”, are you determined to regularly retire quietly … “gone alone?”

Abba, “Set me free from the laziness that goes about disguised as activity when activity is not demanded of me.” Thomas Merton


For More: Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaef


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)


Daily Riches: The Subtle Violence of Hurry (Thomas Merton, Peter Scazzero and Catherine of Siena)

“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence, and that is activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of this innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” Thomas Merton

“Overfunctioning (doing for others what they can and should do for themselves) is a manifestation of anxiety.” Peter Scazzero

“No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.”
Isaiah 60:18

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you allow yourself to be “carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, or to surrender to too many demands?” Do you “commit yourself to too many projects [or attempt] to help everyone and everything?” What does your answer say about you?
  • Have you ever thought of overwork as a “form of violence?” Does that seem overstated? Why does Merton use the word “violence?”
  • Does frenzy in your life kill your inner life, steal your peace, undercut your inner wisdom and make your work unfruitful? If so, what can you change?
  • Have you been on the receiving end of such violence – asking for love and finding the other person, though well-intentioned, had no time for you?

You, O Eternal Trinity, are a deep sea into which, the more I enter, the more I find, and the more I find, the more I seek. O abyss, O eternal Godhead, O sea profound, what more could you give me than yourself.  Catherine of Siena


For More: Confessions of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)