Sunday, 10 July 2011


The more we do the better life is, we find the energy and the ability and the will power to get through, even if we are exhausted and shattered, we do it. We plan our times and make the appropriate arrangements and fit in the appointments with the dentist, the doctor, having the car serviced, shopping, socialising, and whatever else we have to do we do it, and what's more actually have something called "a life". We dream or aspire to having to "do nothing" to be on that beach or countryside, chilling out over leisurely meals, a glass of wine, reading, swimming, adventure trekking whatever it is that gets our proverbial juices flowing. The moment we get time to ourselves we take advantage of it - or do we, strangely enough the "doing nothing bit" we often initially enjoy but that soon leads to a thought that we have "wasted out time" and didn't do what we had intended. We may have cleared the attic, the garden, painted the kitchen whatever, but then whilst that can in itself be immensely satisfying, we still haven't had that idyllic leisure time that we deep down would have liked so we often carry that feeling over. How we "decide" to enjoy life is down to us, if we hold near to our hearts a perfect restful time that we can indulge ourselves in then the chances are for most people such times will be few are far between. With that in mind we will forever be looking at falling short of our goals or ideals or whatever and thus there will be a stigma associated with our leisure time, which there shouldn't be. We should utilise what time we have and if by chance we literally "do nothing" then that's absolutely fine because it will have done us some good even if it's not what we would ultimately liked to have done. Aspirations, goals, realities, we can pick and choose and still be happy if one doesn't fit the bill at the last minute. We can't go through life harbouring the "I should have done this" or "I wanted to do that" etc, and not gotten round to it. Live and enjoy the moment rather than fear the "I should /could have" past tense scenario. If you didn't - you didn't, if you haven't - you haven't, that's it, move on, get the habit and eventually you'll get all you want done without the burden of mental pressures always lurking beneath the surface.

On the other side of the track where one has endless time and does little and whilst certain duties need to be administered we have less of a hectic life and no great schedules, life takes on a completely different stance. The mind often takes over and at times not only rules the roost but plays games in the vastness of the absence of doing something. If you have too much free time to hand you can feel overly tired and lethargic indeed the whole body process slows down. When that happens the mind loses its ability to see opportunities as they quite often appear not only tiring but full of effort and it's not the warranted effort that excitement can produce. Along side lethargy is the lack of stimuli  and the lack of real zest that one needs to progress. Even good and great things become lacklustre thus the mind sees life as an ongoing lowness and numbed experience with few ups and the rest lows almost "flat lining" on a living scale. Nothingness as such has greater consequences than being overly stretched. With nothingness life appears dull, in fact everything appears dull, and life also becomes very selfishly orientated, all towards 'me' and my home, and my life, and my space and that can at times form mental barriers as to letting yourself go, or forever leaving early to "get an early night" even at weekends and so it goes on. For the elderly it makes not too much difference but for those who are quite young it can have a profound effect upon how they think, live and move or lack of all those things. In some cases mental conditions can arise and it's very difficult to get out of them. We all at times go through patches of being very busy and then it can revert to the opposite because of prevailing factors around us and with those we regularly see, it's evolution in the making, there's nothing wrong with that. It's when we rest in our own state of nothingness that the ageing process speeds up and we then become embroiled in a self designed process of stagnation and pamper to it thus we eventually cut ourselves off from the main stream of life where we should be at.  

Rest is important, but like everything in life too much or too little of something isn't that good for us as it takes moderation to iron out and give credence to our lives. So what if we are thrust into a nothingness by circumstances, we don't know of how long we will be there so mentally it's a state of lack of understanding about our future, who we are and what is to become of us. These areas if not resolved at least to some degree will not only allow apathy to raise its ugly head but thwart within our ability to move forward, get ourselves out of our quandary and enjoy the rest of our lives. In the meantime we act as if alone amongst friends and family because our want to communicate is almost "offline" even if at the other end of the spectrum we want the closeness of others to feel that human warmth and break the coldness of our current state of thought. Nothingness can be the biggest problem we ever face, it's way beyond boredom it's when nothing becomes a lifestyle and that is when our whole ideology of life changes or morphs into something made up within our thought process. The trouble with our own thought process is that it's made up of a number of areas that can either come to life or stay dormant depending upon the stimuli we have. So if we become busy we see life differently, if we become becalmed then we can revert into a state of negativity such is the "switching" threshold we have within us all, some more than others. If we become becalmed then we can almost be the antithesis of who we once were with dire consequences. After all where the mind goes the body follows, it has to so if depression looms large even if temporary then our body feels the effects of such and so it all goes into a downward spiral. The good news is that there is always a number of solutions, but it's us that has to seek them out and utilise them, after all it's only us who can take advantage of such and it's not despite our wayward thoughts going to be handed to us on a plate.

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©John Rushton / The Life Alchemist 2011

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