Healthy Writers Club: Doing and Not-Doing

Photo Courtesy of Shallee McArthur
It has been another week, and I have been steadily plugging away at my healthy living goals. I hope you have been successful, too; it is so much harder to keep yourself centered during the holidays.

I've been thinking about Lao Tzu lately, and I have been paying lots of attention to the Taoism concepts of doing and not-doing. In the Western world, we place so much emphasis on DOING, and I see this reflected in my life all the time: exercising, writing, networking, job-searching, etc.

But this week, I have been trying to remind myself that it's okay to be NOT-DOING sometimes, too. It's critical, actually, because rest is one of the most vital--yet overlooked--aspects of living a healthy life. (My body learned this lesson the hard way this week. I attempted two back-to-back sixteen-mile bike rides with very high resistance, and my knees fought back and kept me grounded for the next two days.)

Here is my favorite part of the Tao Te Ching. I have found it very inspirational lately, and I hope you do, too:

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and he lets them come;
things disappear and he lets them go.
He has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When his work is done, he forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

How does this relate to your life--writing or otherwise? I have recently discovered exactly how violently my stories will fight back if I try to force them to behave. I have also discovered that my mind and body both need time to heal. If I try to force either to fall in line, they will protest with a vengeance. 

That's why I am trying to embrace the fact that it's okay for me to NOT be okay sometimes. And with all the transition going on in my life right now, I need to accept the bad times just as fully as the good times. As the quote goes, "Sometimes, we must be hurt in order to grow. Sometimes, we must fail in order to know. Sometimes, we must lose in order to gain. Because some lessons in life are best learned through pain."

When is the last time you experienced this feeling?

Here are my weekly Healthy Writers Club milestones:

  • Three bike rides (39.5 miles)
  • Five ab work-outs
  • Three arm work-outs
  • 10,481 new words on my polar bear project, and I am actually having FUN
  • Lots of family time, a few adventures, and lots of moments of NOT-DOING in addition to my usual DOING ;)
How about you? Any setbacks or milestones this week??