Just the other day, I was contemplating a topic to write about for this issue and the theme of “doing nothing” came to mind. I had read about it in a book I was reading called The Power of the Herd, by Linda Kohanov. I decided to write about the benefits of doing nothing. Ironically, shortly after I made this decision, I fell and broke my wrist. This seriously curtailed many of the things that I was supposed to be doing, had planned to do, and wished to do… My fall was the result of poor balance but I also think it was a signal from the universe that I needed to slow down and spend some time “doing nothing.”
When I refer to doing nothing, I don’t mean sitting on the couch eating bonbons and watching reality shows—though there are times when that is beneficial too! I mean, taking the time to sit back and assess the situation one is in, in order to gain more clarity. In her book, Kohanov examines how working with horses can provide useful learning tools for leadership, communication and innovation. She refers to a Taost principle of wu-wei, which translates as “non-action.” As she notes, “Wu-wei is not advice to “do nothing.” It’s not a recommendation to pack up and go home, and it’s most definitely not achieved by glossing over the challenging elements of a situation. It’s about suspending the all-too human fixation on what should or shouldn’t happen to notice what is happening–without flinching, running off, engaging in wishful thinking, or trying aggressively to control the situation.” (Kohanov, p. 174).
I have found this to be true and effective in many situations. Sometimes, I find that I get so bogged down in the minute details of things that need to be accomplished that I fail to see the bigger picture and, potentially, better ways of accomplishing the same thing. So, every now and again, I realize (and the universe also tells me) that I need to sit back, breathe and let things happen so I can get a clearer picture of a situation.
So, as I sign off for the month and go back to doing nothing until September, I am looking forward to having time to read and contemplate, and maybe gain a little perspective on some of the things happening in my life. I wish you a happy summer and many days of doing nothing!
Direct from the Farm to Your Table
I met Deb Marsden, the founder of CT Farm Fresh Express several years ago when we were attending a panel on organic foods at the Greenwich Audubon. Deb’s website, www.ctffe.com, allows you to order foods from farms around Connecticut and have them delivered to your door. I spoke to Deb about her business and hopes for the future.
RK: What motivated you to start CT Farm Fresh Express?
DM: My mother had always shopped at local farm stands and had a garden and when I had my own children, I made my own baby food and ensured that most of what we ate was organic. The need to eat locally and have fresh food was the utmost priority in my life. I tried some supermarket delivery services but the produce was bad. Then I tried CSAs but sometimes I got stuff that my family wouldn’t eat, and ended up feeding to my chickens.
I was in mid-life and had always wanted to start a business and realized that that was the niche I was looking for. One night at dinner, my son said, “CT Farm Fresh”! Read More