Knowing when…

Knowing when to take action, when to sit still or when to bail. This is something that confused me for many years.

There is an old Buddhist saying…”If you don’t know what to do, do nothing at all.” There is a term called “effortless effort” associated with Taoist philosophy and its concept of “Wu Wei” and in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: sutra 2.46 sthira-sukham asanam; most commonly translated as “posture (asana) [should be] stable (sthira) and comfortable (sukha)”. In it’s more literal translation – “resolutely abide in a good space.”

Spiritual discourse like the above talks about right or steady action and about allowing things to unfold and trusting the process. What I kept asking myself was “How do you know when to make a move or when to stand still and allow things to unfold?”

It took a long time for me to really get this concept. Now I get it. I had to learn to trust myself.

It’s about listening to my inner urges. Not my head, but my heart. Not my logical brain, but my joy and inspiration. It’s that feeling of getting an idea and being excited and inspired to act upon it. And then being brave enough to make a move right then and there. It may be just a small step in that direction, but it’s just enough to start the momentum going.

These urges come to us all the time. Sometimes just little nudges. Not great big lightening bolts of joy and inspiration. Little urges that are guiding us in the right direction. Like when you are about to leave the house and you get the urge to check your bag for an important item or the urge to call a friend.

Unfortunately, we are often so caught up in our daily lives, our thoughts and our stresses that we miss these often subtle and important messages from ourselves to ourselves.

This is our intuition. Our inner guidance system or GPS that we all have inside and we need to learn to quiet down our minds to hear it.

That’s where meditation comes in. We learn to quiet down the incessant chatter and let go. When we let go, we allow. We allow our inner being to float downstream in the direction of what we are wanting. Then we give space for inspiration to come. The more we learn to be present, in the moment, the more space we give for these messages or urges to download.

When we do this, we can truly let go of worry and fear and trust the process as we sit comfortably in the moments of not knowing. Knowing that when we need to make a move, the urge will come.

So if you don’t know what to do, sit still, and wait or carry on with your business if you need to, just know that the urge to make a move will come. The questions are “Can you be present enough to hear and feel them? And if so, are you brave enough to act on them?”