Do nothing

by Júlia Albertoni

clique aqui para Português

Perhaps it would be better for you not to read this chronicle. It would be better for you to do nothing. And if you are not considering the advice and reading these words, let’s see if I convince you to do nothing anyways.

Everything started with spring, the fresh air that here in the Northern Hemisphere brings new beginnings, the feeling that now the year is starting and that we are ready to jump into the abyss – like the character the Fool does in the story of my book. Therefore, I wanted to write to you a chronicle about the act of creation, the creative life, and the story of Persephone going to the underworld. But doing nothing came and swop these very Aries ideas away. First, out of necessity. Then, as a practice.

It is a privilege being able to do nothing, meaning, let the body be, without mental stimulation, without executing an activity beyond being / living / breathing. And this is not creative idleness… because if it is to be creative, there is a purpose and doing nothing means doing nothing with the purpose of nothing to do. Do you know what I mean?

It was what I have been exercising since the last wild chronicle, a little bit per day. I started laying on top of the bedsheets, after showering, without the objective of sleeping, reading, watching a video, or thinking about a specific topic. The pure and simple objective was only being. The silence. The feeling of the body. The calm of the mind. Nothing.

And then naturally the practice extended to other moments. I was not constantly grabbing my phone. Instead, I started to stop to contemplate nothing. When waking up, instead of listening to the radio or reading messages in the chats, I started drinking my coffee and looking through the windows, nothing. During the break from work, instead of sinking into social media, I started to sit in a comfortable spot and let time pass. When I couldn’t find one, I went for a walk, without the objective to exercise. It was only to do nothing!

There are bad rumours about people that do nothing, and usually we think that we need to constantly do stuff. Perhaps that’s why I felt at home in London – here, where capitalism was born, time pops a certain urgency in the air. It is uncomfortable to stand still. Time is money. But the practice of doing nothing in some moments of my day became a radical manifestation. Not only in relation to a system that demands us productivity, but in relation to the quantity of information and activities in which we fill our days with. Why do we choose to stimulate our body, mind and spirit at every moment?

And then something magical happened. After three weeks of practising the “do nothing” in homeopathic moments of the day, space started to rise. A space for new things – new ideas, new perspectives, new projects, new ways of seeing life. Calm. Patience. One step at a time. Everything that I wasn’t expecting. In chapter X of my book, the mystery that the Fool finds out is clear: only an empty cup can be filled. With which frequency do we empty our cups?

That’s how I saw myself coming back to the topic of the spring and the act of creation that I wanted to share with you from the beginning. To create, we need to empty. And to empty, we need to empty. We can’t empty whilst filling.

Therefore, I will say again. Perhaps it would be better for you not to read this chronicle. It would be better for you to allow yourself to do nothing.

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