Last week I had a chat with a very dear friend (who always seems to know how to challenge me in just the right way at just the right time – I call him My Muse. Lol)
Anyhow, My Muse and I were discussing all sorts of existential issues, but one that we ended up focusing on was this idea of constantly trying to make things happen. Personally, I recoil at the Nike slogan “Just do it.” Here’s why:
If people could “just do it” don’t you think they would?
Seriously, it’s simply not that simple. Creating change goes deeper. If someone’s not ready for change telling them to “just do” anything isn’t going to be effective. In fact, it will almost always backfire. (If you want to see the proof of why that slogan doesn’t work – look around you at the billion-dollar industries geared at helping people lose weight, get healthy, earn more, etc. If we could all “just do it,” none of these would exist – though admittedly, it’s been brilliant for Nike.)
And here’s another thought that came streaming into my brain as we were chatting that demonstrates my reaction:
Just because something is easy(ier) for you,
does not mean it *should* be the same for me.
“Just do it” implies that we are all the same, starting from the same point, with the same experiences and tools, and that all that’s missing is the motivation to get up and just do whatever it is that we’re currently not doing.
And that’s when My Muse chimed in with: “So, just let it happen – what have you got to lose?”
It took me a minute (ok, it took me a day or so) to wrap my head around what he was saying. Part of me got defensive, but a bigger part of me knew there was something there that I couldn’t quite grasp…yet.
My initial reaction was “that’s a cop out,” followed quickly by “huh,” and then the ubiquitous phrase enjoyed by all thinkers out there, “Hmm….” He gave me pause. I started to consider his words. A day later this quote by Mandy Hale came across my news feed:
“You will get there when you are meant to get there
and not one moment sooner…so relax, breathe, and be patient.”
My initial reaction (“that’s a cop out”) was based on a prescribed thought pattern that suggests that inactivity, or lack or proactivity, is wrong. If we’re not out there (wherever ‘there’ is) actively pursuing our goals and dreams, then we’re failing before we begin.
But that’s simply not true. And I know this.
So, what’s going on? My Muse’s statement was a challenge, a reminder, and a gift. As all good muse’s do, he created an opportunity for me to get creative and really dig in to an idea.
I have a saying that I like to use (actually, my mom gave it to me at some point, and I use it regularly – My Muse uses it now too, so it must be good! Lol):
Sitting with my thumb in my navel.
It’s what I use to describe that absolutely necessary time we all need to slow down, breathe, recharge, and create the space we need in our hearts, minds, and bodies (our lives!) to be who we are, authentically… and to ALLOW the Universe to support us. That means we become more deliberate in both what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We open ourselves up to greater possibility and to letting things happen as they’re meant to.
This isn’t about advocating laziness or a lack of accountability and responsibility, it’s about advocating deliberate thought and action. Knowing when to make things happen and when to let things happen. And it’s about showing up for yourself in a deeper way. Understanding your values, goals and dreams, as well as your blind spots and Achilles heel. “Just do it” takes none of that into account. “Just let it happen” makes it all possible. What a beautiful reminder.
Thank you, My Muse. xo