Saying Yes When It Feels Right
A funny thing happens to me when I spend time in the Western part of the world; an awful lot of my thoughts seem to be around the subject of whether or not I’m doing enough. Much of the time my concerns surrounding productivity are overruled by a warm belly laugh emanating from a part of me that understands the relative importance of this ‘doing’ my worries are referring to.
This being the most relaxed part of me, it is also what gave me permission today to sit on a park bench with little more on my agenda than marveling at the numerous shades of pink in a single Rhododendron bush. When the bush received enough of my admiration to go from pink to slightly red I turned my attention to a tourist trying to seduce a duck into behaving like a lap dog.
Sadly I have to report that despite his enthusiastic motioning for the duck to come and sit with him it stoically remains committed to its un-dog-like duck-like ways and pays him no mind. The man doesn’t give up easily though. But I must admit that even when I’m being entertained by the likes of excited tourists and uncompromising ducks my more peaceful side doesn’t always triumph over my restless thoughts.
The reason I’m so aware at the moment of what my thoughts are offering to me is because my return to this part of the world is very recent. I spent the past few months traveling around in Asia. And I must say that while I was there the nature of my thoughts was very different.
I suppose I can take that as evidence that I’m more influenced by my surroundings than perhaps I’d like to be. Also, it makes me wonder (even more so than I did before) why the West is so focused on making things happen. Over the years it has become painfully clear to me that my own plans for myself never quite compare to the sheer wonders life has already lined up for me.
Despite that realization I still find myself foolishly tempted to plot and scheme and wreck this admittedly inventive brain until it exhausts itself. Of course, it is always when eventually it lets go that great ideas effortlessly start making their way in.
In case I should forget, an interesting experience during a recent trip kindly reminded me of the beauty of effortlessness.
During an excessively long layover between flights, I ended up spending some time with a person who has had the pleasure of enjoying a decent amount of success, as we see it. Something he seemed very willing to share.
After being my neighbor during my first flight he invited me to hang out in his home in Mumbai until the next plane was ready to take me elsewhere. It was there I was served a generous buffet of fruits along with a few very intriguing proposals. Without verbalizing my plans to him this gentleman offered me the use of one of his houses which was conveniently close to where I intend to make my home in the near future. In the sleep-deprived state of someone who is mid-travels, it took me a while to process generosity of this kind. Perhaps to fill the silence that ensued he proceeded to volunteer his help in starting my own company. That didn’t do much to soothe my surprise.
I had mentioned an interest in what this company was to be about but I had not expressed my desire to set up a business.
The only one who truly knew about that was a very trustworthy piece of paper. And even that confidant possessed limited information. In this particular case, I didn’t feel it was right to take this gentleman up on his offer. Only partly because my ideas required more clarity.
It was, however, a wonderful confirmation that even somewhere between flights and long-overdue showers on an unfamiliar Indian couch, life still manages to usher new opportunities into our worlds. It also showed me that life will always keep reaching out to us until something (or many things) comes along that we want to go for. And though we like to tell ourselves otherwise, for this to happen it isn’t always necessary to do a whole lot more than to sit back and eat a bunch of fruit. Sometimes all we have to do is say yes when it feels right.
The park bench I’m resting on definitely feels right. On occasion, it’s very nice to sit guilt-free on my ass. But I also greatly enjoy working with life’s generous offerings. Contrary to striving to achieve something that doesn’t actually feel like work at all.
And from what I gather from the ongoing scene in front of me; it’s also a lot less effort than charming stubborn Dutch ducks into submission.