to do or not to do?


Last fall, I copied the line from an article I was reading, “When in doubt, just do.”  It seemed to be an energizing catch-phrase and fitting to the “back to school” time of bustle in the studio.

It’s the new year now, bringing with it, new rhythms and the quiet of winter.  On a recent quiet, winter night, I read in a piece written by Pico Iyer, an expression gleaned from the Kyoto streets, “Don’t just do something. Sit there.”  The inversion of this popular phrase gives priority rather, to moments of stillness, to the emergence of solutions, new ideas and creativity that spring from looking inwards.

I have these two phrases juxtaposed on my studio blackboard.

As I was scribbling the second of these, another phrasing from the Taoist I Ching, came to mind, that holds these two qualities in balance as a process of life; “…both striving and non-striving have their methods…”  “…advancing and withdrawing according to the time without without rushing ahead or lagging behind.”  Over the years I have heard this echo in my mind to understand what it means for me in response to internal or external promptings.

What does it mean for you?