BUSY DOING NOTHING

Socially, we're encouraged to participate and join in. Sometimes that's for the good of all, and it can also be the case that the way we join in enables us to stand out and be ranked, preferably high in the pecking order. Which is fine - we are after all unique organisms as well as social creatures, and like our uniqueness to be noted.

What this can mean is that we feel a necessity to say or do something when we are with others, to join in whatever is going on. All well and good. But there's a danger in there, particularly if we're interested in discovering who we are, and what else we might be. We've all been in situations where we've noted that at least some of the participants aren't actually adding anything of substance. They might as well be replaced with show room dummies for all they're adding to what's going on. Sometimes, that show room dummy is us.

That perceived pressure to say something means people often overlook what could be of real value - the possibilities that exist within. Be more receptive to what's going on internally, and other possibilities become apparent. One of which is to contribute nothing - a well-judged silence can be a powerful participation. There's a great example in this live King Crimson piece, an improvisation played toward the end of a tour. The players are tired but still listening to one another, responding to the contributions others make with sensitivity. And arguably the most important player in this spontaneous composition is the drummer...who doesn't actually play. He listens, and his response to the music emerging is that it doesn't need embellishment from him. He's noted as one of the piece's creators, and credited with 'admirable restraint'.

That kind of restraint is something I've been exploring. In some one-to-one or group contexts, where I'd typically say or do something, I've been choosing instead to do nothing. And that's been fascinating - not doing what you'd normally do allows someone else to play an equivalent role, the sharing of that role between two or more people, or the realisation that on this occasion there was no need for that role to be played at all. 

Choosing not to say or do what you'd often say or do is revelatory. There's more I could write about this, but in truth it's best to hand over the baton to you at this point. Let me know how you get on.