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No Idling : Mark Silver

MARK SILVER
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Don’t Look Left or Right

Today, this is due, and I have a head cold. I spent the entire morning tak- ing one of my sons to the doctor with the croup. It’s early afternoon, I’m exhausted, I’m worn thin. Do I ship or do I rest?

When the guidance isn’t clear, I don’t follow it. So I stop. I take refuge in my heart, accessing compassion and love for myself in this. What’s true here?

Our culture has two forces aiding the devil of resistance. On one side is escapist fantasy, seducing us with all kinds of ways to numb out and avoid our true work. On the other side is the workaholic treadmill, push- ing us on to produce ever-more ever-faster. By judiciously using frst one, then the other, the devil can tie us in knots, trap us in useless busy work, and exhaust us.

Rather than slugging it out with Resistance, I take some minutes to rest into my heart, to take refuge in compassion and love. I can feel the anxi- ety ebb away. I can feel the truth of my situation arise. I can taste com- passion in my heart for how I’m feeling.
In order to get the work done I don’t have a battle to fght. Yet, I do have a struggle. To the left is heedless unconsciousness, lost in the world of fantasy. To the right, busy work, overwork, exhaustion, illness, but with nothing to show for it.

I struggle every day to choose the middle way and rest into the strength and love that carries me through the work that is to be done, and that sets aside the work that doesn’t need to be done, at least not now.

Don’t look left or right. Choose love. Do the work.

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