Active waiting; the balance between taking action and doing nothing

Active waiting; balance between action and doing nothing

You know that feeling that you could do things, or even feel that you must do them, but at the same time you can’t bring yourself to do it, or you feel a lot of stress and pressure from outside, or from within yourself?
Or are you at a point where you must or have to make a choice (again that word ‘must’) but you don’t know which one and think you really shouldn’t postpone much longer?

I recognize those feelings and moments all too well. And what helps me in this, is becoming aware (again) that I don’t have to do anything right now, but just to give myself some time, to feel and to allow things to happen. I call this Active Waiting.
It is certainly not something passive but also not to take any forced action.

Of course, sometimes it is the case that an (external) motivation will help us to take action, and to get much needed help to change things. As sometimes not taking actions or choices stems from insecurity, fear of the unknown, or even fear of success.
But sometimes taking a step back is the right thing to do and sometimes even more productive.

Taking action, conscious waiting and synchronicity

It is said that deep down you know the answer to your question. Subconsciously. Only it doesn’t quite enter your conscious mind yet, for example because of expectations of others or yourself, conditioning or perhaps fear of the unknown.
But if you do nothing at all, nothing will happen. Right?!
Yes, in some cases it is. Simple example: if you’re thirsty, but don’t move your ass, that glass won’t come to you by itself unless you ask someone to bring it to you.
But by Active Waiting I mean more waiting for the right moment, waiting until you really feel that something is the right thing, waiting for what you’re waiting for occurs. That you know from the inside, this is the right thing.
At the same time, it is important that you have an idea of what you are waiting for, concrete or at least clear outlines, or a feeling or desire.

Does this still sound a bit vague? An example then:
You are looking for a new job or assignment. You’ve been looking around for a while and then you find something, but it’s not quite it, but your head tells you to do it. Just when you want to go for it, something else comes your way through a friend, that suits you much better.
Or even simpler: you think of someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and they call a little later. Or you’ve been looking for a certain item for a while, and just when you actually give it up, you suddenly run into it.
You can also call this synchronicity.
As described on Wikipedia: “circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection.” (cause and effect). “Synchronicity experiences refer to one’s subjective experience that coincidences between events in one’s mind and the outside world may be causally unrelated to each other yet have some other unknown connection”.

So with Active Waiting you are actively working on a certain topic, but you are kind of waiting for the right moment, topic or thing to come along. You remain close to yourself, to your feelings, what is good for you, at this moment in your life.

Actively waiting with feeling or mind?

If you are faced with a choice, you can make the well-known ‘pros and cons’ lists. Nothing wrong with that at all, of course. During these pluses and minuses, you may already be feeling what works and doesn’t work for you. The trick is then not to be completely in your head, but to listen to your feelings. And that can sometimes be quite difficult, when you are so busy in your head.
Doing something completely different, or nothing at all, can help you better understand what’s right for you. Take some time for yourself.
In a previous blog I wrote about the importance of Me Time, what its positive effects are and what you could do, for example. Time for yourself is different for everyone, some like to take a walk through the woods, others gain insights during a car ride and others like to make a cake. Good to see for yourself what suits you. It can be an idea to check with yourself what suits you best.

The importance of doing nothing

Several studies have been conducted on the effect of doing nothing. When you are under a lot of stress, your frontal cortex is continuously activated. But if you do nothing, another part of your brain becomes active that helps you get insights and ideas, and you are more creative. As this part is suppressed when your brain is under constant cognitive load. And because your brain is always active, doing nothing does not mean your brain is not doing anything.

Waiting is not passive

Moments of doing nothing and creating moments for yourself are also parts of Active Waiting.
Because doing this will help you get clearer which steps you can take, and you will have an eye for the things that come your way. As these things you may overlook when you are constantly busy busy busy. You are more open to subtler signals or become more aware of synchronicity. And you can act much better from a state of rest. It really is that simple. However, I know from experience that it is not always that easy to do this.

Become aware of what you want

Meditation can also help you to gain more insight into what is going on inside you and what you want, and not, what you feel, and where your thoughts wander. Mindfulness meditation, for example, helps me to observe and feel what is going on in the moment. And a guided visualization meditation can help me get clearer about what I have in mind, what my dreams are, what makes me happy. With this form of meditation, you imagine as if you are already at your desired place, what you see, hear, smell, feel, etc.

My moment of Active Waiting

At the time of writing this blog, I had made some big choices. I had set up my company well in Jordan; taught mindfulness courses, had regular yoga clients, and my massage and reiki practice went well. And yet I chose to leave everything behind. The process of making this choice took years, to be honest, but maybe that’s exactly what was needed. I wasn’t in a hurry, thought it was a bit scary too, and I actually had a fine life. And yet there was something that nagged.
I gave up everything, sold my stuff and gave a lot away. I said my goodbyes and went to the Netherlands without having any clarity about where to live and work.
Did I make the right choice? Who’s to say? Perhaps there are no wrong choices. At the moment I start with a new page and I also sometimes feel the unrest of ‘I have to take actions’, ‘I have to make choices now’, ‘focus on one thing only of the many things I like to do’, ……..’You have to’, ‘you must’, ‘you should’.

So now is the time I say to myself; go back to Active Waiting. You already have a pretty clear idea of what you ultimately want (a place where I can provide classes, treatments and retreats, with greenery and space around me, I want to have a vegetable garden again and work with herbs and essential oils).

It doesn’t come my way by itself, I have to do something for it, but it won’t happen from forcing it. But doing completely nothing, nothing will happen, as well. But is will from active waiting.

By looking around with a peaceful mind, taking the time to orientate, to feel, telling people what I want to do, allowing myself that I don’t know how the road will go, when it will come.
If you know What, then the How will eventually come.
It is not easy and certainly a challenge and can give moments of unrest, but at the same time very interesting and beautiful practice of acceptance, awareness and trust.

I hope this blog helps you if you are also about to make (big) choices, or smaller new steps or if you are already in the middle of changes.

Hi, my name is Jolinda, and I work as a holistic health practitioner.  I provide yoga and meditation classes and massage and Reiki treatments,  mindfulness training and happiness coaching,. 
With my blogs I hope to inspire you to make positive changes into your life. For more ideas and tips check out my page Jolindas inspiration.  Free trainings and videos you can find at free downloads and videos
Would you like to be kept informed and inspired? Then sign up for my newsletter. 

error: Content is protected !!