“Among the great things which are found among us, the existence of Nothing is the greatest.” ~Leonardo DaVinci
Everywhere I turn lately, I run into Nothing.
And because I keep running into it, I believe it’s a lesson that life is trying to teach me. Do Nothing. Come from Nothing. Get empty to get full. Clear space. And so, in my attempts to understand the concept of Nothing, I’m sharing Nothing with you.
The concept of coming from Nothing, says that we as human beings are walking, talking, obsessing opinions. We have opinions about everything. We even have opinions about our opinions. We basically ARE our opinions. As we swim in this sea of opinions, there is very little chance that anyone, or anything can get through to us. We have little chance of learning something new, gaining a new insight, seeing things from someone else’s point of view, and certainly no chance of growing into the person we really could be.
If you aren’t convinced about how much you are given to your opinions, just sit for two minutes, in a quiet space, and try to not think anything. It’s virtually impossible. So then listen. Listen to the voice in your head. You will probably find quickly that the voice is not all love and light. The voice is usually all about shoulds and have-to’s. Regrets and guilt. Comparing and complaining. In short, the voice wants to keep you stuck. The voice is all about status quo.
The voice is that of your ego. And egos are very comfortable with things just as they are. Egos assign meaning to every little thing. They make up all kinds of stories. The way he looked at you means something. The decision your boss made must be about you. That person must be trying to outdo you. They were late because they’re trying to hurt you. The voice has only one point of view to draw these stories from. The past. Your voice takes every experience from your past and brings it all to this moment. And it gets very concerned when it looks like things are going to change!
Take for example something you want to take on this year. Call it a resolution, or call it Self-Improvement. Notice how quickly your voice kicks in with the ‘oh no you can’t’ talk. Notice how the fear and self-doubt is just right there. This is where the practice of Coming From Nothing comes in.
Coming from Nothing means clearing it all out. Emptying your mind so there are no stories, no agenda, no past, and no future. Just Nothing. I try to do this every time I teach a class. I try to clear space to hold space. I believe that if I can stand in front of 30 people from a space of Nothing, then I am more open to seeing them, and to knowing intuitively what they need that day. It’s a much better place than showing up with my opinions, fears, insecurities, and agenda. I can truly lead and inspire when I show up from Nothing.
Here’s a practice I call the ‘Nothing Breath’. Take a deep slow breath, hear your breath, feel your ribs expanding. 4 counts in and 4 counts out. Say the word Nothing on the inhale and on the exhale. Let the sound of your breath be louder than ‘the voice’. Breathe and count for as long as you need to and experience Nothing.
Let’s look at some examples of when the Nothing Breath could help:
- An athlete getting ready to try a new skill
- Before picking up the phone to make a difficult call
- When your child has just done something wrong
- You’re in a conversation that is beginning to get heated
- You’re walking to the stage to address an audience
- You’re waiting for a job interview
- You see your crush and decide to say hello
One more thing to consider (and it’s a biggie) is what do you need to give up in order to get to Nothing? What grudge or meanness are you holding onto that is taking up space? What fear, resentment, guilt, story, or complaint is making it hard to clear the space where you could otherwise create something amazing? The answer just poked you right in the heart. Let it go. Get to Nothing.
From the space of Nothing, the past is gone, you’re totally in the present, and anything is possible!
I’d love to hear how Nothing shows up for you.