I’ve never really stopped. Even after I pushed a kid out, a few days later I had him strapped to me so I could respond to my emails and get a second draft of the book done. When I was sitting beside my mom’s bedside while she was dying I’d take little breaks to work on a theatre grant in the next room. Obviously this is a trait to monitor; but the upside is- like my mother I’m tenacious as hell and I get shit done.

I’ve been at her house for almost three weeks now. Packing it. Cleaning. Taking loads of her furniture, fabric, weaving and shoes to the thrift store with my bro. There’s nothing like giving away the belongings of the woman who gave you life, who made you and put you here- to make you take a pause.

And it was a bodily action; that had nothing to do with my mind. For the first time in my life, I stopped.

Every once in a while I thought “I should call…” and the words would break apart and trail away.

At night before bed I’d think “it’s about time I posted…” and I’d roll over and fall into a deep sleep.

There has been little tension about the lack of action.

I got an email with a deadline attached to it that if not responded to would cost me a year of work for myself and an entire creative team I hired and normally I’d be on that shit yesterday but instead it floated up and away for a few days and then landed back in my brain the day before the information was due and I got it done drama free.

I’m not checking messages.

Facebook may no longer exist.

But I did have a great conversation with my brother about our old small town gang The Brew Crew and how they used to break each other’s noses for fun at pit parties.

For all you out there who are good at relaxing and unplugging; I suppose you will be baffled by the simplicity of my revelation, but for like-mindeds’- who don’t stop, can’t stop, won’t stop– because it feels good, because, it’s right around the corner and because it’s who you are I want to tell you that I went to the other side and it’s alright.

It’s quite nice actually.

Because all the doing and posting and making is mostly just a call out to the universe “please like me!” and reminding people “I’m here.” All the social engaging and creative output is a constant need to get the love cup filled up, to be affirmed daily, hourly, while sitting on the toilet- that we deserve to be here.

But when I stopped and didn’t want to start again I felt this strange liberation because it became very clear to me that…Oh, we don’t matter all that much.

I mean we matter. We matter. But we don’t actually matter. You know what I mean?

And I know this may be just a window and once I get home I’ll get back on the busy track because like my mom; I enjoy being active and alive and here.

But this weakness has taken me over recently and has brought me to a halt.

And in this weakness, in this releasing of all expectation and drive and forward pulsing momentum I have found the most surprising thing.

Inside, after the stopping; once I’ve stopped; all of a sudden I owe nothing and I can give everything because I don’t matter and that makes me huge, and powerful and free.





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  1. says

    Very inspiring, thank you.

    I feel HUGELY comforted by the idea that we’re not important. This was brought home for me recently, remembering that we’re all made of the same matter as everything around us.
    In times of high emotional stress, I now often touch a wall or a chair, and think, “I’m the same as you”. It makes me feel insignificant in a very calm-inducing way.

  2. Jenna sanders says

    For 40 years, I only DID. It’s who I was, how I got the world to acknowledge my existence. Then, I got sick. Three months living and not much cognitive presence or human contribution. I learned that our kids found humor to prevent worry. My husband filled the DO WORK compulsion and managed EVERYTHING. Our univers crumbled and a million friends and families shored up our edges until we could stand again.

    Now, on this side, I do less. I think, ponder and just experience. I no longer need anyone to validate that I am (or am not) worthy to be here. I am grateful. I am present. This contentment has no timelines, no guilt.

    Thank you for sharing your weakness. I have embraced mine.

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