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The work of not doing


Metaphorically tied to my bed, like the girl from The Exorcist but with better looks (and no demon inside), my hair a mess, these words come firmly and menacingly from me: "I am not moving from here, no matter what you say".


My German me looks at me with an impecable crooked smile.


3 hours before.

I wake up disoriented, like every time I come back from a dream, a dream that is so dense I still feel its stickiness in my body. My lungs are still shaking inside my ribcage, a feeling that is becoming too familiar.

It is before dawn, the birds are still sleeping, and I feel as if I had just fallen through a wormhole into another dimension: I can hardly move.


And then I remember in flashbacks everything that has happened in the last days, months, year, all the faces, situations, places, colors, smells, textures, emotions, thoughts...all at once. Then I come back to the present for a millisecond, only to start fast forwarding into the future, everything I need to do today, every person I need to speak or see today, in the next days, weeks, months, in my life, everything I need to think, work, decide, do...


That's how I wake up every day. But today suddenly I hear a little voice somewhere, I pay attention and it is a little child, asking for help. The soft hairs of my ears are all pointy, waiting...yes, it is a voice of a small child...sounds familiar...yes!! It is my inner child!!! She is begging me to let her rest today, and she is not wrong. I promised her that I would do something fun with her yesterday, but I had to work, and the previous day, and the other one. And when I finally had time, I took her to watch superheroe movies so that I don't have to talk to her.


Inner child: Please, please, please...I am very tired, can we sleep today?


German me: "Zis is unakceptable, du must go back to work, what do you think? What if everyone did ze same as du? Ze world would never work! Don't be lazy!"


Me: Hey, German me! She is talking to me, you don't get to decide.


Inner child: You told me yesterday that we would rest, you worked extra hours to rest and worked more instead...and then you had stomach ache, hurting ribs, pain in your back and no energy left for me!


German me: Ze work will set you free!


Me (to my Inner Child, with sweet voice and not so convinced myself): Hey, we need to work today, and we will be in an office, with people around, will be fun!!


Inner child: So, when are you ever going to stay with me?


German me (shushing her in a very authoritarian way): You shut up! Discipline, commitment, honor your word, little girl, no one is doing the work for you, you are on your own, so dress now and get ...


Me: Enough!


I turn to look at German me, she is furious for my mutiny, rage coming out from her eyes and foam from her mouth. She has never have her power challenged. And now it is time.


My German side has been dragging me all my life from one obligation to another, from one task to another, from one challenge to the next one, not giving me a moment to rest on my laurels. I like my German part, she has helped me to grow, she has taken me to places for sure. But it is exhausting, and today I am rebelling.


Without taking my eyes from her, I reach for the alarm clock. She looks at me infuriated. I show her slowly and with a smile how I am turning the alarm off before putting the clock back to place.


German me: "Du won't be able to sleep, I am going to be here until you accept I am right. And I am going to talk to you all ze time"


3 hours later

I wake up, I feel I have slept for ages, and it feels so good...just what my body, mind, emotions and soul needed. My inner child was right. She rolls her eyes in a "Finally!" sort of way. I didn't know she could be so wise.


"I am not moving from here, no matter what you say", I tell to German me. She is leaning against the wall, has been sending me self-doubt speeches, but this time they haven't hit home.

A strange feeling of alignment within is growing, unburying the right thing for myself from all the layers of discipline I have been cultivating in my life and discovering it wasn't for once to be disciplined and do the work.


The right thing to do today was to do the work of not doing.


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