“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
— Pooh’s Little Instruction Book
Workism is one of the new words created in the contemporary culture for the need of encountering with a new phenomenon. What is workism? It is the belief that work is not only necessary to economic production, but also the centerpiece of one’s identity and life’s purpose; and the belief that any policy to promote human welfare must always encourage more work. It is an identification with the work as the only source of meaning. It is a trap of our times.
After reading the article, one needs to ask for his/her own ethics and the code of life. Do artists have immunity to the disease? No. They may even be more infected as the border between doing and being is even thinner. For those with which it is a hobby and relaxation, it could be just that. But if one accepts a call or decided to be a full time creative and earn money from it, there are moments of asking when is the end of the day and when does the work stop. Even if we say (art) wants out, does this mean we’ll say “sorry, our store is closed until 8:00 tomorrow morning”? Is there any fear that it might stop flowing once you neglect its voice or guilty of hindering its manifestation?
Photo: Ivana Filip, Ela's Plant, 2021
There is a time to work and time to rest, a time to worry and time to relax, spoke Tao Te Ching. How do we decide on that? I am very curious about everyday wisdom of other humans and nonhumans. Humans can tell beautiful empowering stories filled with true experiences and magnificent inspiration, but animals are mesmerising teachers. As you might know, I am a ‘cat parent’ of four cats and these are my the most influential teachers. Not because they decided so (at least I am not aware of this, but they might have had) but because we act together in our family and coexist as one. For example, each one of them has a slightly different routine, preferences for food, cuddling, communication and lifestyles, but one thing is certain-they are not worried to finish their anxious and manic to-do list by the end of the day. They want to eat and sleep and sometimes play, but nothing will change that; they decide when to sleep and when to play and I may try to change it and offer different routine but still, their routine is similar day to day. I, on the other hand, am not so decisive. Sometimes I want to push it a bit longer to ‘just finish this application’ or ‘just have to reply this email’ or ‘this is important, I have to do it today’ and ‘I am busy this week, I cannot go for a walk’…. Since when it is the work a director of our lives? Work in any form. Where is non-doing and the wisdom on creativity for its own sake? Not for money and glory, not for ego and flashes.
We are artists, but we are not only that. We are cleaners, but we are more than that. We are actors, but we are more than that. We are speakers, but we are more than that. We are identified with our activities. We build another layer, another mask, another game for ourselves and for others.
Workism is …o whatever…it is Sunday and now I am not going to finish this writing in the way I planned. I will leave it here and leave to enjoy cooking a lunch for my darling and our cat companions. Because I decided that on Sunday, I will rest. I do not want to work. Today, I will be enjoying doing nothing. Creating space and time. Just because it feels good for the body, mind and soul….Namaste.
Love and thanks,