I'm Doing Nothing...and I hope you do to!


I'm Doing “Nothing” … and it’s enough! 

Have you ever tried to do nothing? Seriously! You quite literally schedule time to just not be concerned about what a certain amount of time will be filled up by. 

I mentioned the idea of holy laziness last email. This is the idea of deliberately choosing to just accept that we all need times where we are not required to do anything in particular. And this, in turn, opens us up to recognizing and exploring parts of ourselves we neglect. 

But what if our act of holy laziness could actually benefit others? Who can benefit from those times we choose to do nothing? Just in this first week, I have seen how just existing in the right spaces has been embraced and actually managed to help others. 

The last few years I was teaching in public education, I experienced so many times that my hard work was overlooked, or worse, unappreciated or even criticized as being harmful and “toxic” in the environments I was working within. No matter what progress I made with 500 young people, or what new ways I tried to improve upon what I was doing, I was treated as if I was doing something very wrong. 

So imagine how much of a surprise it has been this week to literally sleep whenever I have wished, sit in rooms silently reading, watching videos or films, listening to music, writing, talk incessantly, etc and then be told that you are appreciated just for being around. That’s what this whole start to my journey has been like. And not just from my host. 

I attended my first social house party with Ali, and there it was again. I could just stand, sit, and when I shared my story of what I’m doing now, not only was it supported, but most I spoke with found what I’m doing inspiring and even started having conversations about how they can implement what I’m experiencing into their own lives in certain ways, or even how they’ve had a similar experience. Being the only human at a gathering in their 40s amongst people in their 20s and 30s had an unexpected impact. 

And then even after this event, I had an artist friend message to check up on me. I texted that I was finding it so strange that not being productive at was so strange, especially having such strong affirmations from others. How he responded struck me with such force. “You are still producing good thoughts.” Like   

I’m in a place where just what I express with thoughts and words are viewed as valuable contributions. What a crazy wonderful joy to realize there are places and spaces where just sharing my thoughts is enough. And then to realize this has been very much the case since staying in other people’s homes that are willing to welcome me. 

This is something I don’t know if I’ve felt quite like I’m feeling now. Now this isn’t to say that there are not people in my life that I feel free to be my uncensored self with. But those relationships often involve quite a bit of work and commitment, which is very important to have as well. Still, I’ve always felt I had to prove myself in some way to be appreciated, or work very hard to find acceptance. 

Starting off this journey I’m finding what could prove to be a springboard into wherever I’m headed. This isn’t just about being myself. This isn’t about sharing my story wherever I go. Some people and spaces don’t want that, and honestly, don’t deserve that effort. But there will be people and spaces that are looking for exactly what I have to offer, just by me existing, and being open to share about my experiences of existing when they are ready for that. 

Are there people in your life that that just existing is enough for them? People with whom sharing who you are is appreciated and embraced? I certainly hope so. 

Much love to all of you.

Josh Bradford  

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