Doing less? I know that for most of us, doing nothing seems to be totally unnatural, weak and inefficient. I know that we are taught to control our lives, to decide what we want to do, to have goals, to be entrepreneurs, to change the world!
People are making a lot of money teaching you how to do that or how to use the so called “law of attraction” for you to become successful. Do yoga to be healthy, practice meditation to achieve enlightment, buy this object to look successful, or use confinement time to be productive.
Manual therapy is not different from that. Fixing your patient or applying techniques is what we are taught. Of course, once again, I find myself in a position that is quite different from most people. Actually it is so different that I often do not understand my colleagues and most people around me, but I guess I started to be comfortable with that idea. And when some of them ask me about what I do and I answer that I do nothing, I almost always get the same reactions from them.
If I do nothing, nothing happens
We are constantly trying to apply techniques on our lives. Think about it. We try to be centered, grounded and aligned, we have plans, we have goals and one of the biggest quest of our life is to find a purpose. That is probably one of the biggest argument used to sell us things: books, spirituality, trainings, insurances etc.
Because of that, doing nothing requires most of us to jump into the unknown. And this is a huge source of fear. Most of the things we do are actually based on that fear. The fear of seeing what is happening and what would happen if I surrender, if I let it be. When we are smoking a cigarette, checking on our phones, taking actions to control our life, we avoid witnessing life and seeing how life unfolds in us. Anything but what is. Anything but life.
What about osteopaths?
Osteopaths can only treat patients based on how they think. Which means that osteopaths do not only try to fix their own life, they also try to fix yours. So obviously, when you offer them to jump in the unknown and to stop projecting their will on the patient, most of them are lost and cannot even start to understand what “doing nothing” could actually mean.
Most of us believe that if we do not do something, then nothing happens. This is how strong our beliefs are, and we spend most of our life trying to avoid realising that most things happen if you do nothing.
Do you think movements do not occur in your body when you do nothing? Think again! Your body is always moving, even at night when you are sleeping. Actually, if we were not pretending and listening to society’s standards, our body would probably move much more. Think about how we force our body to act when you attend a professional meeting. The way we sit, things we do not say etc.
What do you mean by doing less or by doing nothing?
Well, I mean holding space for patients. I mean not projecting your wills but listen at what is happening and support the process. If you ever “do” that, you might feel how alive a body is. You will start to notice how it is reacting to everything, how it is always moving, changing, adapting. By doing nothing, you would actually offer a frameless space where a body can express itself. It is the opposite of a professional meeting. Doing nothing, just like Barrett Dorko says in his “Do nothing” article, is about expressing yourself. Doing nothing does not mean that nothing happens, it means that what needs to happen finally happens.
Once again, it is a revert current. For example, I do not try to get a midline to appear in my patient, but a midline might appear. I do not try to decrease a tension, but a tension might decrease. I do not try to change something because I believe that is how things should be, but changes still take place. Techniques are still aplied, but they do not emerge from your will to change the patient. They appear and they are adapted to the patient, and they kind of flow. My hands still move, my patients still feel better, but I am doing less.
Doing less so more can happen
Think about everything you talk about doing in your life. One day I will do that, one day I will be more this, more that…and meanwhile your life still unfolds. Doing nothing is about getting rid of all the “one day” and being with what life is now. Not in 10 years, not after your meditation, not once you have done your yoga, not after your coffee. Not after suffering, not in your afterlife, not when you will be wiser or richer. And certainly not when you will be grounded, centered and aligned.
It is about finding that space in yourself and working from there, instead of working from what you believe about life. It is about working from what life is, instead of working from what life should be based on what you culture, your society, your parents, your teacher or social media. It’s about doing less.
Doing nothing is about letting much more things happen. Try it, if you dare. And if you need some help, I teach how to do no thing. I call it meditation.
About Jules RampalMeditation teacher and osteopath
I am an online meditation teacher and an osteopath currently working in Cavan, Ireland. My courses are for people who want to learn meditation with guided sessions, and for therapists who want to delve into the way they feel and the knowledge they can gather for their clients.
Learn more about me here