Finding Fulfillment in Stillness: Lessons from an EMT’s Slow Day

In our fast-paced world, the idea of productivity is often synonymous with constant action. However, an experience during my days as an EMT revealed a profound truth about productivity and fulfillment. One slow day, my partner and I found ourselves parked in our ambulance, waiting for a call. Hours went by, and a sense of anxiety began to creep in. I realized I was restless because I felt the need to be productive.

The Search for Productivity

To quell this restlessness, I began organizing equipment in the back of the ambulance. When that didn’t help, I took a walk and struck up conversations with people nearby. Despite these efforts, the anxious feeling persisted. It was then that I decided to sit quietly and meditate, seeking clarity on what productivity truly meant.

The Epiphany

During my meditation, I asked, “What does productive mean? What can I do to be productive?” The answer that came to me was simple yet profound: “Productive is feeling fulfilled without having to do.” This revelation felt liberating. It suggested that true productivity is not always about tangible actions or accomplishments, but can also be about a state of being.

Understanding Fulfillment Without Action

The idea of feeling fulfilled without having to do challenges our conventional understanding of productivity. It invites us to explore a deeper sense of fulfillment that comes from within. But what does this really mean, and how can we experience it?

  1. Presence in the Moment: Often, our sense of fulfillment is tied to future achievements or past successes. Being present in the moment, fully aware and accepting of our current state, allows us to find peace and contentment without external validation.
  2. Self-Acceptance: Embracing who we are, with all our strengths and flaws, helps us feel whole. This self-acceptance reduces the need to constantly prove ourselves through actions and accomplishments.
  3. Inner Peace: Cultivating inner peace through practices like meditation, mindfulness, or simply sitting quietly can lead to a profound sense of fulfillment. This peace is not dependent on external circumstances but comes from a calm and centered mind.
  4. Gratitude: Recognizing and appreciating the simple joys in life, such as a quiet moment, the beauty of nature, or a heartfelt conversation, can provide a sense of fulfillment. Gratitude shifts our focus from what we lack to what we have.

Moving From Idea to Experience

Awareness of this concept is just the beginning. To truly embody this wisdom, we need to practice it. Here are some steps to integrate this understanding into our daily lives:

  • Daily Reflection: Set aside time each day for reflection or meditation if you can. Ask yourself what truly makes you feel fulfilled and pay attention to moments when you feel content without external achievements. If setting aside time each day is not an option, use a minute or two while you are showering, using your bathroom break, washing dishes, or even when you are watching your child’s games or practices. Being aware and directing ones thoughts can even be done during conversations we are having.
  • Mindful Activities: Engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as walking in nature, journaling, or simply sitting quietly. These activities help anchor us in the present moment.
  • Self-Compassion: Practice self-compassion by being kind to yourself, especially during times of inactivity. Remind yourself that your worth is not tied to constant doing. Turn your kind, encouraging, empowering talking skills towards yourself as well, not just towards others you love.
  • Embrace Stillness: Allow yourself to experience stillness in the presence of quilt or fear. Choose stillness to be the focus of your attention as quilt may remain in the background.  Understand that being still and present can be as productive as any action, as it nurtures your inner well-being.

Conclusion

The lesson I learned on that slow day as an EMT remains a powerful reminder that productivity is not merely about doing, but also about being. Feeling fulfilled without constant action is a profound form of productivity that brings inner peace and contentment. By embracing this wisdom, we can lead richer, more balanced lives, finding joy and fulfillment in the stillness as much as in the action.

Lao Tzu wisely said, “By doing nothing, everything is done.”

If you are struggling to find your fulfilled experience, let us explore stillness together. Contact me for a session for any of my services.

Guiltless Mind, Connection and Peace

In the year of 1970 a song was written by a Hungarian band named Omega.  The song is called: Ballad of a Gunsmith’s Son.

“Winter runs through the night
Snow-frost blooms
A life weeps in a new cradle.
His father lifts him up
This child will  be a gunsmith
If I live to that.
And so it happened
But one day the son said
Let us not make guns any more
There will be no war, tearful and sad
I will see everyone happy
With a small bell that he casted
He puts on migrant’s clothes
And wonders all the world with his bell.
The song of the bell softly sings
That no one can hear
And everyone laughs at him who sees him.
One day he returns, stands but barely lives
He is no longer the one who left with eyes closed
His father laughs; just open your eyes
In such a world guns are needed

I know, I know, I know your heart is broken
And yet, still you have to understand
I know, I know, I know your heart is aching
And yet, still you have to understand”

You can listen to the song here:

The following is an excerpt from Lincoln”s speech 200 some years ago…

“The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same we do not all mean the same. What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of men, in lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?”

The Dalai Lama was once asked why he didn’t fight back against the Chinese when he was exiled from Tibet. He replied, “because war is obsolete, you know.” Then he paused and, in a more serious tone, said that “the mind can always rationalize fighting back, but the heart will never understand it. We would then be divided in ourselves (the heart and the mind,) and the war would be inside us.”

A client of mine going through a serious medical diagnosis came to see me for relief. We talked about her family situation and in her sharing and our conversation, she recognized the war that is going on inside her. On one hand; she feels sorrow for one family member she feels she needs to protect. On the other hand; she is angry with the one she feels she needs to protect herself and others from.

In Dr. Bert Hellinger’s work, he identified three key elements in the family system:
1) A child’s need to belong
2) A child’s need for social hierarchy (order of birth regardless of living or passed family members)
3) A child’s need in balance of giving and receiving
If one of these elements is out of balance, the family system on a sub-conscious level starts to work on repairing itself. These sub-conscious attempts may show up in a family member developing illness, loss of income, difficulty relating to others etc… This does not have to be!

It is so important to recognize the war that is going on in our own minds. Healing starts from within. In our own backyard. With our own family. The son of a gunsmith remembers that Spirit within. Lincoln also did. Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, so many others too. And so can we! It Is Time!

There is Plenty There

I love sitting in my kitchen watching hummingbirds enjoying the nectar in the feeder hanging outside the sliding door.  I find them to be fascinating. One day as I was sitting there waiting for one to show up, I saw two of them flying by. One was chasing the other.  The pursuite went on for about 3 minutes, as one wanted to feed and the other not wanting to share.  The one that wanted to feed was flying in a circle until he found safety behind a flowerpot.  It was funny to watch the pursuer flying around now searching for the one hiding.  He finally decided to fly to the nearest tree and stand guard.  The one behind the flowers thought the scene was safe and came out from hiding.  He flew to the feeder and a second later the chase started all over again. They both disappeared and came back alone a while later.

A thought occurred to me… “If they only knew they had plenty of supply, they would both be sitting on the ledge of the feeder enjoying the unlimited amount of nectar they are both entitled to, because of who they are.  Lovely birds we welcome back each year. We supply them with food for our enjoyment and theirs as well.”

This happening reminded me of the teachings of Wallace Wattles in his book – The Science of Getting Rich – as he says:

“There is no limit to the supply of Formless Stuff, or Original Substance. The universe is made out of it; but it was not all used in making the universe. The spaces in, through and between the forms of the visible universe are permeated and filled with the Original Substance; with the Formless Stuff, with the raw material of all things. Ten thousand times as much as has been made might still be made, and even then, we should not have exhausted the supply of universal raw material. No man, therefore is poor because nature is poor or because there is not enough to go around…….. Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Formless Substance.” 

We may lack in our awareness now, but unlike the hummingbirds, we have the mental ability to connect our awareness to the Original Substance as Wattles calls God, the Universe, Source etc…

What is one idea, belief or opinion you would be willing to see differently today, so you could experience more abundance in any area of your life?