Get Still. Do Nothing.

“Get action. Do things; be sane, don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

When I first heard that Teddy Roosevelt quote, I responded with a hearty, “Hell Yeah!”  After all, the “Get action.  Be sane.” philosophy has largely guided my decision making skills my whole life.  I’ve always been ambitious, a perfectionist, a striving overachiever.  If I was in a place that could not affirm my ambitions, my need for success, I left.  I’ve always been an enthusiastic learner.  I’ve changed careers multiple times, with gusto.  I have lived to get action, to be sane.

Meditation practice is almost completely opposed to Teddy’s philosophy.  Yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness practices might even say: “Get still.  Do nothing.”  Through my yoga practice, I have discovered that I’ve spent a lot of time fluttering about from one achievement to the next, getting action, and hoping for sanity.

To this day, I haven’t found a way to just be sane.  I only know how to act sane.  If anything, when I get still, stop striving, grasping, and yearning to get action, sanity finds me.


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