Have you ever heard of the early Daoism term WuWei?
Recently, I’ve been leaning into the idea of giving my brain space to think. Of experiencing life, rather than rushing through it, to see what it can show me. Normally, I’m trying to go a million miles an hour, fitting in as much as possible because I think I need to constantly be doing. Whereas, for the last week or so, I’ve tried to take the pressure off myself. To realise I don’t often have the answer, and the best way to get them is to let them come to me.
Then I heard of WuWei, and realised that, in a way, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Roughly translated, wu means ‘non’ and wei means ‘forcing’. So together, WuWei is the principle of not forcing in anything that you do.
Alan Watts, who gave the original lecture on this, explains that it’s like when you watch an actor or dancer and can immediately tell when their performance is forced. And we say it doesn’t seem natural, it doesn’t ring true. WuWei isn’t the act of doing nothing, but taking action at the right moment. Of knowing when to.
The art of sailing, rather than the art of rowing.
It’s so easy to be swept up in the go, go, go mentality, but where will that take us? I’d much rather be a sailor who can enjoy the rush of the ocean, the peace of a pink sunset, and the thrill of the wind whipping past, by knowing just when to tighten a sail or let it out slightly – compared to an exhausted rower, barely moving and not seeing anything, as they’re fixated on constantly thrashing an oar against the waves.
Stuff I found in July worth recommending:
“Waiting really shouldn’t be an occupation…things will happen when they happen and not one minute sooner. That is the way of life; it runs at its own pace. Enjoy as many minutes as you can.” – Rob Kozak
Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran
On Mercury, a day is two years long.
Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn.
Flash fiction prompt
Flash fiction are micro stories of around five to 1.5k words. This month’s prompt is: