Cease Participation…

We are the strivingest people who have ever lived.  We are ambitious, time-starved, competitive, distracted.  We move at full velocity, yet constantly fear we are not doing enough.  Though we live longer than any humans before us, our lives feel shorter, restless, breathless…

Dear ones, EASE UP.  Pump the brakes.  Take a step back.  Seriously.  Take two steps back.  Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell.  I know, I know – we all need to save the world.  But trust me:  The world will still need saving tomorrow.

In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you don’t calm the hell down.  So go take a walk.  Or don’t.  Consider actually exhaling.  Find a body of water and float.  Hit a tennis ball against a wall.  Tell your colleagues that you’re off meditating (people take meditation seriously, so you’ll be absolved from guilt) and then actually, secretly, nap.

My radical suggestion?  Cease participation, if only for one day this year – if only to make sure that we don’t lose forever the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating ease.

~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love, in What Matters Now

Image: Thank you Flowerpics09


  1. Amen.


  2. I actually decided to “cease participation” on the 25th (my date of birth) just to reflect on the real who, what and why wrapped up in the definition of me. Nice post!


  3. Your words are so true. I take a 4 to 6 kilometer walk every morning before breakfast. It’s a bit tough in Winter when setting out half an hour before sunrise and a hot drink, but it’s helping stop the TIAs from repeating themselves (I’ve had ten in as many years). My previously stressful life as a freelance photographer made me an ideal “stroke target”… but now I’m approaching 68 I feel almost as fit as when I ran marathons in 3:25 at the age of 40. So yes, work hard… but also relax more than you think is necessary.


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