You last saw me rambling here about “Right Action” and what it means to do your job skillfully, selflessly, and cheerfully. I fully expected to return from a pilgrimage in India with clarity, new resolve, and fresh energy to dive into exactly that.

Yeah…you can guess where this is going.

I arrived home instead with a respiratory infection, and the only skill I seemed to possess was hocking phlegm before my lower back gave out. I was oddly forgetful, ignoring emails, avoiding scheduling. Definitely not cheerful or selfless either.

Then things got a little weird. My 2023 planner had arrived in the wrong size. The next one got sent to Massachusetts, the third to an old address. And here’s the clincher—I didn’t feel like planning anyway, and the universe was subversively helping.

One night I arrived at Mavens’ Haven feeling blue, always a good time to walk the labyrinth. It’s a contemplation tool where something about walking a geometric pattern brings insight. So I asked, “What are my themes, what am I offering for 2023?”

At very first step, I immediately heard, “Nothing.”

How the heck can I do any job skillfully, selflessly, and cheerfully if it’s Nothing?

I continued walking and stewing with a decidedly uncheerful attitude. Then I thought, “This is all too weird—where’s my planner, and now Nothing. I’m gonna put Jeanette on it.”

Jeanette is a medium. She communicates with the unseen world—like angels and spirit guides. Stay with me here—truly, I cannot make this up. Jeanette sent a long download from my angels and guides. They had a lot to say about doing too much without boundaries, becoming depleted and resentful as a result, and having fear that prevents acceptance and joy.

Um…are you sure you have the right gal…fear and a lack of joy? My initial surprise shifted into a sinking realization that the work I have to do is with myself. That Nothing means a pause, an accounting, a recovery. And yup, they were messing with my planner.

I also wrote recently about having faith and determination within surrendering. That’s one thing when your trip is going well. It’s another when things fall apart. Surrendering a sense of competence is humbling. As is giving into a requirement for deep self care, and having faith that it will shift.

When the planner finally arrived, I only entered events other people planned that included me, and avoided writing much of anything. Rather… miraculously, two major jobs moved to others. With more space, I’ve returned to the quiet solitude of finishing the Walden project. I’m thinking a lot about how “Right Action” relates to doing Nothing.

I know some of you are wanting retreat dates or an inspiring story. This unresolved one is all I have right now. My invitation is always to be curious and examine our lives. When it isn’t what we wanted or expected, it becomes the most important curriculum. The ideas and inspiration are arriving. I just have little interest in pursuing them. For now.