What makes you itch?

What makes you itch?

I went to Byron Bay for my family holiday. And the question everyone asks me is, “What did you do in Byron?”. As if I was there to “do” something. And my answer is always, “Well, I did nothing”.

The way I see it, we are always doing stuff all year. And the more stuff we do, the more congested our lives become, and the less time we have for anything else but “doing”. And so, by December – after a year of doing stuff, busyness, and incessant chatter – we need to go away to wipe the slate clean.

And as I lie on the beach doing nothing at all – except listening to audio tapes and music – and the busy chatter of 2012 starts to wane in my head, I begin to wake up …

It occurs to me that our daily preoccupations are intensely serious. Everybody is intent on rushing around and achieving something. They’re not really sure what it is, but it sure as heck is really important. Although now, as I sit here on the beach doing nothing, the really important “something” seems really unimportant. And so the question left begging is, “What is really important … to me?”

Dogs have got an itchy spot on their tummies. It’s called the blibula spot. And when you find it and scratch it, their legs gyrate with joy and wild ecstasy.

What do you desire? What makes you gyrate with joy and wild ecstasy? What makes you itch? What sort of a life situation or work you would like?

Let’s suppose you’re leaving university or college, and you haven’t the faintest idea what you’d like to do. And so you ask me for my advice. And let’s suppose I answered your question by asking you the question, “What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”

We would discuss how you’d really like to be a painter, a writer, or a horse rider. And you would say to me, “But I can’t get any money doing that”. I would ask you to forget that for now, and to keep focusing on what you’d really like to do. Finally we would get down to what you really want to do, and then I would say to you, “Do that … and forget the money.”

Because if you make getting money the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You will be doing stuff you don’t like doing in order to go on living, which is to go on doing stuff you don’t like doing. Which is stupid.

In time you will become a master at doing that what you really like doing. And you will be able to get a good fee for your mastery, and you will be able pay your bills.

And so what I did in Byron Bay was to get back in touch with some of the things that make me itch. And for that I am really grateful.


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