Absolute Nothing


Rebecca sat and sipped on her chai-latte mixed with a little bit of hot chocolate.

She has spent the entire day trying to figure out a way to get out of debt, as well as a way to get the feeling of accomplishing something off her chest

At first she thought she could shake the feeling by trying to read three different books.  One was about money, one was about spirituality (and doing what you love) and the other, a simple science fiction novel about time travel and solving your future problems.

Nothing was helping.

After reading no more than ten minutes of each book, she realized not a single one of the them was going to shake the sinking feeling that was now engulfing her entire being.

Thinking was making it impossible to remove herself from the trap of her own mind.

And worse, it was exhausting her to the point of breaking.

This went on relentlessly throughout the entire day.

But just an hour away from dusk, she heard a little voice inside her head speak to her.

“Absolute nothing.” It said.

At first she questioned the words and what they meant.

That’s when she snapped out of it and became aware of her surroundings.

The birds, the wind, and the leaves dancing upon the branches of the trees.

And that’s when it all made sense.

“I’m not supposed to do anything today.” She whispered to herself.

At first it felt wrong as she struggled to make sense of the concept of doing nothing.

“Doing nothing won’t get you out of debt.” She thought.

“Doing nothing won’t change your situation.”

And of course, doing nothing isn’t going to fix the the constant feeling of lack.

But then she could feel it even stronger.

This time, it was talking to her as it coming from the environment itself.

“If you try to work out your problems, think about your shortcomings, or try to accomplish any level of success today, it will kill you.

Naturally these words would seem like a threat, something to be afraid of.  But there was something else, something she had never felt before.

It was like a new feeling had taken over the sinking feeling deep within her chest.


“Absolute nothing.” She thought to herself.

Just whispering those words made her realize a great truth.

That truth, was that doing nothing, was far more productive now, than doing anything that caused more of the same cycle of discontent she was having.

Absolute nothing ended the worry, put a stop to the the overwhelm, and curbed the torment her brain was bombarding itself with.

Yes, absolute nothing.

Today, this is who I shall become.


Sometimes we find ourselves with that pit in our stomachs.  That feeling of dissatisfaction, and its need to produce something of value it order to feel as though we’ve made something move.

But when overwhelm and uncertainty set in with a vengeance, the only way out, is through surrender.

This short story is a lesson of that surrender.  But instead of one faced with the scrutiny of societal judgement, it’s one of relief and invigoration for the experience of self.

Too many times we find ourselves hungry for progression. Especially when the cards seem to be stacked against us.

Maybe today isn’t the day you’ll figure it all out.

Maybe today isn’t the day all the answers will come.

But maybe, just maybe, today is the day you remember that you did nothing, so that you could open your mind to everything.


Image by Christian Berding

  1. Angela Russell

    This article couldn’t be more perfectly timed Adam! The months of March and April were insanely busy at work with tremendously long hours, my husband’s health required my time and care, and the work I would like to be doing and made commitments for in volunteering have needed my time as the retreat is less than two weeks away. Several times over the past week, I’ve said to myself and to my husband that I just need to stop! For the past few days I felt desperation creeping into the sound of my voice and tears starting to finally surface through the exhaustion. I kept saying “I need to stop struggling and rest!” This past weekend I kept pushing to catch up on house work and shopping and then collapse for a 3.5 hour nap on Sunday. When I woke I felt like I slept well thanks to your work “Womb”, but there was the instant pressure to keep going. I woke up already immersed in that feeling that the struggle is the only option whether I’m actually doing something to catch up or just planning or prioritizing the next effort.

    Tonight, before leaving work, I frantically read my email before heading out the door to get home and finish more of that catch up work. And here you are through working your magic of story, you are handing me the solution. It’s not just “stop”…it’s not somehow making myself “rest”. It’s completely giving it all up for this whole day…for a whole space of time.. completely going blank…. then listening! and allowing! That still small voice can’t get through when I’m shouting inside all the time. The peace and gentle quiet rhythm of nature cannot calm and refresh if I don’t let it in. Distraction won’t solve the problem, it only really adds to it.

    I’m soooo thankful for this reminder of a truth I already know but seem to so easily forget when I need it most. So many of your articles, quotes and words of wisdom have graced these pages at the perfect moment to change my life one more time. Sometimes it is like a lightning bolt and sometimes a soft whisper but it always changes me. I can only imagine how many more lives will be changed as they arrive at this story at just the right time to learn or rediscover something so valuable for them or someone their life touches. You are such a blessing and I appreciate you so much! Thank you!

    • Adam King

      Thank you for the kinds words Angela. You know, this happens to all of us. It’s just one of those experiences that we never talk about.

      Our worlds are filled with answers, different directions, and ways of solving “X” problem.

      But that all leads to overwhelm and that….well, that sucks.

      I don’t know where I got the name Rebecca from, but this was as much for me as it is for whomever reads it.

      So we’re in this together despite how things come to me. 🙂

  2. Jan

    For right now – this is my most favorite of the stories! Wow does it resonate deep within me. Thanks Adam! (…sure hope you don’t get tired of hearing that…. couldn’t possibly be more sincere). Wow. Thank you. 🙂
    — Jan

    • Adam King

      You’re very welcome Jan. And no, I never get tired of hearing that. 🙂

      I needed to get this one off my chest too, so we’re definitely on the same wavelength.

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