I was searching online recently for free stock images of someone sitting quietly (you know, letting go, allowing themselves to just stop everything and rest); because I'm always looking for new ways to communicate the business I'm in, which is, in one sense, the business of not trying so hard.
Well, obviously, typing 'sitting quietly, letting go, allowing to just stop everything and rest' is too much to type in; so I cut it down and tried: sit quietly;
sitting eyes closed;
person sitting… even, sadness.
Nothing came close to what I was looking for, so I tried:
Surely, people meditating look pretty relaxed, right? Not according to most of the photos that came up. What a lot of ‘doing the meditating successfully look’! Heads pulled back, i.e. contracted neck muscles; backs arched; thumbs and fingertips squeezing together really hard; smiling bigly; serious frowning… I got knackered just looking.
Of course photographers will always want to find something a little more interesting than someone just sitting doing nothing at all.
But perhaps this little search also says something about how we often seem to think we ought to be doing something, or at least to be seen to be doing something - including when we’re trying to stop doing anything…
Don't get me wrong - speaking for myself, I'm often guilty as charged.
And, being totally honest now, what's my immediate response, when I catch myself out at this? “Must try harder...”