Do. Do. Do. Any major city is a mirror of the DO mentality – the constant DOING. But what happens when all that DOING doesn’t lead you to your goal? What happens when all you’re doing doesn’t lead to happiness?
Is there a balance between DOING and BEING to achieving your dreams?
Here’s two scenarios for you (you might relate)
“So, how did you get that dream job?” I asked my friend Tanya
“Well, I hit the pavement: I literally knocked on doors, asked to speak to mangers, hiring directors, frankly, anyone who would speak to me. I told all my friends, I applied to jobs online several times a week… I DID a lot!” She exclaimed
“So, how did you get that dream job?” I asked my friend Tina
“Well, I meditated every morning and my meditation led to visioning. Whenever I would get a vision or spontaneous thought to apply to a certain place or contact a specific person I did. …So I did do some action, but for the most part, I was practicing being. Being was what I’d consider the magic ingredient that led to this dream position. And frankly, it’s better than anything I could have thought of”
The art of Doing is clear. Set a goal. Prepare for roadblocks, have a timeline. Take consistent action.
I don’t know about you, but my recent experience is that DOING doesn’t always lead to the results I seek.
Sometimes it leads to frustration, resentment, and like I’m screaming to the Universe “Come on, can you just give me a break already?”
And that’s the voice of the Universe saying back:
EXACTLY. Take a break.
Stop doing. Start being.
If you find yourself in endless DOING and hitting a roadblock of anger, frustration, or sheer exhaustion, where you hit that place where you ask the Universe to cut you a break, my offering to you is:
Give this to yourself.
So how do you practice BEING when you’re so used to DOING?
The art of being begins with listening at the deepest level. At the deepest level the listening involves what Martha Beck calls “wordlessness”
It’s dipping deep into that space of being with the moment, with all your senses engaged. Where you hear the sounds without having to give word to them, where you see the sights without needing to label them, where you feel the emotions and physical sensations in your body as raw movements and sensations without attaching words or judgements to them. This is wordlessness, this is deep meditation: presence in the moment.
How to begin? Here’s a 5-step plan:
1. Take 5 minutes right now (or set an alarm at the end of reading this article or before you hit your bed tonight) and practice Being by sitting quietly.
Of course you might find yourself full of words and thoughts and judgments. The practice? Bring yourself back to your body – scan your body from your head to your toes and relax every muscle a little deeper.
Then shift to the feeling of your breath – focus on the rise and fall of your chest, abdomen, and anywhere else you feel your breath moving. Focus so fully that it occupies every inch of you. You’ll likely find, for a few moments anyways that you fall into that deep state of being.
2. Commit to this practice every day for the next 7 days. Set a clear time. I recommend morning. As the week moves on, see if you can add a second time-slot such as evenings too. If you continue practicing this for a second week, see if you can expand the 5 minutes into slightly longer periods of time.
3. For 1 week follow your inclinations. If you’re a DOER this might be really hard. You might feel guilty or like you’re wasting time if you’re not constantly doing and taking action. I once had a mentor teach me the importance of sharpening the axe. The message is: it’s not about the volume of work we do, it’s about the precision and potency that matters.
This is why BEING is so effective in attaining results.
Instead of chopping away at everything that dulls the axe in the long term, by taking time to sharpen the axe by simply being with it (let’s pretend the axe is a metaphor for your mind) then in the right moment, you will find that inspired idea where your whole body and spirit light up and you feel called to reach out to a specific person or go to a specific gathering, or send out a proposal, or set up a meeting. These inspired moments are potent.
4. Practice BEING with yourself moment to moment throughout the day. This is a daily habit, and a daily practice of reminding yourself to pause. In the middle of the day, especially in those moments when you feel frazzled, stuck, or lost–these are the moments to practice BEING – to stop whatever you’re doing, and to sit into your body (or stand in your body) and awaken all your senses.
If you’re at your desk, close your eyes, do a body scan and take 10 deep breaths. If you’re outside walking–pause, take a deep breath, and focus on listening and sensing the sounds and energy around you. For example – as humans we feel: we can feel when it’s busy and hectic outside and we can feel when it’s quiet or even that “quieter than normal” feeling. This act of pausing and sensing is the art of being.
5. Allow BEING to be the focus of your “work” for at least a week, especially if you’ve been DOING with no results. Let this be an experiment. You might just be surprised by what shows up, or what inspired action comes to you with your sharper axe.
If you’re looking for one on one support through a career transition, life transition, or simply want support with the art of being – I’m offering Life Coaching and Life Skills Counselling Sessions. Click here to learn more and book your session with me.