The great paradox in the world of Being and Doing exists in looking at their definitions. According to Dictionary.com, Doing is action, performance, and execution. Being is existing, living, and the nature or essence of a person. In Doing, we master every little task needed for success but often forget why we are doing it in the first place. For example, many people search for “their purpose” in life and are entangled with working hard toward achieving their purpose. We don’t “do” our purpose. We live our purpose; by Being who we are and aware of our intrinsic nature, we find our purpose and align with Being.
When we exist – we do, but existing isn’t negative; it is steeped in process and procedure and getting from point A to point B. Our doing is necessary; it is how we evolve, change and grow. However, when we live, we are BEing and growing into our essence, but living doesn’t change our need to do. We must bring to the surface the effervescent need for balance between the two ideas. We do- to move forward, We be- to stand still, neither view works very well on its own, but there is a synergy that takes place in balance. Honoring the strength of Doing and not allow it to overshadow the softness of Being.
What we want to do is not nearly as important as what we want to be.— Charles R. Swindoll
Going and Doing
A cultural norm that many of us live within, whether subtle or realized-is to be enough. It drives the go mentality and culture. To feel filled up in the world and to “be enough,” we lean toward going and doing. Our identities are tied to what and how much we are doing and how we are doing it. Much of this starts when we are very young, when our self-worth is tied to productivity.
To Be, we must Do
No, not really
To-Do we must Be
When fear motivates our doing, there is a subconscious stuffing that is occurring. We may not realize it, but the doing keeps us stuffing our fear of being enough, accomplished, successful, chasing goals, striving to be better, and doing more. Always headed to the next destination rather than rooting deeply within the space you currently are, seeking bigger, faster, stronger. We fill our days with more items “to-do” because our brains like busy, but busy is an escape. When we are busy, we are simply obscuring our essence of Being. Don’t wrap yourself too tightly in the cloak of busyness that you forget to show up as you are to create the life you desire.
Doing and escaping
Doing can be an escape. It takes us outside our body, and we often become robotic in our attempt to get stuff done. Being requires a compassionate presence within our body to focus on the layers of feelings that surface as we work to get the task(s) done. When we are always doing, we escape the illusion that the doing will fill the space within us that has always felt inadequate. There is a thread of merit between being and doing that invites you to sit there and stay awhile.
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life ~Dolly Parton
Being that supports the Doing
If Being is soft and Doing is strong, how do we create conditions to manifest from our Being Body while getting stuff done? Doing is the actions you take, connected to your How. Being is the quiet voice that reminds you that you are good enough as you are today and connected to your Why. If you don’t intrinsically support what you are trying to do, you might feel like you exist through life rather than living through life.
Awareness of Doing
Lack of awareness
Increasing effort toward fixing yourself, your environment, or other people
Shift into auto-pilot; you do things that often you don’t remember
Connection to your How
Awareness of Being
Clear connection to present moment and your body
Connection to your Why
Awareness of Doing & Being
Highly functional and very Self Aware
Calm, Connected, and grateful
Integrating ALL the senses ( Hearing, Seeing, Tasting, Touching, Smelling, and Intuitive thoughts)- presence for all of them.
Creatively inspired and not limited by time.
Beware the barrenness of a busy life ~Socrates.
Shifting from To-Do to To Be
To Be is holding back in the forward movement of life and bringing your awareness to your body to be. Everything connected to your How can and will be done. However, energy flows where attention goes, and living too far ahead takes us out of now, and there is no other place than the present moment. Your doing wants you to believe there is more happening than right now, but it is an illusion and a trap to see life beyond this moment. The illusion is anchoring you into the frequency that there will be more time to “do” things, and this frequency perpetuates more doing. We think we are doing more to become more, but we are doing more and feeling empty. When you integrate why you are doing it and keeping your Being in focus, your being continually comes back into focus.
“We spend far too much time working on getting through the moment to understand that life is a collection of moments. And if we don’t come to see the confluence of moments as the fabric of life, we will miss life while living the very moments that were supposed to create it.”~ Craig D. Lounsbrough
How you feel right now
Tap into your feelings right now. You might be a planner, in touch with the complete satisfaction of organizing your day, week, and month, planning how to spend your vacation, retirement when to paint the house, or mow the lawn. As you organize in your left brain the doing, facts, details, order, and logic, integrate the doing in your right brain to Being.
Try out these ideas for practicing Being in your body:
- Write your To-Do list with your non-dominant hand. Hold space for the frustration that might arise.
- Mind Map your to-do list, project, or goal. I recommend doing it by hand. Check out this resource if you are curious about Mind Mapping.
- Cook something without a recipe and with only the ingredients you have on hand. Enjoy the creativity of pulling something together.
- Right & Left Conversation- Start a conversation with yourself. Write a question with your dominant hand, and let your non-dominant hand respond. Your non-dominant hand may offer clear insights. Carry on and notice your feelings.
We are Human Beings, not Human Doings ~ John Bradshaw.
To Be Lists vs. To-Do Lists
Challenge: The next time you write your To-Do list, consider writing your To-Be list. As you bring your attention to the task of writing down all the things you must take care of, bring your attention to each item you are adding. How am I being with each of these things? I am not suggesting that we should forgo doing, but rather allow your being to instruct your Doing.
Consider this: You head to the grocery store to buy a few things on your list, along with stopping by the post office, pharmacy and gym; how is your body “being” with this to-do list? Can you work in some self-preservation time by navigating through your to-do list by “being present? Keep in mind that you may face long lines and oblivious people; pause for a moment and let them pass. Send instructions to your body and brain to notice the places and spaces that trigger your “doing” brain and body and re-train these triggers to open the flow of sitting within the container of discomfort and “BE” that person who creates space for others, but ultimately creates space within you during the process.
Try setting intentions as you learn to Be with yourself.
To Be Intention:
I intend that I will remain present with whatever I face today at this moment, give grace to those along my path and find space for my current evolution.
The daily hummingbird assaults existence with improbability.~ Ursula K. Le Guin
Being-Integration of our highest Truth
Our integration of being a human is about what we are becoming- not what we are doing. We aren’t checking off all these lists within our life to become this hallowed, shored-up perfect human. This isn’t how the integration of our highest truth works. It works by standing in a space that honors your evolution, where you have come from, and where you are going—sitting still but not trying to escape from your current reality. The discomfort of right now and what we are evolving to become can be sticky, stagnant, stale, and frustrating. As you swim in the energy of Doing, working tirelessly to evolve, you may miss the chance to wade in nice and easy in the shallow end of Becoming. Keep learning how to Be.
The most profound truths lay within your Body of Being ~Karyn~Move the Moss