Try “Being” Instead Of “Doing”
Slow Yourself Down
Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. Why? Because I spent the day “being” instead of “doing”. I wasn’t rushing to get things done. I didn’t look at the clock. I didn’t accomplish any tasks. I didn’t do anything for anyone else. I didn’t even look at my email or use my cell phone. I just enjoyed being in the present moment all day long.
My daughter is home from college for spring break. I promised myself I would carve out quality time for her throughout the week. However, I got busy. I noticed I kept putting her off. “We’ll hang out starting at 12 pm today,” I said, “I just have to do a few things.” 12 became 1 and 1 turned into 3 and suddenly it was 7 pm and I still hadn’t spent any quality time with her. Though she never said anything, I could tell she was disappointed in me and so was I.
The next day I decided I would spend time with her no matter what came up. And I did. Jade and I hiked at the Tibetan Peace Park in Poolesville, Maryland. (If you’ve never visited this place I encourage you to do so. As the name of the trail suggests, it is very “peaceful”.)
The park’s trails are not marked (it’s not that big) and there’s no one there. As we walked or sat awhile on one of the many benches I could feel deep relaxation setting in. For once, I had no where I had to be and nothing to interrupt the peacefulness I felt. We stayed for several hours and when we were driving home I realized I felt like I had just had a day at the spa. Only I had spent no money.
Do you know the difference between “doing” and “being”?
“Doing” is all about action. It’s about getting things done and being busy.
“Being” is enjoying the moment you are in right now. It’s being fully present in your body.
We rarely give ourselves time to just be, unless we’re on vacation.
We are all guilty of too much “doingness” and not enough “beingness”.
Too much “doingness” leads to chronic stress, while “beingness” is a direct connection
to inner peace.
If you spend some time just being, you will find that you relax deeply. It’s like recharging your battery. Learning to “be” doesn’t require a vacation or spending any money, it just requires a letting go of the mind.
This is what meditation is. And the reason meditation is so effective is because your are quieting or settling the mind.
Here’s some ideas on how to practice beingness:
- Spend some time away from all electronics. (electronics distract you from being present).
- Participate in a leisurely activity where you are fully present: yoga, making art, playing a sport, reading a book, cooking something.
- Be outside and take a slow walk in nature noticing everything around you.
Sit quietly and watch a sunset or sunrise.
- Practice taking some deep full breaths. (Here’s a good exercise to try)
- Whatever you are doing, do it slowly, mindfully.
- If you are spending time with a friend/loved one give them 100% of your attention.
- Take some time to meditate.
- Spend a day alone and in quiet. Follow your body’s natural rhythm. Allow yourself to do whatever you feel you want to do. Eat when you feel hungry. Take a nap if you feel inclined.
I know it is impossible to live life without “doing”. We all have tasks, errands, and responsibilities. But it is also equally important to insert some “beingness” into our lives every day. This will bring us the necessary balance and peace we all need.
In Light & Love,