Being as source of doing

just-beingAs I dive in to the New Year, the number of things I could do is infinite.  Even while I grow my capacity to get things done (see previous post on closing and opening loops), I have been reflecting on Being, and how I might loosen my focus on the activity of Doing a bit to increase my attention on being present.  I yearn for more of simply being, of getting in touch with and living from my true essence.  Yet that idea also stirs up some anxiety for me – the thought occurs, “what would happen if I stop Doing so much?  Would my job, my family life, my personal life, my very success be threatened?”  My story about myself is that I have been pretty good at getting things done, so the idea of moving away from activity feels uncomfortable.

Then, while reading Stephen Levine’s book A Gradual Awakening, it came to me that my ego, the story of myself, has taken credit for all the activity after the fact.  Perhaps all action taken comes from my essence and always has.  Perhaps we can only ever Be, and the doing that takes place is always sourced Being.  In which case the more I can be present to my essence, the more my action will be aligned with it.  Karl Hoover recently blogged about the value of reflection time for checking in with how we wish to be, compared to how we are actually being, so that we can show up as transformational leaders. Maybe I don’t need to worry about whether I will just stop doing things if I focus more on being.  Activity will happen.  With mindfulness, I can notice it. And not take credit for it, or its results.

I am curious to hear others’ reflections on the relationship between Being and Doing – please share in comments.

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14 Responses to Being as source of doing

  1. Terence Chim says:

    Love it, this is inspirational! That is why we are “human being” not “human doing.”

  2. Yes. I think that ‘being’ and ‘doing’ are the state of mind we approach our lives with and both happen simultaneously. Your nervous system could be mapped out as a continual oscillation between being and doing (sympathetic and parasympathetic). In balance both are happening at the same time. We swing between the dominance of one into the dominance of the other but neither is completely empty of the other. A question I ask is what happens if I approach my doing through the lens of being? Can my doing naturally arise from a field of being (which is I think what you are talking about)?

    • Eleanor Bell says:

      Sarah, YES that is exactly what I am talking about! and when I approach my doing through the lens of being, I notice less stress, more peace, more flow, less attachment to outcome. Less suffering, more joy and love in the doing.

  3. Karl Hoover says:

    Eleanor, This week I’ve been reflecting on various individuals/leaders who “stand out from the crowd”, who you want to be around to learn from, talk with, hang out with, etc. For each one, it’s not at all what they have done, but rather who they are. My guess is that they are being true to their essence and it just flows from them. Oh, and by the way, what each of them has done and/or doing is also amazing.

    I like the idea of starting with the focus on the being. Thanks much for sharing your thoughts on this one.

  4. Robin Rorex says:

    Eleanor – I love it…especially, “Doing is Sourced Being.” I find that when I am attuned to myself, the other person and the situation – without judgement or fear – my actions are more precise and powerful. Being is the energy that fuels skillful action. Thanks for taking these thoughtful topics on and putting them out for the world to drink up. Robin Rorex

  5. Randy says:

    Eleanor. ..congratulations on your endeavor of noticing your being. Being has been a area of impulse for myself for as long as I can recall.

    I’ve noticed over the years that being has nothing to do with social status or classic intelligence, though being is intelligent in a infinity deep vast uncredited way…more of a noticed arising.

    There are wonderful good-hearted accomplished, intelligent people that I’ve met that are sensing something is missing.
    I speak to them and they are like lost children. ..they lost themselves. Not as much knowing themselves, as being themselves.

    And being oneself is always happening, always there, present. ..the trick is noticing oneself.

    So being is just changing the location in which you notice yourself from…it is not a doing or a changing, but a shift of perception.

    And by noticing this you loose the validity of the idea of yourself and are left with being yourself, which is vast, infinite and indescribable.

    Meditate in order to cultivate this shift of witnessing awareness. A classic way of meditation is to keep noticing who’s noticing. And so anything you notice your not, because your not that, but that which is noticing that. So when a thought, feeling, breath, etc is noticed. are not those objects, but the noticer. And over time it becomes apparent you are this deep awareness and everything arises in it.

    So you per se, aren’t doing anything, just watching it. Yet this is where irony comes into play, from this vast open space of awareness…doing arises (movement), but you are not any of these things you noticed your not…so what are you? Everything!

    Eleanor. are so brave to step through the door. How exciting and noble to be here now.

    Remember, these mysteries can’t be grasped by the mind. ..just experienced. So enjoy the exploration, don’t take yourself to serious, have fun and meditate until life becomes one…that is being.

    Peace Sister. ..Randy

    • Eleanor Bell says:

      Randy, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I especially like what you shared about meditation. I sit every morning, and will practice this noticing of who is noticing… -Eleanor

  6. Randy says:

    Excellent. ..thanks for reading! Peace. ..
    ; )

  7. Patti Nequette says:

    What a great conversation! I think I will just be with it and bask! Thanks 😉

  8. betsybell says:

    Such an interesting topic. Last weekend I sat with a group of people to reflect on this very topic, being, and the effortlessness of work and play when it comes out of being. The letting go of owning all accomplishments and noticing things that are done as the result of a quiet being-ness, changes that whole tendency I have had all my life to go for the gold star. It’s a relaxed state Ross ( ) describes. I am rejuvenated when I can just notice the “doing buzz” and let it go. Everything that has to get done, gets done.

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