As 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.