Is your life driven by “do” or by “be”?
Are you a doer or a be-er?
Do you resonate with the doing or the being?
I ask the question in a few different ways because it took word study and asking myself these above questions to really understand what’s going on with me lately.
In 2015, I was challenged by my naturopath to understand why I loved doing things. So I wrote the post: Stop The Glorification of Doing Things. This was just the tip of the iceberg into my examination of why “Doing” is so important to me. Now 2 years later, well into 2017, I’ve been asked by several practitioners from my psychotherapist to a shaman to a reflexologist why I love to do vs. be. So as I always do I turned to the good ol dictionary to understand the definition of be and do. I love word study and the simple intellectual understanding of words and how I view them.
So if I were to resonate with be it would be because I’m completely comfortable with existing.
Now onto do. Do requires and action, an ability to perform. Do is task oriented and provides a focus. Oh now this resonates with me.
I know how to perform. This space is comfortable to me. I know how to study for and write a test. I know how to be given a task and accomplish it. I know how to go after a job and land it. I know how to set a goal and cross it off a list. I know how to create a bucket list and tackle items on it. I know how to achieve and complete. This space feels good to me. This space feels comfortable. This space I understand.
I don’t understand just being. I don’t understand what that looks like. When I think of actions that involve being (because I think in action) the first ones that come to mind are meditating, sitting in silence, and being still. Then my mind stops. I can’t even fathom an infinite list of things that require just being. As I sat with the thought of just being more I had an aha moment. It is no wonder I have such a hard time having a conscious meditation practice in the morning. It is no wonder I tend to not pick up my daily devotional each night to read and turn to Instagram instead. It’s no wonder I can barely sit in silence beside Mike without my mind reeling and thinking about the next activity or item on my to-do list to accomplish. I really struggle with the “be”.
So while I wrote a well-executed blog post with purpose back in 2015, I hadn’t even scratched the surface of this topic.
I actually love this because it means I’m still learning, I’m still evolving. But now I’m treating understanding being and doing like it’s a task to check off of my list. Which isn’t the purpose of understanding. It’s not an action item I can accomplish in a set amount of time. I can’t apply SMART goal setting to understanding being.
So in comes, Danielle LaPorte’s new book, White Hot Truth. I pre-ordered the book and got the audio book for free so I started listening to it the other week. It found it’s way into my life at the perfect time. The first sentence on her book page reads:
“Has your self-help become self-criticism?”
A lightbulb turned on in my brain. I’ve been chasing after self-development and self-help to fix a broken Robyn. I completely and utterly view myself (have viewed myself) as broken and in need of fixing vs. whole as I am. Self-development junkies want more for our lives. We use words “I want to better myself” flippantly. But when did wanting more become a criticism of who we are at our core?
And then I found this article on mindful.org.
Our continued dwelling on how we are not as we would like to be just makes us feel worse, taking us even further from our desired goal. This, in turn only serves to confirm our view that we are not the kind of person we feel we need to be in order to be happy.
As I dive deeper into White Hot Truth more aha moments have slapped me upside the face. At the end of Chapter 1, Danielle Laporte writes, “our fulfillment stems from our motives. It’s not how we seek spiritual growth but the why that’s important.”
I’ve been hiding behind action and accomplishment because it feels safe and I can define myself in my bio. I don’t even know what simply existing and being looks like and so it scares me. It’s uncomfortable. This blog post is not going to solve my little conundrum but it’s so awesome to free write with no purpose for the post. Maybe I am learning about being a little bit more every day. 🙂