J.L. Winters

The Art Of Being vs Doing

People are always doing something. Our lives have become so busy and over-scheduled that it’s no wonder we are stressed, burned-out, and angry. More and more, so many of us find ourselves doing things we don’t want to do, things our mind tells us we should be doing, or things we feel we must do, yet we find we don’t have the energy to do it all. So, we try to make ourselves do it, and it still doesn’t work. And when it comes to doing the things that light us up, who has time for that? What if we took a pause and slowed down to really look at what we are doing, and why?

Doing is important. It’s how we get things done, how we make things happen, but so many of us today have sacrificed the art of being for the sake of doing. In a society that conditions us to be outwardly productive, to be accomplishing things, we’ve lost the value of rest and contemplation. What if we could get back to the place where doing and being meet?

When we are simply being, this is where we create space for the insights, ideas, and inspiration to come forward, those aha moments everyone talks about. A chance to find balance and explore our true callings. I don’t know about you, but I get more bright ideas when I’m driving, in the shower, or taking a walk, than I do when I’m sitting in front of a blank page willing the ideas to come.

When it comes to doing, we always, always have a choice. To say you don’t is just another lie you tell yourself so you can be content living life from your comfort zone. If you find yourself here, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself the big questions. Who am I? What do I want? Why do I want it?

Who do I want to be for me?

It’s time for us to realize the value of being. Finding time to reflect, reassess, and recharge. Part of our problem when we get stuck is we are trying to force something we may have lost our passion for, but we’re so focused on doing this thing, we don’t allow ourselves the time to step back and think about whether we even want to be doing the thing, or if we maybe want to do it a different way, or would like to take a different approach. Then when we fail, we think there is something wrong with us, instead of realizing what we are doing may not be right for us at this moment. One of the greatest mistakes we make in life is giving our energy to things we don’t want to be doing. If we learned to also put some emphasis on who we are being, we might find a better understanding of how we want to use our time and energy.

Society has conditioned us (especially women) to believe that being is bad. It’s lazy. It’s selfish. To this I say, be more selfish! How can you tell the world who you are if you don’t even know? Many of us keep busy because we don’t want to know who we are, or we’re afraid if we find out who we are, what we see won’t be good enough. So, we keep busy by doing. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, who else will? We can wait around for our family, our friends, and our co-workers to know when we need help, and then get resentful when they don’t recognize that we’re drowning because they’re too busy trying to keep their own heads above water. Or, we can take our power back and be responsible for replenishing our own energy. When you do this, you are telling the world that YOU are important. You’re telling yourself that YOU are important. That you value your own well-being and your time. Aren’t you the most important person in your life? Maybe you should be.

We have to recondition ourselves to believe that it’s okay to slow down. To take a moment and simply be. An hour. Two hours. Even an entire day. In a world that rewards us mostly for what we do, we need to regain our balance and realize that we should also be honored for who it is we are being. The world will not fall apart if you take a step back. If you lay on the couch all day and watch Netflix or read a book, or spend a day indulging yourself at the spa or going to brunch with your girlfriends. Your family will find food to eat. Your work will still be there tomorrow. Your website won’t crash, and the emails and DMs will still be waiting for a reply. The difference is, by taking the time for being, you will be better prepared to show up for the things you want to be doing, and you’ll have a better understanding of exactly what those things are. Then, when you are ready to start doing again, you’ll be moving in the right direction.

The art of being goes to the heart of authentic living. When people find your website or your book or whatever product or service you have created, what they really want is you, and your product is just the side effect of being you. But how can you truly know who you are and what you want to create if you don’t actually take the time to BE you?

I challenge you to start taking five to ten minutes a day just for yourself. Read a few pages in a book, take a walk in the backyard, sit in the quiet with a cup of coffee and get lost in a frivolous daydream. Do something to feed and nourish your soul. Something you enjoy that’s just for you. Then maybe that five or ten minutes grows to fifteen minutes, or even twenty minutes. The point is to put the distractions aside and honor yourself. Thank you for being…you. Maybe even tell yourself one thing you appreciate or like about being you. I’ll bet you can find more than one.

Don’t get so caught up in your doing that you forget the art of being. Finding the balance between the two is where the magic lives.

What are some ways you can start connecting with who you are and allow yourself time to BE?