Doing vs Being

coffee_morning_the_giantvermin_flickr

Walking onto the back porch before the sun has made its way over the roofline and the dew is still glistening on the grass, has a way of instantly relaxing the built up tension in my shoulders from a restless night. As I drop into a corner chair with coffee in hand, a huge sigh releases. A welcome feeling of gratitude emerges as I recognize the gift of the next few minutes I’ll spend quietly reflecting, sipping the perfect cup of coffee, listening to the birds chattering away, and taking stock of how blessed I truly am.

It’s easy to get lazy when life becomes busy. The busier I am, the lazier I get. The more productive I am at doing life, the less energy I put into being alive. It’s easy to believe I have no choice. I have obligations, responsibilities, people depending on me.

  “If it were only me, I’d do things differently. I would eat healthier, exercise regularly, go to sleep earlier, read more books, write everyday…”

It’s easy to convince myself that this is my reality when in truth, reality is what we create for ourselves. Each day I make a choice as to how I spend my time and energy, how I direct my thoughts, and how I feel about what I am doing. It’s easier to “do life” than to truly “be alive.”

What does “doing life” look like? It looks busy, stressed, hectic, productive, important. It looks like long To Do Lists with a lot of check marks, a calendar with no empty space, and a day that zooms by without conscious attention to exactly what is taking place. It looks like events to plan, clients to serve, family to care for, parties to attend, causes to champion, letters to write, phone calls to make, houses to clean, and no time for reflection, gratitude, or rest.

We convince ourselves that our purpose in life is “doing” and the more “doing” we accomplish, the more successful we are. We believe doers are the strongest and most successful in life but this is simply an idea we choose to believe. In reality, doers are lazy. Those who are busy doing are afraid of being. To do is easy. We can be taught to do most anything and if not, we can find someone to help us. Most doing takes little conscious thought. We perform tasks robotically, efficiently, and routinely. Systematically, checking the boxes on our to do lists. Driving the same route to work each day oblivious to our surroundings. Doing can be exhausting but doing does not require strength and it does not equal success. Doers avoid the hard work by staying busy with the mundane.

Being alive is not for the faint of heart or the lazy. Being takes courage. Only the strong are able to sit in the quiet, to look inward at the darkness and see throughto the light. It isn’t easy to consistently make conscious choices, to listen to intuition and ask ourselves the Why before planning the How. To trust that fulfilling life’s purpose is tied to something greater than ourselves and to allow intuition to lead us on the path to fulfillment is hard. It can be scary and extremely uncomfortable. It’s much easier to fill our time with work and obligations, all the while believing we have no choice.

This morning I realize I’ve recently fallen back into the trap of “no choice” and it isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, this is a fairly solid pattern I’ve created. Over the past six or so years, I’ll dive deep into the area of self-discovery for a period of time. Doing the hard work, I’ll connect with inner intuition, glimpse life purpose, and taste my true passion. Coming out of the experience, I’m energized and determined, feeling I know what I’m here to do and excited for the journey ahead only to be distracted by the busyness of life shortly thereafter. Often I’ll beat myself up for falling into the trap of doing yet again.

  “What’s wrong with me? I know better. Why can’t I do better?”

But trying to do better is exactly the problem. Life isn’t about doing and the harder I try to do, the further I am from actually living. Life is about allowing, letting go of expectation and trusting the Divine path that is set before us. We are all part of a universal stream of energy that flows swiftly and effortlessly toward our life’s purpose. Being aware of this energy and trusting our place within it is all that is required in order to participate in the abundance that life has to offer.

Imagine this stream of energy like a river with each of us in our own little canoe. If we are so busy paddling our canoe that we don’t take the time to notice the direction of the river’s flow, we might spend our lives paddling furiously upstream, never making any real progress. But, if we pick up our paddles and sit quietly long enough to become aware of the flow of the water, we soon feel our canoe floating along swiftly in the flow of universal energy. Life isn’t meant to be a struggle but picking up our paddles can be scary. It means giving up what we see as control and letting go of the belief that busy equals success. It means trusting in something greater than ourselves. This takes courage and it takes strength. It takes forgiving ourselves when we get scared and start paddling furiously again. It takes the courage to pick the paddles back up and to sit quietly. It takes the occasional gift of a morning on the porch with a perfect cup of coffee.

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

“If you’re going to be a writer, you have to f%#&’n WRITE.”

I go through life with words, phrases, sentences, messages swirling around in my head, bumping into each other in a chaotic mess that vibrates and echoes often leaving me exhausted and dazed. I’ve waited for the words to arrange themselves, thinking that was a necessary step before written expression would be possible. I’ve given up that idea. Whatever comes of this exercise is no longer of importance but only the act of release that matters, for without that, I fear I’ll soon be rendered permanently STUCK. Stuck in this plane of life, unable to move beyond what I am now.

And what is that exactly?

Aware. I am aware, aware to the possibilities before me and aware of the struggles behind me. Accomplished enough to know what I am capable of yet inexperienced enough to remain fearful of failing. Aware that failing is a natural step in the progression of personal evolution. Starving for the next step on this journey, I’ve seen glimpses of what is to come. In my mind’s eye, I’ve lived brief moments of this destiny. Through dreams and visions I’ve felt what is possible, just enough to whet my desire and leave my soul craving more. Nanoseconds of realization experienced with a divine truth signaling my soul, “this is IT.”

And what is IT exactly?

Physically, IT is adrenaline rushing through the body creating a rapid flow of blood and a pounding heart that invigorates, stimulates, and inspires. It is a flush of heat that starts in the chest and spreads up to the head, down to the hands, and radiates out in what I imagine is a visual display of vibrancy. My body feverish and my palms sweaty. My ears, clogged with a slight ringing noise that distorts the sounds around me, not unlike that feeling of floating underwater.

I imagine the physical body’s vital signs might register like those of a runner after crossing the finish line and yet inwardly, calm. There is a knowing that all is well, a beckoning to relax and let go. I’m standing at the edge of a magnificent cliff. The air is crisp. The sun is warm. A slight breeze passes over my body and sends a chill up my spine. This is the edge of destiny.

“Breathe deeply and let go. Trust that this is who you are. Everything that has happened before has prepared you for the next step. Take it. Embrace your destiny. You are worthy. This is your path. All else is a dream. You are the observer. This is your reality.”

And what does IT mean?

It means creation has already taken place. Communicate that which the soul has created.

“Step out of the way and let that which IS be received.”

It means I have only to quiet the noise and trust in the message.

“There is no doing to be done. There is only being. Trust what comes in and let it pass through without thought, judgment, or interpretation.”

There is a fear of madness, a fear of letting go and losing control. Like an addict, never knowing when the point of no return might be crossed, the high is intoxicating. To lock one’s self away and let go without timetables or commitments, abandoning all worries or ties to a world that is constantly demanding and distracting, that is the lure and there in lies the fear. But what exactly is that fear?

Loss? – Fear that connection to everything held dear might be broken and I might find myself alone and with nothing. It occurs to me that I’ve faced this fear before at another crossroad in life, only then the fear was much stronger and the outcome much less predictable. Desperation propelled me forward, not awareness or courage. The pain of the status quo at the time was far greater than the fear of change. It felt less a matter of choice and more a matter of survival. Regardless, the fear was faced and the outcome was growth, confidence, trust, self-love, expression, and ultimately, the experience of a love greater than I have ever known. Had fear won that battle everything I now hold so dear would not be in my life. This realization causes me to pause, the “what if’s” screaming inside my head. Images of the person I was never becoming the person I am makes me feel sad. Ironically, who I am now, living this beautiful chaotic life that resulted from the ashes of what was, is exactly what I am fearful of now losing.

But what if instead of losing, I win again? Instead of desperation pulling me away, what if intuition propels me forward? Imagine the power of that energy. If out of desperation, this beautiful life could emerge, imagine what might be birthed through the energy of inspired creation.

There are two choices: to rest in what is or to evolve into what might be. When what IS no longer fits, there will be no choice but to evolve or to die.

What are you waiting for?

 

My Why

The great motivational speakers will tell you that to accomplish goals in life you have to have a “why,” a reason that motivates you, that keeps you going when things get tough, that reminds you of what is important to you.  Your “why” needs to be specific, detailed, and something you can visualize.

Since the day I became a mom, my “why” has been my children.  They were the motivation to quit my job.  They were the reason I budgeted my time and money, the reason I read parenting books, motivational books, educational books, nutritional books, self-help books, and spiritual books.  They were the reason I volunteered and reached out beyond myself, the reason I took chances and overcame fears.  And when life took turns and led me down dark corridors, they were the “why” that gave me the strength to turn myself around and walk back into the light.

Over the years my “why” has changed but the basis of it remains the same, to be the best ME that I can be as an example to my children of what a life of joy and love looks like.

There are several things that need to happen in order for me to live the example I aim to set.  Foremost, I must have financial freedom.  Most of my life I’ve depended on someone else to provide for me.  I never learned to manage my finances in a manner that would sustain me through tough times.  Money that was given to me quickly dwindled away.  Poor management coupled with a failing economy left me in a very scary place.  Anxiety entered my life and joy was pushed aside.  In an effort to recover, I went to work.  I worked long and I worked hard surrounded by smart people who were doing the same.  After months and months, I felt like my efforts were paying off.  A few commission checks started coming in.  I began to put a little money away.  I felt like I had made it through and would now begin to experience life on the other side of struggle.

But what I learned was that one simple bump in my path could set me back to square one.  I was just one illness, one cancelled transaction, or one major home repair away from where I had begun.  I was at the whim of my clients to buy or sell.  It didn’t really matter how good I was at my job.  If they changed their minds, I didn’t get paid.  My financial situation was feast or famine and my life was one long roller coaster ride.  For a while I thought it was just me, another example of my poor financial skills, but then I realized that most of the smart, skilled, ambitious people working around me were living the same way.  All of us had more days at the end of our months than we had money in our accounts.

I’m changing that for myself.  I’m embracing ‘the opportunity of a lifetime within the lifetime of the opportunity.’  I’m creating a future of certainty and security that will provide a foundation for me to live a life of joy.  I’m taking what I learned in all of those books on education, nutrition, self-help, and spirituality and using that knowledge to help other people create the life they dream of living.  I’m working side by side with my children and watching them as they mature into leadership roles, teaching me as they go.

One year from now, my path will be smooth, no more roller coasters to ride.  The residual income I will earn from the efforts I put forth today will provide me with financial freedom to live the life I imagine.

The Universe provides exactly what we need at the precise time that we are ready to receive it.  I’m constantly amazed by that fact and grateful for it. ❤