Hello dear readers and listeners,
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This past week as I came back from my first vacation of the year, I found the first few days quite hard coming back to my usual routine and tasks.
I had a wonderful time on my trip, and I had thought that after coming back home, I would be highly energetic again to get back on track and finish off my pending to-dos.
But what happened was that I was feeling lazy, and drowsy, and just wanted to sleep all day. To tell you the truth, It was a struggle for me to even publish my last Thursday’s episode, but somehow I did it.
I thought this feeling would go away in a day or two, but it didn’t and at first, I found myself resenting the feeling a bit as I wanted to feel up and go right back again.
I was clearly not-doing and clearly off track, and for those of us who are constantly acting in terms of the doing mode, this is a big deal.
But as I have already talked about in one of my previous episodes, I have come to accept my off-track moments too, and it does help a lot in being kind to myself.
Earlier I would feel guilty for not-doing.
I would feel like I don’t have the time to rest or feel guilty to rest, but now I catch that kind of thinking right away and am mindful of it every time it comes.
Then I choose to no longer serve that pattern.
So being mindful and accepting of how I was feeling, this last week I decided to listen to my body and deliberately gave myself lots of rest, and long naps and just allowed myself to go slow and not feel guilty about resting.
And just around this time, a wonderful thing happened or I could say that it came as a wonderful reminder at the right time.
It was a quote by Thay, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh which my mother had shared in her WhatsApp story. Even she had been feeling the same as me.
And it just felt so good to receive that reminder.
And this is what it read,
“We think that when we’re not doing anything, we’re wasting our time, but that is not true. Our time here is first of all to be. To be what? To be alive, to be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving. And this is what the world needs the most.”
Reading this simple quote felt right on time and as if just for me and all of a sudden I shifted my focus from the ‘Doing mode’ to the ‘Being Mode
Instead of feeling guilty about what I was doing or not doing, I tried coming back to ‘how I was being’ instead.
Am I being calm?
Am I being peaceful?
Am I being joyful?
Am I being relaxed?
And simply focused on being.
Slowly I found my energy returning and my doing elevate.
So today, I want to share this experience about doing Vs Being.
The path of doing
Table of Contents
In our current society, we’re all hyper-focused on doing and it is very easy to follow this path.
This is the path of constantly having the need to do and to do things fast, to work, to finish off fast, to rank and to compete, and then feel that this is what is necessary in order for us to achieve our goals.
We feel that if we’re not doing enough, then we’re set up for failure.
And this path is tricky because we have been taught to think that doing is good, and not doing is bad.
We’re told that this is more important than this, you have to stop doing this and do this instead.. and so you have to rush and rush and rush.
Many books preach to us this, and many motivational speakers and leaders preach to us this- that the only way to have is to do.
If we’re not always on the go, we feel insecure that someone else will overtake what we have or simply, the most common trait we show is that we become full of guilt for not doing.
No wonder why so many of us are overworked and burned out in this generation.
This is also the reason why our generation is so full of anxiety because we think that we are always supposed to be doing something else other than what we’re doing or not doing.
I say this so deeply because I’ve been on this path and it took me down to a deep rut of negative self-talk, hopelessness and unworthiness.
In the current consumerist and capitalist society, we’re all so consumed with doing, that we’re always thinking in terms of doing and not-doing and that is why we have forgotten how to slow down and come home to ourselves and just be.
If I ask someone “When was the last time you truly felt relaxed and peaceful?” I don’t think they will be able to answer.
If I had carried on with my same past habits, I wouldn’t have been able to answer myself.
But this past week, in addition to just accepting my off-track moments, I intentionally just gave my attention to my being.
How am I being instead?
And it felt so freeing.
We think that not doing is wasting our time, but as I shifted to the being, I felt like nothing is wasted as long as we are being peaceful, as long as we’re being joyful, as long as we’re truly being truly alive.
So instead of being anxious and hard on myself, I just let go and simply let myself be.
And most of us might think that being peaceful, happy, calm and relaxed is more difficult than doing, but that’s not true.
I have come to find that if we want to be peaceful, we can be peaceful in an instant without requiring any change in our outer situation.
If we want to be joyful, we can be joyful in an instant without any change on the outside.
Most of us are not peaceful, joyful and calm, because we think that it requires all sets of circumstances and situations, but I’ve come to find that it is just so easy to feel peaceful, we just need to set an intention.
We don’t feel it now, because we currently think that it’s not possible without changing our life situation first. But that’s not true.
I feel we all carry this switch in us and if you don’t believe me you can try.
And that switch can be turned on once we stop complaining, and by just being slow, gentle and present in whatever we do.
You can go for a walk and be with your steps truly relaxing, walking gently and you can be peaceful
You can just go in front of the mirror, apply your moisturiser with a smile on your face, really looking into your eyes, and you can be happy.
You can just sit down with your eyes closed and truly listen to every note and beat of some peaceful music, with a half smile on your face, and you can feel instantly at peace.
And that is the being mode.
The being mode
When we are truly in the being mode, there is no rush. There is only ease and presence.
In the being mode, more than the doing, the being is important.
But this does not mean that we don’t do anything. In the being mode, we do things, but we do everything carrying the energy of being with us.
In the being mode, everything is sacred and important.
When you’re in the being mode, you stop thinking of what you should be doing instead, and what you do right at that moment, is your home.
No multitasking, but just being with one thing and being with it peacefully and with ease.
If we only learn to do things this way, all our anxiety and stress will go away.
We have a tendency to think in terms of what is important and not important, but if we want to live a happy and peaceful life, we need to stop thinking of things as being more important or less important than the other.
In the being mode, Nothing is more important than the other.
- Our washing the dishes is as important as our work project
- Our drinking tea and enjoying our cup of tea is as important as going to a meeting.
- Our doing the laundry is as important as our tax work
There is no hierarchy and we strive to do all things equally by being present.
And once we do everything and see everything equally, we become more alive and joyful in our everyday life and don’t wait for interesting events to happen in our lives to make our life feel interesting.
And here I want to share what helps me tap into the being mode.
How to tap into the being mode
- Firstly, it is not discriminating between tasks. Earlier I used to feel that house chores are not important, so I would rush to do them.
I hated cooking, especially cutting the vegetables, because I considered them meaningless, but now I have come to enjoy cooking and it relaxes me now as I do things slowly and one by one and with the sense that ‘This is important too’
- Secondly, I am practicing doing things gently and gracefully.
Our body movements have a huge role to play in how we be and I have written a blog post about it too. Here is the post: The Power of Graceful movement in life on wellbeing. Just doing things gently helps us be calm and relaxed.
In my home, as I live alone, I try to move around my home slowly and gently and practice mindful walking as I move here and there.
There are many times I forget, but whenever I remember, I again slow down and walk around with ease and gentleness and it eases me.
If there is something I do in a rushed manner, I do it once again slowly. These are some of the perks of living alone currently in my life, but we can also practice them however we live.
- Thirdly, I give time to my hobbies and
- Fourthly, I make sure that my environment, which is my home supports me in making me feel good so I can easily tap into the being mode.
So this past week, if I tell it in terms of how most think of doing, I didn’t do much, but if I tell it in terms of being, I will pass.
I painted being eased, present and happy.
I potted new plants and enjoyed my free time
I cooked being easy on myself
I went for walks and drank my evening tea being relaxed.
I washed my clothes without thinking was a dread it is
I cleaned my home to elevate my being.
And as I just focused on how I was being instead, I found my energy returning and my doing elevate.
So this is how the quality of our doing can also get improved.
By carrying the energy of being into our doing.
Being Improves the quality of our doing
I am trying to carry the same energy through the week and I hope to share more about this.
I believe our society and our generation will start to heal, relax and ease once we start focusing more on being rather than doing and we can all contribute to this.
Lastly, before parting, I want to give you a small journal prompt that you can write down.
What are the things you are rushing in and creating tension for yourself? Where is this need to rush coming from? Beyond reminding yourself, how can you embrace slow growth and enjoy the present moment?
I hope you take out some time to write this answer in your journal.
With this, I come to the end of my episode.
I wish you a wonderful week ahead.
- May we be peaceful,
- May we be joyful
- May we be calm
- And may we be our truest self
Because the doing gets easily forgotten, it is our being that gets remembered- even to our own selves.
Thank you for joining today and I hope you come back again. New episode comes out every Thursday.
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I wish you a wonderful week of being peaceful, joyful and at ease dear listeners of the heart of living.
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