Doing Vs. Being

Nov 01, 2017
Jennifer sitting on a rock looking out at the ocean with her hands raised high

In our day-to-day lives, we get caught up in doing. As women, we are constantly in motion taking care of one thing or another. We run on auto-pilot without paying attention to how we feel or what makes us happy. We rarely take time out for just being in our lives - nothing to do and nowhere to go so that we can be present in the moment-by-moment experience.

I’ve been one of those “busy” people for most of my life. You know those “can't stop, won't stop” kinda people. Hell, even stopping when I was sick was impossible. I thought pushing through was just what busy people did. Then life handed me a series of challenges; divorce, illness, burnout and being forced to reckon with what I wanted out of my career, and I found myself in a place where I had no choice but to stop the constant hustle. My illness physically forced me to stop “doing” and surrender to just “being” in my life. “What do you mean stop doing and start being? Ain’t nobody got time for that!”. 

I had to take baby steps from “doing” into “being”. At first, I learned how to stop for short moments throughout my day and just take deep breaths. Then I progressed to sitting in silence for the first 3 minutes, working up to 10. Over time I have developed a daily 20-minute meditation practice that allows me to tune in and reconnect to what makes me happy. I discovered that simple pleasures like reading, laughing with best friends, spending time with family, being in nature, and travel adventures were things that are critical to my well-being and filling my soul. I also uncovered long-forgotten parts of myself and deep soul desires for my life that I couldn’t or wouldn’t make time for. 

Living our best and most fulfilled life through midlife and beyond requires us to tune in to how we feel and what makes us connected to our lives at the deepest levels of our soul. The thing is, though, that it's virtually impossible to do so when we’re consumed with being “busy.”

What’s one thing you could do today to spend a minute or two “being” in your life? How can you tune into what makes you truly happy?


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