Last year I had a huge journey with my word “grace” and then the addition of the word “action“. I realise it is a situation many of us face and it breaks down to getting comfortable with (and finding the balance in) being and doing
When I was led by “grace” I found myself often in a state of “being” – trying to be compassionate with myself and my lack of ambition, part of me reveling in my slower pace and time for just being. The other part of me realised halfway through the year that the scales had tipped too far in favour of being and I needed to actually take some action. What had felt like compassion at first, was often fear based hiding and letting myself off the hook for what I really wanted to do.
With integrity I aim to have more balance between the two By knowing what I want and why, I have identified what I hope to “do” this year and can recognise when I am hiding out versus real moments of simply being…
This dichotomy of being vs doing shows itself in other ways as well such as taking in inspiration versus actually creating things yourself, learning versus taking action and implementing what we learn. There are benefits to both sides and the problems arise when we stay on one side of the equation.
Some people struggle to let themselves enjoy the more passive (or seemingly frivolous) activities associated with inspiration, learning, resting and pleasure or fun. Society praises us for accomplishments and being busy, for working hard and being committed.
There is value as well in savouring quiet, being fully present in experiences with others, not rushing to fill every moment. Some people revel in a slow pace and no pressure, but fail to move forward on things they want saying they lack motivation or discipline and even worry they are “lazy”.
If you struggle with settling into the “being” space consider some of the following and how you can get more comfortable or enjoy this time:
- practice being present
- find pockets of quiet and stillness and letting yourself slow down
- try mindfulness practices/ activities that engage you on this level
- create space- physical white space in your home or office; space in your schedule and breathing room in your mindset if you feel pressured or overwhelmed.
- take a bath and let yourself spend that time just being in that experience
- walk in nature
- allow for reading time or simply enjoying music
- do some yoga poses, especially ones like child’s pose, savasana, legs up a wall- gentle and grounded rather than active and striving
- meditation including guided ones
- mindful breathing
In the being space you become more grounded, more peaceful, gain clarity, connect to intuition and your inner voice, slow down the pace of life and your reactions and choices.
If you are comfortable with “being” and slowing down, but realise you actually struggle to get yourself to take action and get things done:
- make sure things you say you want to do are actually in alignment with your values and your desire comes from within you rather than societal expectations or from those in your life
- be patient with yourself in terms of how much “doing” works for you. Your pace might be much different to others, but that is ok. Slow and steady is just as valid as smashing something out in a big way. When we expect big things we can often choose to opt out rather than face that (self imposed) pressure
- be honest with yourself about fears and what is holding you back- change and action are scary because we are leaving that comfy place where everything is familiar and easy. It makes sense to get nervous. The key is to feel it, but not let it decide what you will do.
- enlist the help of other people – online challenges, accountability buddies, collaborations – you don’t have to work alone in a bubble towards your goals and intentions.
Do you find you have a good balance between being and doing or do you struggle with one side of the equation more than the other?
love and light