The Power of Being: Part One
For a number of years now, I’ve shared that there is power to be found in the space of “being”. This is based on the premise that we are human “beings’ and not human “doings”.
While I’ve embraced this idea as a core philosophy for my life, and shared it with others who are looking for greater ease in their lives, what I’ve noticed is this: there appears to be a human tendency to feel guilty when we’re just being. Being still is often equated with laziness, and so, after a relatively short time of stillness, you move on to whatever activity you deem is more productive. Interestingly, this inability to “be” seems particularly pronounced whenever there’s an uncomfortable emotion or feeling involved. When feeling sad or angry, most folks dive head-first into some constructive activity in an effort to avoid feeling the depth of the emotion at play.
Here’s the thing: denying yourself the experience of stillness, especially in the face of emotion, is costing you. And it’s a cost that you don’t have to pay.
On a very obvious level, denying yourself the capacity to be still, to rest, to slow down, means that you deny yourself the chance to replenish and rejuvenate yourself. On another level, however, when you skirt past the opportunity to be, when you avoid just being and spend your time just doing (particularly by way of avoiding a particular emotion or feeling) you’re actually resisting something. And, as Jung has said, what you resist, persists.
So, if something is bothering you, and you throw yourself into a project by way of avoiding/ignoring/snubbing that particular feeling, you’re actually allowing that feeling to persist. It’s going to hang around (albeit under the surface) until you do pay attention to it and learn whatever it is you need to learn. In this case the cost is wasted time and a lost learning opportunity.
The challenge of course, particularly in the sense of dealing with emotions that you’d rather avoid, is that you need to be willing to get a little (or a lot) uncomfortable. You have to allow yourself to feel the discomfort of whatever is going on. It’s about allowing yourself to really understand and learn about you and how you show up in the world. It’s a way of connecting with your core, your values, your essence.
In other words, the discomfort that you’re feeling is pointing you in the direction of something you need to know about yourself and your world. When you disconnect from being and throw yourself into doing, the learning opportunity that you’re trying to avoid just goes underground and waits until another moment to present itself again.
Bottom-line: giving yourself time to “be” isn’t about being lazy. It isn’t about avoiding what needs to get done. It isn’t about wasting time. Learning to “be” is an essential part of becoming and being all that you’re meant to be so that you can, in fact, do all that you’re meant to do. So stop “doing” so much and start “being” a little more. Trust me, it will serve you well.