Posted by: Lisa | January 9, 2011

Being vs. Doing

One of my yoga students commented last week that she can’t believe how quickly time is passing.  We’re already a week into the new year!  I agreed that time does indeed seem to fly.  We laughed in agreement about the old saying that time flies even more quickly as we age.

Then, she startled me with her next comment.  She said she’s always shocked at the end of the day when she turns the page of her calendar – shocked to realize that she accomplished nothing all day.

I think everyone in our culture can identify with this notion on some level.  Yet, I find it hard to believe that my student really accomplishes nothing in a day.  After all, she has two small children.  As a stay-at-home mom, I’m certain she works at least as hard caring for her children all day as anyone who works full-time outside the home.  She has allowed our cultural bias toward Doing vs. Being to define her sense of accomplishment.

The truth is that we are not required to DO anything in particular to have a “productive” day.  When we rise from bed in the morning, all that’s needed is a personal commitment to BE in the moment.  From this Being arises an awareness of what really needs to be done in each moment. 

Of course, we all have duties that are part of life.  We commit to fulfill our duties as spouse, parent, student, employee, etc.  We commit to take care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually each day.  These things require a certain amount of Doing.

Beyond this, we should rise above any compulsion to DO things, to check off our daily to-do lists.  There’s nothing wrong with just BEING.  Life is a gift.  When we accept ourselves as children of God, we can see that we are worthy and “productive” simply by being alive.

Our being becomes enlivened by the peace and love that we cultivate within ourselves – the peace and love that comes from God.  Then, our existence is a blessing to others and to the whole world.  And it doesn’t matter whether time seems to move quickly or slowly.

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