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Doing versus Being

A life of constantly doing things in and of itself will lead to unhappiness, angst, nervousness and anxiety as there are an infinite number of “things” to do and once a task is completed, another will fill its place (thus there is never rest for the doer). Instead, for each task that has been laid out before you, why not simply be? Be in the moment and realize that your divine purpose and what you are supposed to be “doing” is simply to be present as that is all that exists. The task in and of itself is meaningless, it is the presence behind the task that changes the World.

My whole life I grew up accomplishing tasks: training for races, working, completing chores, spending time with family, etc… Yet, with all of the accomplishing and completing of tasks, I found emptiness. Infact, I began requiring more and more tasks to be completed to achieve a decreasing level of “happiness”. It wasn’t until seven years after marrying my wife did I realize the insanity and disfuncion in the way I was living. It all came full circle one Saturday morning when I told Allison (my lovely wife) that I wanted to mow the lawn, build some shelves, go on a run, paint a wall and grill some steaks for dinner. All of the aforementioned tasks were to-do items and I sped through each one as quickly as possible to move on to the next task. At the end of the day when I laid my head down to rest, I was worn out, depleted and miserable. I told Allison sarcastically “this was a GREAT way to spend MY Saturday”. With that she smiled and said, “you were here completing tasks, but where were you all day?” The question “where were you” hit me upside the head like a freight train. I was absent through all of the tasks I was completing. I was looking to the next chore and was never able to be fully present on what I was currently doing. This theme had transcended all throughout my childhood and early adult life. I was just crossing items off of the list: graduate highschool (check), graduate college (check), get married (check), get a job (check), get a masters degree (check), and have a kid (check). The joy is not in checking off the items, but the presence of simply being. I soon found that when life was no longer a checklist, things began to get very easy and even found mundane tasks joyful. Not only that, but being in the moment and focusing on being fully present in all things that I do allowed me to accomplish even more tasks, but that was not my driving force. The driver was to simply be present and give all of my energy and focus to the current moment.

While I still do struggle to remain present, the awareness of my tendencies to speed through tasks for the sake of completing them allowed me to curtail my behavior and spend a greater portion of my time in presence.

Questions to consider:

What is keeping you from being in the moment?
Why do you feel the need to be anywhere than where you are?
Are you okay feeling this way?

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