Being vs doing – re-igniting that holiday mojo

You are probably back from a bit of a summer break, right back into the thick of things. You might hate it, or part of it. Such a brutal transition. One of the ways this transition can feel so harsh is because, rather than having so much space (all day, if we were lucky) for just “being”, our days are now filled mostly with “doing” again. Often not of our own agency. We liked that “being” space. We liked that “being” person. We miss it. It was new, it was also a bit frightening sometimes, but, a few days in, we felt we were onto something.

We really started connecting, that “being” version of ourselves. Life felt different, new, good (and maybe a little scary). We started wondering what that might be like to be like that all the time, compared to the “doing” version. We might now be worried we can’t keep it up, that we might lose that new acquaintance with that version of ourselves before we can form a stable bond of friendship. And by now we are probably half snowed-under again with work and our day-to-day commitments.

This “being” space is great, it allows us to reconnect with who we are before we start piling on more things again that crowd out the space. Before we jump right back onto the “doing” and as we start tapping more into that depth, that can nourish and sustain us when things get hectic, crowded again. Also, when being with others, it invites them to drop into that being space with you, opening up a space to connect at a deeper level. This is contagious and has the potential to really transform relationships.

So, now that we are back, how can we use our tendency to “do” to carve out that space to “be” when we are not on holiday? Here are a few ideas to find regular time to check in with yourself, like a date with emptiness, a date with yourself, with that “ground of being”. Meditation can help with that, cutting through the chatter and the noise that our mind likes to fill things with. Art or other creative projects can help, tapping into what wants to emerge like gardening, going for a walk or joining a class or a supportive group. Trying out something like “street wisdom” if you are not the type that wants to sit still on a cushion. Being mindful right in the very moment with what is (like the crowded platform at the station, the sound of the dump truck in the early morning…), keeping on breathing, taking notice, staying with the sensations. Without wanting to change it, making up a story about it or trying to (mentally or physically) run away to somewhere else, (re)activating the “doing”. Pick something that resonates. Try it. For just a few minutes and then a few minutes more. Keep it up for a while, for example, two weeks, to really get a feeling for how things might change. Keep that spirit of fun exploration. You did it during your summer break.

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