Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

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Balance Being and Doing

“The problem in today’s corporate world, as well as in many other realms, is not hard work; the problem is insufficient recovery.” Ben Tal Shahar

 

I’m writing this to you from 36,000 feet en route to vacation with my family, along with many other folks off to holiday and get some rest, adventure and down time.

We hear a lot of talk about work-life balance, which to me has never made sense. It sounds as if we work our ‘life’ around our work, when actually work is a good portion of most people’s life. If it’s something we have to work around, it is a losing, stressful battle and if we are waiting until retirement, or “I’ll be happy when…” . Well….. happiness is a mindset. If you’re not finding it somewhere now, you’re not likely to find it 20 years from now.

I prefer to think of a balance of being and doing, both of which provide value both internally and outwardly to the world. We live in a world that mostly promotes doing… do more, fit more in, more apps., more money, or whatever the ‘goal’ is. However, if it’s not balanced by a grounding, resting return to self, it can get wildly off-balance and veer off course. It is in the returning home to yourself that connects with the ‘who you truly are’… what you truly want and desire to do and create.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe we need goals to inspire and areas to learn and improve upon. It’s just sad when they are not connected to us, but rather an idea of what we ‘should’ be doing. I have found that a lot of people find disconnecting from doing creates anxiety, therefore leading to avoidance and more doing! In the space of being arises all kinds of beliefs such as “I’m not doing enough” which is a disguise for “I’m not enough”. If we’re not enough when we are just being ourselves just as we are without the distraction of doing, chances are there’s a faulty drive in your motor, steering you blindly in the direction of aimless doing like a hamster on a wheel.

I have spent a good many years in over-doing, and more recently increased time in being. Am I less productive? No, exactly the opposite. Being promotes efficiency as we move with more peace and clarity, not wasting precious energy on ‘shoulds’, faulty beliefs, dissatisfaction or paths that don’t fit. Is it easy? No, I am constantly pulled like everyone into doing, and weeks go by out of balance, but being remains waiting patiently for me to arrive. It is in the being that we discover true doing.

Apparently there is great benefit in daydreaming, resting and of course a multitude of health benefits to meditation. If we think of children, how can they find out who they truly are, where their passions and desires and creativity lie if they are always occupied with busy-ness? Same goes for adults….

So how about you? Do you get anxious when the doing stops? Stop and see what arises in that space. Are you making time to find ease through rest, sitting, walking, or other activity that doesn’t involve constant striving? Where do you come home to connect to your true self as the starting point for doing? Maybe there is a way to build being into your day…. for real balance.

Keep calm and rest my friends. Have a good week.

 

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