Being Vs. Doing
I recently spent several days helping a close friend with their important project. When I returned to my own life, thoughts started swirling around in my head around how behind I’d gotten on my own tasks. I started feeling agitated, eager to get caught up. Yet at the same time, I knew that my current state of mind was not going to help me.
We choose our reactions and our actions.
I had two choices: deal with my state of agitation or launch into tackling my tasks. I used to believe that the only way to rid myself of my agitation was to start doing the tasks that I was agitated about. I’ve tried that before: the result was that I continued to be agitated while ineffectively struggling with the tasks.
The best way to change your state of mind is to start from within.
We tend to avoid dealing with our feelings by distracting ourselves with action. However, the feelings don’t go away until they’ve been dealt with. Responding to our feelings with empathy is the first step to dealing with them. I chose to deal with my agitated state by meditating.
How can I meditate when I’ve got all these things to do?!
A post about being vs doing would not be complete without mentioning meditation. Meditation has the power to turn agitation into motivation. Here’s how it worked for me: I gave myself the gift of empathy by acknowledging my feelings. My breathing rate lowered and I felt calmer. This gave me the necessary pause to challenge and change my perspective. I realized that I did not need to do everything on my task list. I only needed to set priorities. Having a calmer mind made it much easier for me to take care of my priorities.
When you put aside doing for a moment and address how you are being, this creates a space for you to pause and choose a healthier way to be. Then the doing becomes easier because you’re less burdened by negative feelings.
How do you wish to be?