What do you want to do with your Life?
That’s the question we all get asked, right from a very young age. Yes, it’s sounds more like “What do you want to be when you grow up?” but really it’s the same question.
Or is it? The words what you want to ‘do’ and what you want to ‘be’ couldn’t be more different. ‘Do’ is an action word and ‘be’ is a state of being. So which one should we concentrate on? In my experience the word ‘do’ is completely over-used during question time.
Let me give some examples: “What do you think you’re doing?
“What do you do for a living?”
“Do you have any idea what you’re doing?”
“What do you actually want to do with your life?” - this one is almost an accusation
about the fact that you’re obviously not doing what you should be doing.
You get the picture. It seems the notion of doing something equates with success, prestige, intelligence, smarts. Ergo if you’re not doing something you must be unsuccessful, poor, dumb, stupid. What a load of crap.
If you are sitting and looking out at the ocean as the sun rises, you are actually doing something - you’re sitting, looking and appreciating. Oh, and let’s not forget about breathing, because if you’re not ‘doing’ breathing, you’re dead. So when others contemplate your stillness at the beach, they may think you’re just hanging out, or even a lazy beach bum, but the truth is you are totally engaged, doing and being all at the same time. How clever are you!
So we come to being.
“Let it be.”
“So be it.”
“He’s being really sweet.”
“She’s just being a bitch.” You can be a bitch, but can you do one - and I don’t mean in the sexual way. This one I’m really not sure about. What I do know, is that I can be happy and also do happy. Doing happy is how my actions play out because I am happy. For me this means I have to be happy before I can do it.
So what’s this all about? Well, what I have discovered during my journey into mindfulness and meditation, is that if I concentrate or consider my state of being, the doing part of my life reflects that. Mostly I go into myself and think of love, compassion and joy. This settles me and when I start my day doing stuff, everything seems to come from those states of being. It’s almost exhilarating.
Of course it’s not always like that. Yesterday I woke up and felt really down. Normally I would chastise myself and tell myself to “just get on with it” but this time I didn’t. This time I acknowledged my state of being and breathed into it. I approached it with love and compassion and spent the day being kind to myself. Today? I’m back doing happy. It’s conscious and it’s intention and it works. For me. It works for me because I’ve discovered that do and be are totally different and completely complimentary. One reflects the other. So for me being is the beginning. Being is the present moment and doing from my state of being is where it’s at. So when you get a moment or two, why not close your eyes, breathe and just ‘be’. In your own space and time. When you open your eyes, feel the shift and start ‘doing’ from there. You may be surprised of how the rest of your day pans out.