Are you a being or a doing?
Have you ever been relaxing at home, or maybe somewhere in nature, not really thinking but just content where you are? There’s usually an absence of distractions like television, work tasks, traffic, crowds of people. It’s times like these where you just be sitting, not thinking or doing, just present and content in the moment.
Then a small thought starts to take shape in a corner of your mind.. Just a little one, lazily drifting in, maybe leaving again but quite likely growing and taking on a shape. Now the cloud has a name- a cumulonimbus, or something equally dramatic. The name makes a statement, now you’re focusing on the cloud with it’s big name, and the thinking begins. Your mental peace has gone, the silence disturbed.
Much of our time is taken up with doing- tasks are never ending, and there will be more even if you complete today’s list. Society runs on people providing services, and the home is a place where tasks need to be done, so the concepts of work or task are not in question. It’s more about the sheer volume of tasks we face daily, and when not doing we are usually thinking- tasks at a mental level.
Moderation is key, so we need to consider some space for something which is not thinking or doing, but still requires some effort to initiate – at least, until we get the hang of it. I am referring to being. Being is about being fully present in and accepting of the moment, a deliberate yet unconditional awareness, not interpreting or needing to think or do anything beyond being. Quite a mouthful, that sentence! Being seems quite a challenge on some levels, deliberate effort required but not toward a goal other than just being present.
Sometimes words elicit thinking, so lets try a being explanation. Sitting as you are, simply become aware of your breathing.. inhale.. exhale.. Stay with the natural rhythm of your breath, simply aware and being present in each one as it moves inward and outward. Do this for a few moments, and your mind settles down, with a reduction of mental chatter and physical sensations. Do it for a few minutes, and some inner peace starts to emerge. Do it daily, and the peace extends beyond the exercise. I am aware of using the word ‘do’ here, which refers to the initial effort required to actually start the exercise. It can soon become a natural habit, which you can relax into through the day when you need to reset yourself.
Remember- we are not human doings, but human beings!