About a year ago someone challenged me about all my doing. She asked me if I was also being. That the furry of all my doing and creating felt grounded. It was a good question and one I really needed to answer. She suggested a book to me, to ground me each day. I now read Simple Abundance each night before bed. I feel centered as I read the author’s words, sometimes underlining her ideas, sometimes just taking them in, even if they don’t completely resonate. The idea of Simple Abundance is one I want to cultivate in my own life. Some of you have asked about living in abundance and I have thoughts on that I will share next week.
So how do we be and do?
Do they go together?
Scroll through your Instagram feed and you will likely see quotes and posts about self-care and being. They certainly stem from a society frantic with things to do and craving space to be. These calls sometimes rub me the wrong way. I think to myself:
“Who are all these people with so much time for self-care?”
“What does that look like for women who are caring for children or a family-member with special needs and illness, who likely need it most?”
“What about the single moms or those struggling with their own illness, mental or physical?”
“What about the doers and creators in this world, we can’t get things done if we are constantly in self-care, being mode.”
I’m a believer in walking in the middle spaces of life. Here on these balance beams, in these tensions, where most people don’t care to abide, are the sweet spots. Being and doing absolutely go together. In fact, they intersect at one of those sweet spots. We are called to be doers and creators in this life. If you read enough of my blogs I know you will get that sentiment from me. I don’t think we are here merely to exist, but to do and create big, beautiful things. In my experience these big (I don’t mean in size, but in what they give) and beautiful things often stem from suffering and difficult life experiences. I love learning from people to have struggled and created beauty from it. To me it is the quest for healing personified.
So yes, we must do, but in that doing, we should have a sense of being. A sense that our doing is grounded in who we are and what we are called to do. This is hard for us doers, because we get a rush from the doing. But if I’ve learned anything from all that I’ve created and done in my life, it is this. The doing will not feed us if it is just doing. Franticly checking off lists and creating to create. This treadmill will leave us empty and exhausted. Instead, we must do, grounded in being. Grounded by that still small voice, of God dwelling in us, of the breath of our soul saying “this is for you to do”.
As a new year approaches I like to think of my word of the year. What is a word that will be my theme for the year? What is calling to me? This year it’s “intention”. I went into this year feeling like I was just doing. And I wanted to do with intention, to be more present in my doing and to make sure what I was doing was bringing me life.
Now sometimes we just have to do. Much of life is work. The kids need to be fed, the bills need to be paid, the job needs to be done. But we must carve out work that ignites our being. I have spent this year wrestling with what I am doing and working towards aligning my doing more with being. Being who I am, listening to what I am called to be, do and teach in this world. I’m learning this takes shedding some things that others expect and making some brave steps toward our callings.
So let us be doers, let us be creators, but let us do from a place of being. You may think to yourself, how do I do this? In the early stages of grief, sadness or overwhelm in life it’s just putting one step in front of the other. As you are doing that, you must start to listen. Take notice of the little things that cross your day that pull you in, that speak to you. In the hustle and bustle, make a point to be. Take a walk with your kids, turn off the radio in the car and ride in silence. Read a daily devotional. Download a podcast that feeds your soul to listen to while grocery shopping. Wake up early and write for 30 minutes. Go to a yoga class, even if you’ve never been before. Breathe for 10 minutes in silence. Find something creative you like to do and carve out 30 minutes for yourself to do it. Look through a magazine or Pinterest to find images that inspire you. Just start connecting your being with your doing.
You have been created in this moment and time to create and do. For each of us that will look entirely different. There is no template or picture of what that should be. Release those. Rather listen, and from a sense of being, from a place of love, of the deepest part of yourself where God abides, ask what you are called to do. From that place of being, cultivate that doing. It will take time to figure it out. It will change and evolve over time, as we all will when we are growing people. This week think about being in your doing. Living with intention in the spaces you are called.
What does that look like for you? I’d love to hear from you.
Sunday Love to each of you.