There is a madness in men and women today and it’s spilling over to our children too. This madness is our constant need for change – with our relationships, our jobs, our possessions, our education, and our status in life. Striving for something better and never resting until that something is achieved is a modern disease. Competitiveness causes anxiety and stress, ensuring we constantly perceive a state of lack within ourselves and are never satisfied.
We are constantly doing, but what if instead we chose to be?
Being vs. Doing
Being is a sense of feeling present to exactly who you are in this moment, rather than doing something to try and make improvements because you perceive yourself or your life as imperfect. It may seem hard at first to make the switch, but the rewards will far outweigh the effort required.
Here are seven ways that you can start being today:
1. Decide what is most important to you.
Do you live life according to the plans or expectations of others? It might be your parents who decided what path your life should take, or it may be your culture’s expectations that you feel obligated to live up to.
In order to truly live your being-ness, you need to decide what is most important to you in life and take steps to honor those things. Along with that comes no longer doing the things you think you should do.
In this way, you are acting more in alignment with who you are, with your being-ness and not doing what conflicts with your highest values.
2. Choose to be happy in each moment.
Many people believe happiness is something that comes from external sources — a job or career, upbringing, finances or partner. I disagree. Happiness is a choice that comes from within. It is a decision you can make from moment to moment. This is living truly from a sense of Being.
If you expect happiness to be delivered to you by others or an act of serendipity, you’ll find yourself pretty unhappy when those expectations are not met. What can you find in this moment to be happy about?
3. Honor your strengths.
When you are living your life focusing on your strengths, you are living in being. What you are good at — your strengths — comes naturally to you. The activities you struggle to grasp or never really achieve mastery of are examples of doing that just don’t work. Stop telling yourself that you need to be good at everything and focus instead on what lights you up.
4. Reside in the present with an open heart.
When you move your focus from your head to your heart, you open up a whole new way of Being that is centered in love, enjoyment, forgiveness and understanding.
5. Stop beating yourself up over past mistakes.
The past is in the past and that’s where it needs to remain. There is no value in regret, guilt or shame. Acknowledge that whatever happened is over. Reliving past events and beating yourself up does nothing but bring those problems into the present, keeping the energy of them alive. Similarly, if you believe your best times were in the past, you need to let that belief go. Give yourself permission to create new adventures and achievements from a sense of Being vital and alive.
6. Let the being be the doing.
When you come from a place of being and you bring your awareness to every possible moment, then whatever activity you are engaged in will be infused with presence and will not be resisted. Resistance to the present moment is what causes anxiety, sadness, anger and despair.
Really practice being present to whatever you’re doing. The easiest way to feel present is practicing meditation, but it’s not the only path to presence. If you’re sitting, enjoy the feeling of inactivity and your body in repose. If you’re running, connect with the feeling of your feet hitting the pavement, your muscles propelling you forward, the air in your lungs and the scenery around you as you pass.
Notice your body and what is around you and you’ll be surprised by how peaceful you begin to feel without the constant noise of your problems and mind chatter. Life itself becomes a meditation.
7. Take inspired action.
Once you’ve become practiced at just being, then you can start taking inspired action. Inspired action is when your intuition sends you a message to act. Oftentimes inspired action comes to you as a random thought that feels like it came out of nowhere. You’ll start to notice what feels right and be naturally drawn to take those actions. When you learn to trust yourself and take inspired actions that naturally feel good, you will experience more success than you ever have before, and it will also feel better. It’s a win-win.
If you focus on just one of the above steps towards Being each day, in a short space of time you will put an end to the Doing madness and find yourself on the path to consistent happiness and fulfillment.