Monday, August 15, 2011

0047: Being vs Doing

"If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance."
- Andrea Boydston -

A picture I took in 2009 of a lady I owe a lot to...
Living in the Trocadero neighborhood, I passed this Lady often (she is about 6 or 7 feet in height, sitting down and is made of stone). She always gave me a sense of being and a sense of calm. To this day I don't know her name but I always think about her. (She is my ipad wallpaper, a reminder to me to be.)  

So, the art of "being" is something I have worked hard to learn and appreciate. I am not talking about just wasting the day away. I am referring to living in the moment, to enjoying life without expectations - even if just for short periods of time. Reading, jogging, eating, walking or simply lying outdoors looking at the sky - any activity can be appreciated more by being in that moment - so obvious right? but so hard to do... Letting go of that call you are expecting, of a decision you have to make, of what you're doing for dinner, of how to leave your mark on the universe :-) simply find time to let go...

This brilliant concept didn't just come to me; it was given to me... While in graduate school - in Malibu, California - I was working in NYC and traveling a lot to London. I was in my second to last semester and I was exhausted. My advisor highly recommended that I drop the program and pick it back up when my life wasn't so hectic. I have never been a quitter so I was pretty mad that he was even bringing that up. My grades were solid, how dare he! Then one of my favorite professor's, Scott Sherman, saw that I was upset and pulled me aside. He didn't say drop and he didn't say stay in. He talked to me about the difference between being and doing. He told me that a balance of the two is very important. He pointed out that although I was an expert doer that I shouldn't forget to be. I appreciated his talk and I got to vent but I really didn't get it for a few more years. Needless to say, I stayed in the program and graduated :-) I just couldn't see dropping out and losing momentum. 

So years later when I realized that my lifestyle was unsustainable, that I was on the edge of losing myself - Professor Sherman's words came back to me. And I held on to them this time. I repeated them over and over. I really didn't know what to do to be... so I enlisted a few "BE" friends and set out on a mission of Being. And WOW, what a wonderful impact this has made on my life. 

I am still a doer but I constantly work on mastering the art of being - which I am pretty good at nowadays :-) I can truly let go and appreciate the moment. I can even go somewhere and leave my cellphone behind - a huge accomplishment for the person I used to be!! 

So... as you get busy with your day, remember to balance the "doing" and "being" aspects of life. After all, even 30 minutes of "being" will feed your heart and soul. I think I am a better person for understanding the difference and knowing when I am out of balance. 

Thank you Professor Sherman!!! And you thought I wasn't listening!! :-)

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