“I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.”
–Dr. Wayne Dyer
My friend, a mother of four, was a full-time teacher who worked six days a week.
We always joked that her day off was busier and more stressful than her teaching days and that being a mom was her second full-time job.
One day, I walked into her house in the middle of her day off from work. I expected to see her unpacking groceries, cooking, doing laundry, and chasing her tail. Surprisingly, I saw her relaxing on the couch watching a Hallmark movie. I asked her if she was sick or if something was wrong. She smiled and said, “Nope! I deserve to do this for a few hours!”
I looked at her as if she had just landed from Mars. It didn’t even cross my mind that I, too, had the freedom to spend my time in any way I wanted.
That happened many years ago, and the truth is that I still don’t make the time to watch a movie in the middle of my working day. But I definitely make room for BEING every day.
Don’t get me wrong! I love DOING. Taking action is the way to move from vision to reality. It gives me so much joy to see a woman who comes to me feeling stuck eventually remove her blocks and move to action. Running my own business, managing a team, blogging consistently every week, teaching, coaching, mentoring, cooking healthy, exercising, traveling, and enjoying life requires a lot of human doing energy. I love my mission of guiding women through a process of healing and growth. But I am very intentional about balancing the doing with a solid foundation of BEING that keeps me going and keeps me and the people around me sane (most of the time)
Is Human doing more natural to you than human being?
Some of us, like my friend Jen, have an admirable ability to be in solitude with themselves and may find that getting out there and taking action is a stretch. Many of us are more comfortable walking, texting, watching, listening, driving, bossing around, multitasking, overstimulating ourselves, and thinking about the next thing we need to do than we are with being present. Maybe, as the women in my Inner Circle realized during one of our recent online sisterhood conversations, you switch between roles. It might even depend on the season.
Here are my best tips for balancing Human Doing with Human Being
- Find YOUR favorite ways to slow down.
When life speeds up, you must slow down. Self-Reiki is the most effective form of meditation I know, and there are millions of people like me who give Reiki to themselves every day. But Reiki and meditation, and even yoga, are not the only way. You can slow down by sitting in your garden, having a cup of tea, gazing, wondering, daydreaming, or breathing.
- Start your day with positive momentum.
Developing and maintaining a morning practice is super important. Yes, I know! Sticking to it is hard! Just do it! Start your day how you want to live your day. Here are some ideas for morning practices to inspire you.
- Transition from one task to another mindfully.
When you finish your lunch, how easy is it to switch gears back to work? When you return home after being outside, how long before you start doing things around the house? When you wake up in the morning, how quickly before you shift into doing mode? Be aware of your transition. Five minutes of pausing and becoming intentional about your next task will make all the difference. Try it. It works.
- Make art. Create. Have fun. You don’t have to be an artist to BE an artist.
As you can see in the picture, painting rocks is my recent art-making obsession. Even if I only spend 5 minutes a day creating, and even if it is late at night when I’m tired, it always makes me feel centered and present.
Like everything else in life, human being or human doing is a choice. Once you’re aware, you can shift from one state to the other. Be intentional, and make it happen. Balancing DOING and BEING helps you live at full power.