I’ve always enjoyed watching ants. I love how they work together as a community to complete a project, which is most likely gathering and storing food or building an ant hole. Ants are constantly BUSY – doing, doing, doing. I often try to think about their life from their perspective. Work, work, work, all day long. Those thoughts will usually lead me to thoughts of others watching us. How do we appear to them? (In this case, the “others” might be our loved ones who have passed, all tha Masters and Saints, even God.) Do we appear to be busy – doing, doing, doing? For most of us, the answer is yes.
Many of us work incredibly long days, and then come home to household chores and family responsibilities, which take us into the evening. And then, after all of those events have settled down, we turn on our TVs and keep our minds busy following television series or learning something new on the history channel, or figuring out how we can some day meet the guys on Pawn Stars. So even our idle moments are busy.
But by “doing,” we are missing out on “being.” How often do we take the time to watch the snow flakes falling, or on a day like to today, watch the fog thicken and thin out with the slightest breath of air movement? How often do we sit to watch the birds at the feeder, watch how they spit out the shells of the seeds they eat, watch their relationship with the other birds? How often do we just watch our pets breathe as they sleep, and wonder what it is they are thinking about, as their legs get moving or sounds are produced by them?
Is our legacy in life to be the busy one, the one who is doing, doing, doing, or do we think there is more to life than that? Tonight I am leading a group of women on an adventure. We are creating vision boards. These are women who want to incorporate more “being” time in their lives. The “doing” life has stopped holding attraction for them. They are looking to transform themselves over the next few years. Doesn’t that sound scary? But it’s not. The scary part is to keep doing even though it no longer appeals to you.
When I left elemetary teaching, I knew it was time. The environment of teaching was not what it used to be, becoming so political and test-driven, that it literally burnt me out. Only in retrospect, did I realize that I should have left teaching earlier. Not that I wasn’t a good teacher. My kids always performed well, and their test scores often showed the most improvement. But there were the health issues that I should have realized were tied to my being in the profession too long. My immune system was a mess by the time I left teaching. I was allergic to everything, and I had developed ulcerative colitis about a year after leaving the classroom. Had I stayed in teaching, I probably would have needed surgery and pills to try to maintain better health, and we all know those are just band aids for masking the sypmtoms of the underlying causes. I really thought the stress of teaching would eventually give me cancer.
When we are busy, busy, busy, we neglect ourselves. We don’t pay attention to what our body is trying to tell us. It’s important to examine our lives, especially if we currently have a debilitating illness. What needs to change? What needs to be transformed? For most of us, it means we need to move away from busyness and move toward just being.
I dare you to create your own vision board. I dare you to envision a trasnformation in your life that takes you from doing to being. It’s scary to step away from the “doing” life. But after you make the break, it is freeing, as you move into “being” life of presence.