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Being vs Doing — How are You Choosing to Live?

This morning, I read the phrase “everything comes from being” which immediately inspired me to ponder the difference between a “ being” life and a “doing” life.  Unfortunately, the language of being is quite abstract and often wrapped in the ancient esoteric jargon of spiritual thought leaders.

Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing, where something might be planted, a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.     Rumi

Doing, on the other hand, is seemingly more pragmatic and action oriented, hence easier to describe and understand.

Insanity … doing the same thing over and over again and expecting
different results.    
Albert Einstein

Both being and doing are vital for one’s peace of mind and sense of fulfillment.  It is important to inform what we are doing in the world (our actions) with a vision or intention of who we want to be. Otherwise, our aimlessness or lack of meaningful purpose will likely lead to choosing immediate gratification — material possessions, pleasure seeking, etc. — over the longer-term soulful gains of becoming a good person.   This lack of soulful success is equally apparent when action does not follow our vision as Henry Ford so aptly stated, “Vision without execution is just hallucination.”

An even clearer illustration of being and doing, for me, is depicted through the metaphor of a tornado.  The tornado’s eye reflects our own calm centre where we can see clearly who we are, what we want and how to respond in ways that fulfill us and have meaning.  From that place of calm centredness (our true/authentic being), we witness the swirling chaos surrounding us.  We can choose to become overwhelmed and react to the chaos of our iVUCA — interconnected, volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous — world.  Or, we can choose to stay calmly centred in our being and respond from that place of authenticity — calm abiding and clear seeing.  What others have termed as being in the world but not of it.

Both Mahatma Gandhi and Bryant McGill, suggest ways to be calm amidst the surrounding tornados — be what you seek to see in the world.

Be the peace you seek.

Be the loving kindness you seek.

Be the joy you seek.

Be the patience you seek.

Be the unconditional acceptance you seek.

Be the beauty you seek.

Be the ____________________ you seek.

What are you seeking to see in your world?  Are you willing to be what you seek by committing yourself to doing so for at least one-week?  This week, I am working at being and doing patience.

Choose to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.     Louise Hay

For more on being and doing, click here.

Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.

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