True Confessions – The struggle of being vs. doing

True Confessions – The struggle of being vs. doing

The mystery of the moment was an uncomfortable thing for me. As a planner and a goal setter, I have removed much mystery from my life because it creates discomfort. Before you judge the sadness of that statement, it is important to understand the benefit. I thrive in organizing and arranging things in an order that provides maximum efficiency and production. I feel a sense of focus, direction, and achievement. It is exciting to have a clear target and list to drive the moment. It results in fulfillment at the end of the day, as goals are achieved. 

That use to be more of my work profile and my personal profile could be much more “in the moment” and “going with the flow.” During that time, I could enjoy who I was with and the experience versus the product. I am not sure what changed in my life that influenced the greater shift to being in this other “work” type of mode all the time. To be clear, it doesn’t mean I am working all the time, it just means I like to be on a mission and on purpose. Was it having children and having less time to do all the tasks that needed to be done, so maximizing time became essential? Is it an addiction to production? Is it the rush of fulfillment? Is it the reaction to criticism and the many ways I am not enough for those who have silent expectations of me… so a constant drive to be producing so I can at least feel good about that? Is it in my DNA of German work ethic and early role modeling that frequently taught that relaxing is lazy? Is it how I need to be seen – as not lazy and adding value? Do I feel just being is not enough and value only happens when you are doing? Maybe some of all of those and more.  These are what I call the SHADOW of the STRENGTH. The strength being strategic planning, arranging, activating and producing. The shadow being the ability to be in mystery, to be in the moment, to just be. 

While there are gifts and benefits to this driving nature I like to exist in, there are also challenges. For myself and for others. 

For me, it can create stress. My stress comes more when things are not happening, moving forward or getting done. It causes me to feel cranky and impatient with others who are being in the moment, not moving so fast or just not helping. I find myself in a slight pity party, thinking that I would like to sit down and relax and could if everyone was working (my dreaded victim side).  I see the number of tasks around me in many different areas and desperately desire to check more of them off the list. I find calm as I have my list and start to achieve one at a time. This is great, but it doesn’t make me a fun person to be around and can ruin my ability to notice, see and appreciate the people and gifts of each day. 

For others I believe it can create a relentless feeling that the work is never done, there is always more and excellence is the only success. It can be discouraging, exhausting and overwhelming. I know I have to temper my delegation and requests to others. I know I have to appreciate them for what they are doing and also just for being. I have to stop and just be present verses always doing. This is my work. My work on my shadow. It is a level of awareness and growth for me at this season. 

I believe in our development there is always development that can be done. Often the most significant development is on our shadows. I know there is beauty in the mystery of the moment, adventure and surprise. I know there is value in letting go and allowing the gifts to come from the moment and the mystery. I know there are peace and joy in being able to be and not plan or do all the time. There is richness as I allow myself to discover the mystery of the moment. 

Truth is, I know I am not alone in this struggle and this growth. I also know there is an amazing group of people out there that live for the mystery of the moment. How do you develop this skill, how do you surrender and let go? 

Here are a few things I have done or had suggested in the past:  

  1. Chew a bit of food 25x before swallowing, allowing yourself to notice the taste, texture, and sensation of the food. 
  2. Sit outside for 5 minutes and just listen. Practice listening to sounds close to you and then sounds far away. 
  3. Walk through the grass barefoot. 
  4. Journal. 
  5. Paint. 
  6. Do crafts. 
  7. Meditate. 
  8. Yoga. 
  9. Mindfulness. (guided meditation) 
  10. Go for a walk without any devices 
  11. Be in water (shower, bath, pool, etc.) 
  12. Try a new dish (make or eat out)
  13. Buy an entertainment book and use one coupon a week (finding new spots) 
  14. Do one thing each day that you have not done before 
  15. Pick something opposite of what you normally would 
  16. Move things around (just create change for your brain to practice adapting) 
  17. Pick up something and study it
  18. Take pictures of things close up and observe them 
  19. Light a candle and be present 
  20. Go to a Mystery Room or some type of guided experience you don’t plan 

What ideas do you have? How do you enjoy the mystery of the moment? What does that mean to you? What gets in your way of just being? 



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