Doing vs Being

24 07 2010

Okay, so this is not a title bout to the end between ‘doing’ and ‘being’ since these are really a pair that go together. Like the two parts of the day – light and night, and, waking and sleeping, doing and being must be in balance. Scripturally, the verse goes: “Faith without works is dead.”

Modern living is about doing more than being – even our vacations and leisure activities are busy and bombard us with sensory overload. Sometimes our sleep is so busy that we are exhausted by the time we wake up. And, even the advice to just “let it go” can keep us busy for hours.

The fact is, many of us just can’t sit still. We diagnose it in many ways but behind all this restless activity is some sort of fear that if we slow down, everything will fall apart. So much that our ‘lazyniss’ is full of anxious thoughts, fears, worries, resentments, guilt, and a hundred other things we occupy our minds with – even when our bodies are relatively still.

This uneasiness points to the fact that we are somehow unable or unwilling to accept life – and ourselves- on life’s terms, just as it is. Are our lives and selves that difficult to accept? Notions of self improvement and advancement have been taken to an extreme that we no longer accept what is -we are always trying to change it in some way. So strong is our desire to get what we don’t have, that we barely recognize what we do have, or look deeply into what is to see the truly great things that are already there.

Being does not mean to no longer do and rest on our laurels-actually it can help us do even more, but do it more efficiently. In muscle training, it is vital to both work out AND rest, so the muscles can repair themselves for the next visit to the gym. Like the stillness of the surface of a pond makes it easier to see into the water, a still mind can provide a penetrating insight that reveals much more than one that is agitated or disturbed in some way. Do and be. Be and do. Or as Frank Sinatra said, do be do be do.

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