During these warm summer days, I often look at our furry friends in nature and observe their instinct for slowing down and doing less when the sun is long and the days even longer. It is interesting to observe how much of the world (not all of it) thrives on the perception of constantly doing as opposed to being which is even part of what we call ourselves! I am curious why we do not ask each other as a greeting “How are you being?” instead of “How are you doing?” It reminds me of a long trip I took with a backpack once, the people I met along the way, freedom seekers, wild adventurous hearts as well as young families and octogenarians, they very rarely, if ever asked “What do you do?” For it was obvious, I travelled. Instead, they asked “What do you like to do?” Small change. Big difference.
Our obsession with staying in constant motion, movement, activity, and planning means we have little time or appetite to feel our feelings and reflect. I often hear clients tell me that holidays and weekends tend to be the most challenging which may seem strange as this is time for rest, relaxation, and recharging. But they are also non-structured chunks of time when we are left with ourselves and our feelings, and that can be tricky to manage.
In a world where achievement and success are often measured by outer criteria (grades in school, performance reports in work) becoming a Human Being is truly an inside job. The requirements are straightforward, a wish and a deep desire to connect more truly to one’s feelings, emotions, and sensations. Sometimes sitting and staring out a window can be the most valuable activity we undertake in our day, allowing our mind to hold hands with our heart in a way that says “Let’s just be”
Of course there is always work to be done, in the home, in school and in our jobs but isn’t it our job too to remember that we are part of a wonderfully connected universe of humankind, powered by all of the qualities and delights that make us who we are, funny, quirky, serious, loyal, spontaneous, loving people? So the next time you think about sitting down for a moment and DOING nothing, remind yourself that you are simply fulfilling your all important job title as a human being, first and always.