It starts as an incredibly long day here and a long day there, and before you know it, you have said yes to too many things and are running just to keep up. Sound familiar?
It certainly does to me. That’s where I am right now. Long ago I learned how to say no to the things that don’t speak to my heart but now, when there are so many things coming my way that I want to say yes to, I find myself in a state of exhaustion from doing so much.
Things that normally fill me up and give me energy are gradually becoming onerous chores; my sense of humor is diminishing and my attitude has an edge to it—a sure sign that it is time to take a break—a big break. So this past weekend, I made no plans and, every day I can, I am building in rest time.
First I need to take time to rest and then I need to bring back the things that have gradually slipped out of my day; the things that keep me grounded, centered and balanced—meditation, journal writing, lyric writing, petting my cat, sleeping deeply.
I am also reinstituting the “afternoon off” into my week to “replenish the well”. Giving from an empty well makes me brittle and dry. When I have an afternoon scheduled each week to do things that are renewing, nourishing and regenerating for myself, I find new, creative ideas flowing in and the inspiration to bring them to life. I am then generating my life from the inside out, instead of from the outside in, because I think I “have to” or I “should”.
Doing can subtly sneak up on us and overcome the being part of our lives. The doing is so active, engaging and fun—we feel oh, so productive. But when doing isn’t balanced with an equal dose of being, we become spent, over-wrought, and it can take its toll on us by bringing on colds, accidents, illnesses—our bodies siren call to take a break, roll it back and inhabit being more.
In being we reconnect with that still, small voice of inner wisdom that informs our doing. That voice helps us make better, more conscious choices, aligned with our hearts. It helps us process the emotions and integrate the learning from all of our doing. It gives space for the creative spark to arise and color our lives. In being we are able to witness the beauty that surrounds us, either in nature, our loved ones or the perfection of the moment, as it is right now.
The state of being is where true joy arises, centered in the moment, letting the past and future go for a while; it’s where life actually happens—in the fullness of the present moment.
Where is your balance between being and doing? How do you best nurture and renew yourself in order to get to being—just being, here and now. What changes do you need to make to strike a healthy balance?