From DOing to BEing

Do you often find yourself super busy, scheduled, and working ON or toward something? Like, always somehow “doing”? If you’re anything like me (and most of our society), you have a strong orientation to DOing rather than BEing. 

I hit the figurative wall of “doing” a few weeks ago, after a super powerful Women’s INpowerment Summit and INpowerment Circle: working a lot, maintaining a busy schedule, and feeling increasingly depleted. My clients, humanitarian aid colleagues and I know this pattern very well: producing, achieving and working until a few days’ holiday that seems to come too late, where you’re eventually able to (mostly) let go, only to return to “real life” and repeat the cycle. It’s a rhythm of extremes. 

Or maybe you over-exercise, over-book social commitments and over-date even when your body needs rest, you desire personal space or you’re not showing up with the energy and attitude you’d like to emanate? So you keep doing what you’re doing until you get injured or sick, impatient with your friends and family, or pessimistic about your options OR (fill in the blank). 

For me, what happened in the first part of this summer is the manifestation of a familiar pattern, an approach that gives me a sense of control and helps maintain an identity that’s strongly focused on what I DO. And because I’m really good at working, producing, and DOing, I can go here often. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to choose differently and made a conscious decision to prioritize rest and retreat – from over-doing and intospaciousness (and its myriad benefits). This decision (and keeping to it) does not come easily, however, because this pattern is so well ingrained.

I also know it’s totally possible to shift patterns with commitment and compassion.

I reflected deeply on the 6-step process I experienced for creating a more supportive and intentional pattern of living -- and I’m thrilled to share these action steps with you below! 

The first, foundational step toward intentionally moving into BEing is to Cultivate Awareness

Although this may seem passive at first (not enough “doing”, perhaps?), creating awareness around your patterns, tendencies, and habits is absolutely critical to creating change

To cultivate awareness around your relationship to DOing, I invite you to reflect on the following questions:

  • How do you know when you’re doing too much? Or when you’re “done”? (E.g. do you get exhausted, negative, critical, impatient, anxious, irritable or . . . ?)
  • What tells you that you need space and rest?

Creating awareness around these signals in your mind, body and soul – symptoms of “over” doing something – allows you to identify when you’re nearing or reaching a breaking point. 

I’m excited to expand on Steps 2-6 next week:

  • Identify your needs. 
  • Give yourself permission to honor your needs.
  • Commit to meeting your needs. 
  • Release attachment to outcome. 
  • Trust that honoring your needs will yield what you truly need and want. 

How do you know you have (or are about to) hit a wall? I'd love to hear from you!

Until soon, warm wishes for INpowered, aware, peaceful days ahead – and love, always,


P.S. If your sense of self relies heavily on what you DO rather than who you are, and/or you find yourself overly focused on working, achieving, producing or DOing – and have a sense you could use support in shifting this pattern toward greater wholeness, wellness, ease and calm – I invite you to the opportunity of a complimentary INpowerment Activation Call. In this super safe space, you’ll receive support to identify what’s not working as well as you’d like in your life, envision what you’d really love to create for yourself and receive the gift of deep listening, reflection and suggestions for next steps. Schedule with me here (or respond to this e-mail)! 

P.P.S. That's me, below, during my first few days of space this summer. I participated in a workshop on the Healing, Sustainable Power of Compassion (one of my favorite topics) in a beautiful environment among California redwoods; this hike was a much-needed break! In Steps 2-6, I'll share how, despite my commitment to meeting my needs, I still got tempted toward DOing!

inbal life coach being.jpg

Transform Your Life from the INside Out

Do you “should" (on) yourself? If so, you’re definitely not alone. “Should” and its variations (e.g. “should have” and “shouldn’t have”) are commonly used among us.

Does “should” motivate or encourage you, or help keep you in check? Does it make you feel in control of whatever is happening around you? Does “should” help you express a myriad of feelings, including frustration, guilt, and regret?

“Should” can be so DISinpowering.

By definition, "should" is used to indicate “obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions”; e.g., “you should have been more careful”. “Should” also indicates “a desirable or expected state”, e.g. “by now women should have autonomy over their bodies”. “Should” is also used “to give or ask advice or suggestions”, e.g. “you should go to bed”.

Although sometimes appropriate, “shoulds” DISinpower for a few key reasons (note: this list is not exhaustive):

  • “Should” creates distance between yourself and what IS, internally or externally, like not accepting reality. E.g. “I should be social” when you feel tired and eager to rest. “I should have made cupcakes for my son’s birthday party at school” when that’s not actually a priority for YOU; “I shouldn’t have lost my temper at my colleague” when you did (like, that’s what happened and it’s done). In other words, "shoulds" create separation between your internal experience (fatigue, parenting priorities, frustration) and what your mind thinks is (or was) the “right” thing to doCan you see how “should” is motivated by a lack of self-acceptance?
  • “Should” is judgmental. When you “should” yourself, you’re telling yourself that you’re not doing the right thing. You’re not doing enough, and whatever you do isn’t good enough. “Should” is a way of devaluing yourself.
  • “Should” underscores the negative by implicitly reinforcing the idea that you’re NOT doing something you think you “should” be doing, e.g. “I should meditate today . . . but I’m not.” It’s hard to motivate to do something differently when you’re focused on what you’re not doing right.“Should” is a disINpowering place to start from.

So how could you shift from “shoulds”?

Because awareness leads to choice (which I’m all about), I invite you to practice both:

Set the intention of becoming increasingly aware of when you use “should”, starting with your engagement with yourself. Observe to yourself, without judgment, when “should” creeps into your inner landscape. 

From there, consider whether “should” is the most appropriate word in that situation. “Should” you work out, or do you “want” to because it makes you feel good or accomplished or supports you to eat healthier or sleep better? “Should” you go to bed early, or do you want to because you’d like to show up energized the following day? Or perhaps you “need” to go to bed at a certain time because your body requires it?

See how making the choice and shift from “should” to “want” or “need” (or any other word!) supports you intellectually, emotionally and energetically to connect to your personal power to make conscious and INpoweredchoices in your life.

Your thoughts, expressed in words, are strong. Choose them all mindfully.

In power, and with love and warm wishes for a wonderful weekend,


P.S. Have you registered for the Women’s INpowerment Circle? If not, you totally "should"! 😉 What I mean is that the Women’s INpowerment Circle is a rich, engaging and powerful opportunity to emerge even more INpowered in your life. If you ’re mired in the heaviness of “should”, struggling with your expectations of what “should” be happening versus what IS happening, and you’re consistently judging yourself and the situation, there IS a totally different way to experience yourself (and life!). In the Circle, you’ll get clear on the main ways that you DISinpower yourself, learn exactly how you can shift into greater INpowerment in any aspect of your life; figure out tangible next steps to move forward; engage in a safe and sacred space with a community of like-hearted women; and receive a super powerful coaching experience that meets your needs. It’s happening on Thursday, July 13, and I’d love for you to join us!