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!