To Be or Not to Be

Being VS Doing

(or Why Most of Us Feel Lazy if We Aren’t ‘Doing’ Something)

This past weekend I was happily and lazily spending the morning (ALL morning!) in bed, and enjoying myself by watching two semi-deflated Valentine’s Day helium balloons dance around my room being pushed and pulled by the air current.  It was mesmerizing.

During this very low energy activity I checked my twitter app to find a tweet from a friend that said “Today we all have the choice to march in place and mark time, or move forward and go someplace.  What are you going to do?”

Of course, I’m all for moving forward! In fact my whole business is built on the premise that I help my clients move forward.  So this seems like an easy answer, BUT the latter part of their tweet (and yes I realize that I am taking this completely out of context) was what hit me: the question, “What are you going to do?”

As I reclined watching the balloons float around in the morning sunlight my train of thought went speeding towards the whole concept of “doing”.  And more specifically, “Doing versus Being.”

Serendipitously this idea came up several more times since Sunday, and more than once with clients, so I wanted to address it here in my blog.

I want to tell you a story that might illustrate my position.

My son is a competitive cyclist, and like most elite athletes he burns more calories in an afternoon than some of us burn in a week (it is not unusual for him to ride his bike 100 miles in a day).

A few years ago he was in the middle of his training season, riding the daylights out of the mountains in Colorado and suddenly he found himself without the energy to continue.

Not just that day, but for the rest of the season.  He had overtrained.

He had failed to rest enough and as a result  he missed an entire year of racing.  There was literally nothing he could do to rebuild his body but to rest.

And this, this “doing nothing” was emotionally painful.  Why?  Because while he was pushing his limits he felt like he was building his endurance, his speed, his mental capacity for strategy, his climbing skills, his engine, but while he was resting he felt like he was marching in place, marking time.

I think that watching him go through this experience taught me in a very real way something that I find myself reminding him now, as well as myself and my clients when it is applicable…”the rest is as important as the work”.

Which brings me back to “doing vs. being”.  One of my favorite maxims is, “Doing is work, being is effortless.” 

I’m not finding fault with “working”.  I am wanting to open a conversation about bringing more effortlessness into your life.

You have things that you desire.  You want a relationship that brings you joy.  You want to succeed.  You want abundance.  You want health. You want happiness.  Of course you do.  We all want these things.  And one of the first things we decide when we want something is what we are going to do to get it.

We live in a culture that places a very high value on work.  I know so many people that are like the energizer bunny, just going and going and going.  This invisible judgment and value that we place on work often creates a feeling of guilt when we are not “doing” enough. And this produces burn-out, stress, and dis-ease.

When we are “doing” too much everything becomes a struggle and nothing really seems “easy” anymore.

I want to encourage you to give yourself permission to take some time to just “be”.

Whatever that means to you.  Breathe, relax, have fun, watch a balloon float for a while.

You might be surprised at how this rebuilds you, restores you, reinvigorates you, so that when it is time to get it done, you find yourself accomplishing more with less effort.

Love & Magic,




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6 Responses to To Be or Not to Be

  1. Leslie Uhl says:

    Cindie, Today’s blog post really hit a nerve! I worked like crazy last week, came home, and promptly got so sick that I have been hard pressed to fulfill this weeks’ obligations. Obviously my body was telling me that I needed to rest and digest all I had learned the previous week but I just wanted to keep going (like the energizer bunny!).
    Thank you for clarifying that real need for rest and “me” time just to watch the balloons bounce!
    Leslie Uhl

    • admin says:

      Hi Leslie! Thanks for reading, I’m glad to hear that the post was valuable to you. 🙂 Enjoy your time just “being”, the rest truly is just as important as the work!!

  2. kathern says:

    I truly appreciate your post. All to often I allow my physical self to rest; yet the mind keeps going. To allow my whole self R&R; for the body & soul; now that is peace. k

    • admin says:

      Thank you! I am so glad you let me know this post is valuable to you! Sending you best wishes for complete rest and peace. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Happy 2013! | Cindie Chavez

  4. bryan wayne says:

    sometimes we have to be reminded to take time for ourselves and regather our thoughts and rest our bodys..thanks cindie

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