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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Doing verus Being

Is there really a difference between "doing" and "being"? Can we be doing something and being in the moment at the same time?

The key difference between the two is the awareness or lack thereof to what is occurring in the here and now.

When we are "doing" something (different than being), awareness of self and of the moment, is missing. We can be watching TV. We can be surfing the web. We may be eating. We can be doing our everyday work. There is a zillion ways we can be "doing" something (not to say these activities are only done unconsciously). While we are doing we can drift into a form of awake sleep. Our presence of mind can be far away. One of the most powerful motivations for doing is that it allows us to avoid what we might be feeling. If we are only doing something, the chances of learning in the moment are diminished.

When we are "being" on the other hand, we have presence of mind. It is the awareness of what is in this moment. The key with being is that we can be in the moment and get things done. We just do it with consciousness. When we choose to be conscious throughout our day we are more likely to see and learn from our experiences than we would if our awareness is elsewhere. The more often we practice living in the moment the more we are capable of creating what we want in our life. Being allows us to harness our personal power.

To Fear or Not to Fear

Let's stop and look at fear. Quite often our fear is not life threatening, though it may feel that way. Many of our fears are created from our own thoughts and emotions, about what could happen.

The role of our fear is to communicate a potential danger. The role of our fear is not to be accurate or even rational. Our responsibility, our conscious responsibility, is to acknowledge and take ownership of that message – whether the fear is real or imagined. Unless the message of fear is acknowledged it generally remains, often incessant in its attempt at delivering the message of danger.

So what can we do when we experience fear? Some of the more common methods include denial or avoidance. Does that have any real benefit for our wellbeing? Not that I have seen. Relating to our fear can be counterintuitive. Meaning how we think we should respond to our fear is quite often the opposite of what is helpful. Acceptance and ownership are the real alternatives to living in fear or in the denial of fear.

Think of it like a relay race. Your fear is trying to get you a message – there is a perceived threat of death or pain. Our role is to receive the message. When we feel the presence of fear we can choose to connect and accept it or avoid it. In a relay race a half hearted reach for the baton is not the same as taking hold of the baton. No, the other runner will not release their grip until you take the baton – not if they really want to succeed. Fear is like that also, it wants to succeed in keeping us out of danger. To do that it needs open communication with us.

By accepting the fear and taking ownership of it, we have the opportunity receive the message. Now you can do something about that fear – which might be as simple as feeling it. That may not sound like much, but in my experience the tension, pain and/or discomfort from fear comes from trying to deny or avoid it’s presence. Acknowledging the feeling of fear is like taking the baton from the other runner. Once you take hold of the baton the other runner can release their grip. Fear is like that also.

When you take full ownership of the message and your feelings you create an opportunity for the real or perceived threat to come into perspective. In fact, embracing and accepting the fear quite often provides us the clarity, energy and determination to use that fear to create more of what they want to experience in their life. I have seen individuals go from a state of withdrawn fearful deadness to a state of excited aliveness just from looking at their fear and what they were really feeling. From down in despair to ready to conquer the world – and they went out and started doing just that. Yes, it does take practice, but when we feel and own our fear we have an opportunity to create the opposite of what we fear.

This may seem complicated or like a lot of work. It might be, if that is how you decide to hold it. I look at it like an adventure and new landscape to explore – a learning opportunity. The benefits of learning from our fear far outweigh the consequence of denying it. However you hold it, with practice you can get better at it. Like any muscle, your ability to move through the process can improve with continued commitment and practice.

Withholding

Withholding, making a conscious or unconscious choice to withhold out of fear, anger or jealously. We can withhold our heart and our truth from anyone or anything in our life. It is our choice.

What we may not understand about withholding in this manner, is that withholding for these reasons (fear, anger or jealously), is also withholding from ourselves.

Picture your heart as a thousand points of light. Each point allows the flow of life and love in and out of our heart – our life. When we withhold from something in our life, it is like blocking one or many of those points of light – of life.

We may start out believing that we have no choice but to withhold. We may even want to believe that we are the victim of another and that our withholding is justified, but in the end, the choice to withhold is ours. And our withholding, though it may feel hurtful to another, the true loss is with ourselves.

The blocking of our heart, of the love and truth we have to share, not only keeps our love from that person and ourselves, but it also reduces our ability to give and receive love from others in our lives. Over time we and those we engage with lose out, over and over again.  The loss compounds and we all lose out.

We have a heart and we have choice. Pain caused from withholding is optional.