I wrote in the last entry about the value of being, which is something I really believe in. Like almost everyone else, though, I sometimes struggle to put it into practice. There are times when it comes easier for me than others. Those are the days when life doesn’t feel quite so pressing, and I can relax into being for longer periods. Most days there are at least brief moments for all of us, when we could sit and become still.
I’ve talked with so many of my clients about the benefits of being vs. doing, and it usually sounds good to them in theory. It doesn’t take long, though, before our discussion turns to how busy their lives are, and the difficulty of stopping to take time for being calm and quiet. I then help them see the practical changes that can take place, a little at a time. I usually ask them some questions, such as: Do you often feel like a juggler, with too many balls that you’re trying to keep in the air? Could it be that there are some balls that are more important than others? Ranking importance is a way to prioritize. What about having someone else juggle a couple balls — in other words, delegating? Best of all, how about simply setting some balls down and allowing them to just be there? This is the freeing action of letting go. Instead of trying to juggle 10 or more balls, you might decide that 3 or 4 are enough.
Let’s consider prioritizing, delegating, and letting go. They sound easy, but they can be pretty challenging to put into place. The first step is to learn how to prioritize. We need to accept that we can’t be everything to every one, at all times. Most of us have enough time and energy to do the things that are the most important to us — the things that are necessary for our health and well-being, and the things that we feel passionate about. If we set up a way to decide which things have the most value to us, on down to those that have the least value, we aren’t so overwhelmed. We can then begin to see a structure that makes life more manageable. What are your most valued activities and needs?
Next comes delegating. We need to give up our control and our need for perfection to do this. Not everyone is going to do things just the way that we would do them. We, also, need to decide that we deserve to have our life get easier, by allowing others to shoulder some of the responsibility. There are times when I let my husband know that I don’t have time to go to the store, or maybe to fix dinner that night. He’s a good sport, but I have to be OK with the generic brands that he sometimes buys, or the grilled cheese sandwiches that he sometimes cooks a bit too well done. Which of your duties could be done by someone else? They might not be done the same way, but they still could get done.
The last necessary concept is the ability to let go. One of the first things that I let go of was the need make the bed every single morning before I left the bedroom to go start the day. Many times I do make the bed right after getting up, but there are mornings when I decide that I can do it later, or I might even just straighten up the covers before I get back into bed that night. I’ve found out that the world doesn’t end if the bed isn’t made that day! What could you let go, and still have the earth keep turning? Can you dare to be flexible?
I’ll write more about these ideas as time goes by, but this should help you begin the process of thinking about doing in a slightly different way. If you change your thoughts, it makes your actions easier to change!
Until the next time,