Lean into Being


We live in a culture that is very goal oriented and even encourages workaholic behavior. U.S. workers get an average of ten paid leave days a year which includes all federal holidays (compared to 20 - 30 in Europe).This is the second lowest in the world and fifty percent of workers are not taking any vacation time. Even if we get some paid PTO we may be in an environment where we are expected to work long hours and be available after hours. The lack of vacation and downtime shows up as enormous stress for workers and their families.

This work evnironment coupled with accomplishing things at home as well creates an over-emphasis on the "doing" aspects of life - accomplishment, action, rushing ahead in thoughts to where we want to be and watching out for danger based on the past, and body revved up to enable all of this to move forward. The "being" aspects of life bring you into alignment with the present, with what is - direct, immediate experience of yourself and the world around you, and a connection to the pleasure of flow.

All of us in this culture have a deficit of "being" because we spend so much time in doing mode we are out of practice in being mode.

Brain scientists have determined that our brains function best when we go back and forth thorughout the day betwen these two modes. In brain science terms this is spending some time in exectuive function - getting things done thorugh focused thinking- and then spending some time in the default center - slowing down, letting our mind wander, indulging in imagination, and having body awareness. We don't have to wait for vacation time to let our brains be in this place that is so regenerating for our minds and our energy. If we don't alow time and space for this our brains become like an overheated motor, and our doing suffers in quality and effectiveness.

Some tips for bringing more being into our everyday:

  • Let your self come into moments of awareness, curiosity about what is right around you, and playfullness.
  • Set a mindfulness reminder - when you hear it slow down your thoughts, let you rmind wander, stretch your body slowly, look around and notice some beauty or something interesting around you.
  • Set aside some times to let your imagination run wild - even for a few minutes - daydream or write down some vision for your life or the world or soemthing you want to create..
  • Do some deep breathing.

And just in general slow down, even a bit, which will help both the being and doing modes.


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