The unpracticed art of “being”

I think people easily forget that we are human-BEINGS. With the pace of people’s lives I see all-around me, I would naturally think we are human-DOINGS.

"Be" like a child

The other day I was getting my hair “maintained”. After sharing my story of living on a remote island off the coast of Honduras and co-founding a nonprofit to help children at the public school get an education, the hair dresser pointedly asked, “Well, what’s your purpose living back here now?”.

Uh…that’s a deep one!

I hesitated for a few seconds and cringed at the thought of being vulnerable. I usually sugarcoat my answers to “purpose” questions so that people will not be uncomfortable with my answers. You see, this is a sickness I’ve had for most of my life: people-pleasing. But that conversation is for a later post:)

Anyway, I was afraid of giving an answer because I thought for sure this woman would judge me and not understand what I was talking about. In those few seconds of hesitation, I decided to care-less about what she was going to think about me after I answered, and I just answered without filtering.

I said, “You know, I’m not a planner. I don’t plan out my life. I concentrate on living day-to-day. I’d rather focus on “being” than “doing”. As I focus on being, the doing comes and I feel more complete and open to whatever comes my way. My purpose is to be who I’m supposed to be and out of that the doing will be a natural outflow of my journey. ”

being rather than doing

Many will argue that you have to plan some things so that you are prepared for the future. What about health insurance? What about savings? What about ______? Fill in the blank. There are a shit-ton of things to think about the future. I’m not ignorant of all of this. Practicing “being” does not mean that I sit on a beach somewhere and stare out into the deep blue and never raise my hand to do.

However, I refuse to let these temporal, earthly responsibilities take up the focus of my life!

I want to BE love.

I want to BE present.

I want to BE patient.

I want to BE faithful.

I want to BE joy.

I want to BE enduring.

I want to BE generosity.

I want to BE peace.

I want to BE forgiveness.

I want to BE kind.

I want to BE hope.

I want to BE gentleness.

I want to BE faithful.

I want to BE goodness.

I want to BE.

I have spent 38 years of my life striving to “do” to be the best person I can. I am realizing that until I slow down and focus on “being” all those characteristics I long for, than it’s all for performance-sake and it will not penetrate to the core of who I am.