Doing Less, Being More
I'm noticing this drive many of us have to aggressively pursue a goal. Recently, I read a quote that said, "Good isn't good enough; good is the enemy of great!" What is this undying hunger for more? What is this drive to prove ourselves? This obsession over legacies? When does the healthy pursuit of a goal cross the line into an unhealthy or unrealistic war waged with oneself? When do we accept that perhaps "failure" as we call it, is just a part of learning a lesson and not actually something we've necessarily done "wrong."
When I first started my website, I confessed to my perfectionism streak. I've also shared a small slice of how my need to please in University lead me to look to others for proof of my self-worth. I could write whole other blog posts full of confessions of my obsessive tendencies to push myself or, on the flip side, hold myself at a complete standstill out of fear of failure. So I get it, I'm no stranger to this "good isn't good enough" mindset. Being human means my mind will likely bring me back to it countless more times in this lifetime. But I think it's worth examining some of the intricate reasons and stories around why the Ego or "small self" pushes us for more.
We come into this life with innate strengths, gifts, and a bright inner Light. All of us. Our purpose is to share these gifts and Light in ways which bring, ultimately, love to the planet and our fellow Earth-dwellers. It's as simple as that. Complicating this set-up slightly is our forgetfulness of it as we move away from the innocence of infancy and childhood. For the most part, we are taught by society that in order for something to exist, we should be able to prove its existence beyond a shadow of a doubt. From this point on, the magic of Spirit and the realms from which we originated, along with our Light and gifts, are relegated to imaginative fluff at best, and complete lunacy at worst. Of course the beauty in even this dark turn of events is that it often ensures an adventurous spiritual awakening and journey back to ourselves, should we choose to accept the call.
So what might be some of the reasons why we choose to run ourselves into states of self-loathing, self-doubting, adrenal-fatigued, exhausted messes? Why do we struggle to see ourselves as Enough- as the perfect, whole, complete creatures of the Divine that we are? Why can we not LOVE ourselves unconditionally through the lessons we are learning, even the snotty-faced, messy, hard ones? Why are we cemented in paralyzing agony, unable to make a move because making a choice feels like playing Russian Roulette? Why are the voices in our head so damn berating?
We push to keep "doing" more because we're afraid of whatever is in the present moment:
We're afraid of what we cannot control, so we go into a "fix it" mode of doing in an attempt to scramble for some semblance of control.
We're afraid of speaking our truth in the moment. We hurry to "do something" so that we might distract ourselves from that fear.
We're afraid of our Shadows, of what we perceive to be our flaws. If we cannot fix what we perceive as broken, we run in an attempt to outrun the Shadow.
We're triggered by old patterns and stories. Convinced we are not safe, we either hurry to "do something" about it, or we freeze and are caught in the catch-22 of berating ourselves for being too fearful to "do" anything about it.
All of our choices in life are made out of either Fear or Love. When we forget where we've come from, when we forget that we arrived perfectly equipped for the journey, it is easy to slip into making our choices out of a fear-based place. We forget to trust that, ultimately, we are safe and that our journey is unfolding as it should. The light in all of this, though, is that IT'S OKAY! We haven't messed anything up by going into fear. We have the freedom to take a deep breath and choose again, gaining wisdom along the way.
The title of this post refers to releasing our obsessive-compulsive, unconscious drive to constantly be DOING, and instead, allow ourselves to open back up to the BEINGS that we came here to be. While there is nothing wrong with goal-setting, and there is much to be said about how we co-create our experiences here, what I am writing about is the unconscious or fear-driven behaviour that keeps us locked away from experiencing who we really are.
Releasing the shackles of fear, and moving into a more conscious way of being requires first that we find compassion for ourselves. Understand that our choices boil down to Love or Fear, and that this is a common thread that we all share as humanity. Just as we are human, we are not without flaws. As we are not without flaws, we will sometimes go into fear. The key is to keep breathing and choose again.
The next step is to acknowledge whatever we are facing in the present. It might not always look the way we would like it to, but as the saying goes, "it is what it is." Eckhart Tolle calls this the "is-ness of the moment." We can only choose which energy we will respond with when we are fully present to what already is. When we run from what is, we're sure to be faced with the karmic imprint of that choice somewhere down the line. As another saying goes, "what you resist persists."
In the acknowledgment of the present, we can then acknowledge what is being called up for us. What are we feeling in our body? What are the voices in our head telling us? If it is fear we are feeling, then we will find freedom in remaining as open as possible for the fear to pass through. What we are experiencing is an energy needing to move. Fear tends to send us into a reflexive shutting-down mode, and when that happens the energy is stuck and we are burdened with carrying its weight. Remaining open for the energy to pass through frees us not only from carrying it onward, but also from the possibility of patterns forming around the fear.
Sometimes, what we are in fear of is exactly what we're being asked to acknowledge within our self. Our Shadows- what we perceive as our dark, ugly pieces- aren't aspects to fear, run from, or be ashamed of. They are callings to examine what we are here to learn. Our darkness can be a map pointing our way back to the Light. And our Light is what we ultimately came here to be. Embracing and acknowledging all of our aspects is yet another step in choosing Love over Fear.
You are a human being. So BE that Light that you are. No more, no less. Want to hear something pretty incredible? That Light just is. You don't have to DO a thing to turn it on.
From my Light to yours,