Being vs. Doing

I recently listened to an interview between Krissa Tippett, the host of On Being, and Pico Iyer, journalist and author, about the “urgency of slowing down.” Pico has been an advocate for the importance of finding stillness and he models it in his life. He lives with little technology in a remote village in Japan with his family and takes frequent retreats to practice “the art of stillness.” In between he’s a world traveler writing about his experiences. His message got me thinking about how we miss the opportunity to be still and trade it in for constant “doing,” which has become much less satisfying for me than just “being.”

Our pace picks up during the holidays which is at odds with nature. The seasons have a purpose with spring the time of planting, summer of growth, fall of harvest and winter of hibernation to replenish. The ground needs to be dormant and still before it can begin the cycle again and so do we. No matter how you celebrate it, this holiday season can be a time to rejuvenate if we make time to be still and luxuriate in the silence.

Some reminders:

  • take a break from technology daily
  • meditate, even if it’s for only 5 minutes
  • stay present to what is happening in the moment and enjoy
  • make an appointment with yourself to be still
  • go to a peaceful place and make time to reflect
  • wake up and journal getting your thoughts and feelings out to clear your mind and then sit in the silence
  • streamline and simplify as much as you can

Stopping activity can feel awkward, especially if you are always talking, texting and doing. It’s like trying a new workout – feels strange but you notice that you are benefitting from the variety.

Wishing you moments of stillness and being!