How to Not Drown in Doing When There is Much To Do

At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Diana+, Velvia 100 filmThe Doing-Being balance: this is a great challenge for me.  I'm fairly sufficient at getting things done, but when the Doing takes over, my way of being becomes harried, anxious, and confused.  I get tired, and if it's really bad I get paralyzed, either from not knowing what to do next or from feeling overwhelmed by all that still needs to be done.  I'm the hamster on the wheel, thinking that if I just go a little faster or a little longer, it will all be over soon.

It's such a clear shift when I go from Being to Doing--like a switch going up and down.  I feel the effects immediately, and other people see it, too.  My old M.O. was to hold my harried self together with mantras like, "It's all going to be okay", or to persevere until the calendar flipped past that magic number and I could return to my happy life again.

But now, I'm learning the difference between Being and Doing, and I can feel it in my body.  I have a new internal dialogue about it.  This doesn't feel right, is replacing Is it over yet?  I know I've lost my grounding in Being, and I know that I have a choice to find it again.  I can be firmly rooted in Being, and still be productive.  I may only be a beginner in this, but I know it is true.

Last night before dropping off to sleep I read a passage about how we only experience intimacy in our present time and space--that if any part of our being is elsewhere (for instance, if my mind is setting up my table at the Squam Art Fair, two weeks from now), intimacy is not possible.  How often are we not fully occupying our current time and space?  For me, it's even more often when there are many tasks to be done.

I don't want my husband and my girls to be living with an empty shell of me, to be conversing with me while my mind is elsewhere.  So here is what I'm creating for myself today:  I will be right here, holding the glass of water, noticing the morning sunlight, tasting my food and seeing my surroundings.  And I'm going to get everything done.  I'm going to make my plans and arrangements in this time and space, but I will not travel forward and pre-live things in my mind.  I will say, Today I have these things complete and these other things incomplete.  I have these concerns and these feelings. How interesting.

I can go to the printer and enjoy every moment of the adventure with the girls on the way there and back.  I do not need to arrive there ahead of time in my mind.  I can prepare for the classes I'm teaching without pre-living them as I do so.  I can save that moment for that moment, but in this moment I am here in my studio with a giant bug bite on my leg. 

I think this is the way to stay grounded in Being--and to open myself to the intimacy that's possible in this moment--and still complete all the tasks.  I will not condemn myself to living some future moment a hundred times over.  I do not want miss this day, or any other by abandoning it in my mind.  I will be in this day and this moment, and I will do what needs to be done, here.