Most of us are caretakers or providers or some other life-path that does not make it feasible to sit in a meditative state and “be” all day long. So realistically, how can we meet our daily responsibilities to ourselves and to others and also live in a state of “be” -ing?
The meaning of be-ing-ness has many interpretations. But for this month’s article, let’s explore how be-ing relates to how we experience life’s journey.
There is a poem in the Union Prayer Book that starts: “Birth is a beginning and death a destination; but life is a journey…”. If we accept that life is a journey, then we can look upon our life experiences as adventures. And while we are certainly do-ing as we travel along our paths, the be-ing comes from allowing the lessons from each experience to permeate us, to educate us, to fuel us towards wisdom.
How can we “be” as we “do”?
- Being aware.
Notice the language we use to describe things. For example, if you feel hungry, do you say “I’m starving” or do you say, “I’m hungry”. Often, we use those words interchangeably, but if you take the time to be aware of your language, you can see those are truly very different sentiments.Notice the internal messages we are sending ourselves. Are they positive or negative? Is our internal dialog nurturing? Be aware. And know that your messages impact your perceptions and your actions.
Notice our reactions to situations. For example, if we notice ourselves react strongly to something small, we can check in with ourselves and ask what is going on. We then have information. And with that information, our strong emotional reaction goes from being a stress on our health, to being a puzzle for us to explore.
- Being present.
One way we can be present is by not becoming so focused on the future that we miss experiencing the task that we are performing. Being does not preclude planning; however it asks that we notice the journey and not stay focused on the destination.We can “be” as we “do” by allowing ourselves to experience the moment we are in, rather than be overly preoccupied with the next task on the to-do list or the next milestone in the life-plan.
- Being accepting
The gifts life brings us do not always come in the packages we expect. But the experiences bring wisdom, and that wisdom is one of the treasures we can collect on our personal adventures.Accepting does not necessarily mean that we’ll be in a constant state of bliss. We discussed the value of our ranging emotions in the January article Transitions Back into Routine. But if we can keep our faith that we each have the tools we need to take our personal journey, then we may be comforted.
Here are some lines from the “Life is a Journey” poem. They remind us of the treasures to be gained from our life experiences:
“From ignorance to knowing. From foolishness to discretion. From offense to forgiveness. From pain to compassion. From joy to gratitude. “
- Being loving
Loving to ourselves and to those around us.
To my fellow human beings….wishes for a beautiful journey.