Tagged as: Stress Management

“To Be” Rather Than What “To Do”

Yoga meditation silhouette pose

Life is a Trip, But Where are You Going?

Whenever I mention to people that I teach Stress Management, Meditation, and Life Mastery skills they almost always say to me: “Boy, do I need that!”

[box_light]We live in a very fast paced world. Information, opportunities, and challenges are expanding exponentially every day. Life is FULL to say the least![/box_light]

Too often our experience of life is like a series of breathless, unconscious, one after the other chase scenes in a fast-paced movie. Rather, I believe life is meant to be a series of vibrant still shots or landscapes to savor and enter into with just a sprinkling of the right amount of mad-cap scenarios to add some spice.

Often, as soon as we wake up in the morning, we are immediately mentally inundated with an infinitely long “To Do” list. Instead, I would propose that we start off our day by focusing on creating an exquisite, rich, high quality “To Be” list.  Let me explain.

As I see it, it’s not about what you want to “do” today that is most important, but rather what you want to “be” or feel or experience. What qualities of life do you want to primarily participate in today: peace, balance, love, courage, happiness, joy, humor, harmony, confidence, etc? Or do you really want to go into a lowest common denominator default mode and experience their opposites?

Why not begin your day by jotting down the quality that you would like to experience and embody that day?

And then, as the day progresses, create various practices that will help you to remember and then reinforce that quality so that your day is filled with what is really most important to you and with that which will bring you the greatest lasting value.

For instance, you could choose feeling “peaceful” as the most important “to be” quality for a particular day.  Therefore, it would be with peacefulness that you would want to begin, follow-through with, and end every activity and interaction in your day.

[box_light]In other words, let the quality you want to experience (i.e. peacefulness) be more important than the list of goals you want to accomplish.  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, and with whomever you are doing it, always ask yourself, “How can this interaction be permeated with the quality I have chosen today?”[/box_light]

Here is a technique, one of many I have developed and taught over the years, which can help you to refocus on your quality again if you realize that you have lost it.

  • First, slow yourself down, next take seven deep breaths; as you breathe in imagine that you are breathing in the quality you have chosen for that day (i.e. peace); see and feel it permeating your whole body-mind, and then on the exhalation, see and feel its opposite (i.e. anxiety) being expelled.  Really feel it and see it as you breathe in deeply and gently. At the end of these seven breaths you will feel refreshed, at peace and on target again.
  • Just trust that as you learn to be consistent with focusing on your quality, you will be surprised that you not only have the pleasure of experiencing the positive quality you have chosen, but as an added bonus, you also find that what was most important on your “To Do” list has been accomplished easily and effectively. So, too, you will find yourself wonderfully more relaxed, refreshed and with more energy.
  • Note, what I am suggesting you begin practicing here is an “art.” And sometimes when you first sit down to create a work of art things can get quite messy.  So, don’t be discouraged if at times you lose your vision and just can’t seem to be able to keep your chosen quality in focus.  In time you will get better at it.
  • In time, as well, you will learn that if you do lose your focus, it doesn’t really matter! When you do “lose it,” first, just notice that you have “lost it;” and then with a sense of humor, have a good laugh at yourself, give yourself a break and when you have calmed down, gently come back to practicing the quality you have chosen.
  • So, when you wake up in the morning why not begin with your “To Be” list and then let the quality you have chosen permeate your whole day. To help you stay focused, do the breathing exercise described above as often as you can remember; do it while you are driving your car, standing on line, waiting for someone, etc. Also, some folks find it helpful to put “post it” notes up everywhere with the quality written on them as reminders.  As well, you can you can even write your quality on the palm of your hand or automate a message on your computer. Whatever! Have fun remembering and practicing this.
  • If you let this quality be the backdrop and scaffolding for your whole day, I can assure you that when you go to sleep that night, you will end your day knowing that you have accomplished your most important goal for the day, namely, a day filled with quality experiences.
  • Just imagine after a year of practicing this, how rich and full a tapestry of qualities and experiences you will have woven into the fabric of your life and into the lives of your loved ones as well as many others. I know so many people who have totally turned their lives around practicing this simple approach!

It is possible!  Give yourself a chance!  You deserve it! You won’t always do it perfectly; but it’s never about being perfect, is it?  It is all about the journey and not the destination.

Remember, you can always, every day, in every moment choose “To Be”filled with a wondrous joy, peace, love, and even more.  It is a choice… yours!

You are a human “being,” not a human doing! Begin your day by putting first things first: claim your Mastery and step into and experience who you want “To Be” today!