The Shift from Doing into Being

by Lauren Berley, republished from January 4, 2014

The image here is an abstract of a heart-shaped stone against a backdrop of textured sand with a swipe motion, lines and natural shapes. These elements feel just right to me when I think of the shift from Doing into Being, particularly with Authentic Way Coaching for the Gifted and Creative.
“Untitled, Malibu Beach Walk Image,” ©2021, Lauren Berley Studio

In coach training, one of the earliest skills we were taught to employ was shifting from Doing into Being.  It is a relatively simple process of preparing to be fully present for a coaching client.  But in my daily life, it is a blind spot currently being illuminated.

I am a person historically over-run by my own Intensity, Complexity, and Drive. How it has manifested varies, but usually has been something to do with pushing, pushing, pushing.  Even in prayer or meditation, I have been Doing.  In the empty space of the mind I would “make” a prayer, make “deals”, and never quite reach the thinkless mind.  I never could see the value of empty space, or witnessing the mind.  It made me feel bored and antsy. In essence, I was uncomfortable with facing the discomfort, so I didn’t stay with it.

In areas where I’ve worked alone, life has been Paradise, because my own pace is dynamic and comfortable to me.  But in relating to others I’ve been most hindered, expecting everyone to run at my speed and play hard, learn hard, love hard, and Do hard.  I’ve expected them to reflect back at me.  And when they haven’t, I’ve begun auditioning for the role of “good enough.”
It wasn’t until very recently that I learned just how exhausting I must have been at important times, with key people.  Sometimes, in spite of my giving nature, this pushing quality has overwhelmed.  True to the Gifted profile, I have been under the misunderstanding that I will be loved only for my accomplishments, and that the bar is always being raised.  Hence, I have been show-y, do-y, and push-y.
The anxiety of how much is at stake under that corrupt self-rule has been paralyzing, and I couldn’t even see it.  Until now.  I was always selling myself, without actually Being myself.  And the only way to really find out how to be oneself is to ask the deep questions, to face that gnawingly uncomfortable silence and pass through it to the wisdom on the other side.  It is terrifying, but so incredible if we can commit to leaving the comfort zone.  In my case, I’d run out of Doing options, so the answer was right in front of me: Shift into Being.
I’ve noticed that I also used to set goals in relationships, as if I could “achieve” what could be.  Paradoxically, I wanted to fly with complete abandon alongside someone, while Doing the relationship instead of Being my half of it.
When our state is one of Doing, we are not present for the important, key, subtle moments where connection happens.  Hence, perpetual disconnection. The disconnection had been generated by me, then validated by the disconnection itself, leading to a false-belief that I am lonely and misunderstood.  In essence, it has been a faulty belief system that blocked connection.  Looking away from the present, combined with incessant bar-raising and goal-setting (however trivial), kept me in a state of running on the cellular level.  Now that I have stepped away from that mindset, literally and deliberately, I am truly experiencing contentment.  I am rooted, grounded, and certain.
It’s fun playing with my present-self, noticing fun little nuances in other people, things that amuse me, touch me, or make me see something in a new light.  I find I am no longer lonesome in the company of some others I once found insufferable, because I am amused by my own view of the world in the present moment.  The moment itself is so full of freshness, humor, and wonder when I am focused on Being there.  And what is happening?  I am becoming a happy person without anxiety,  without the need to raise the bar on myself or others.  Others are free to Be too!  I am having fun!  And I am fulfilled and comfortable in my own skin.
At first, it took a lot of self-discipline to redirect into a mindful state, where I could observe and actively step over old patterns and agendas.  But within a short period, I began to ease into a new nature quite gracefully, and in being present, began to experience balance immediately.  My head is no longer flying all over the place, making judgments, tasks, observations, and complaints.  I am as effective and efficient as ever, only with a new relationship between my mind’s wiring and how I can experience it in the most wondrous of ways: without an agenda.  Learning to keep a light touch on outcome is a part of this shift as well, a sense of allowing people and situations to unfold as I allow myself to.  Allowing things to become, instead of energetically coercing, nagging, or disallowing: blocking.
This is powerful work.  The results are staggering in a short period.  Feeling this grounded, certain, and clear about my Real Identity, and leaving the false one behind, is quantum shifting, healing, and emotional amnesia.  I can call upon memories for the purpose of understanding, without the burden of pain that once branded them.  In the place of pain stands their ultimate purpose: instruction.  Hence, forgiveness.  Gratitude.  A greater understanding of the Big Picture.  But, most importantly, a blissful experience of self, at long last.
For me, this is true liberation, one I have been striving for always.  And what is to become of the being inside my shiny new skin?  I am letting my gifts guide me completely, instead of my false identity.
Shackles removed, anxiety transformed to liberation.  Happiness felt on a deep, solid and sustained level, every day, even in the face of a perceived disappointment.  Knowingness.  Beingness.  Happiness.
I had no idea that my happiness depended on Beingness.    It sounds so simple and so complex.  And it is, both.

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