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.

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Procrastination: The Perfectionist’s Lie as Presented by Brendon Burchard (plus video)

This is an image of a nearly-perfect vintage MG restored near Aspen Colorado. I'm using it to illustrate and accompany Brendan's talk and blog on The Perfectionit's Lie, since if you look more closely to the MG image, you will see all the holes in the perfectionism story. I mean, who even too this Nikon worthy picture without an art director to turn the steering wheel into a dignified location. Authentic is not the way with creative and gifted art direction.
“Untitled image of near perfection, ” ©2013, Lauren Berley Studio

“The prettiest excuse we wield is the perfectionist’s lie, that crafty and vain and elegant delay logic shared with a high-chin that says, ‘You just don’t understand, I am a perfectionist so I have yet to finish.’

The reason for our holdup is so beautifully precise yet abstract; our personality is to blame. No, the reason most have not finished is because they have yet to truly begin. They got tangled up in doubt or distraction, and so they have yet to commit the grueling focus, toil, sweat, and investment that real work and creativity requires. They believe they fear the blemishes of beginnings and the faults on the path to finishing, but perhaps they fear themselves. If there were such a thing as a ‘perfectionist,’ they would at least be precise and call it like it is: ‘I am scared and distracted, and so I have yet to proceed or complete.’
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The Big Reveal: Early Thoughts After Receiving the “Unidentified Gifted Adult” Classification

This line is a continuum after the big reveal party in your head, after the freak out, after the meltdown, maybe the dark night of the soul even... but the golden light continuum is the sweet nectar after the storm has passed. This image is from Malibu Beach in California, my former home from another life. Wow. Authentic Way Coaching for the Gifted and Creative by Lauren Berley has caused me to rifle through old images and experience so much gratitude for all these adventures....

“Equanimity After the Churn,” ©2012, Lauren Berley Studio

by Lauren Berley Originally Published 1/28/2014

I feel as stirred and dramatic right now as I feel relieved and hopeful.  I have just been confirmed as being a “Gifted Adult.”  It sounds pompous, doesn’t it?  Even worse is “I’m gifted.”  

That’s partly why I resisted the classification at the earliest suggestion.  I was okay with giving normal and regular the old college try.   And I certainly wasn’t looking for complication.  I’d been doing everything within my power to shed all that, with only a modicum of success. Searching for answers… since my earliest childhood memory I have been searching.   Running too.  This was supposed to be my time to just buckle down and live a normal life.

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The Challenge to Focus

This image from the Utah desert nearly perfectly captures the struggle of holding a vision and maintaining focus through a racing mind. Authentic Way Coaching for the Gifted and Creative has a blog with all sorts of tips and tricks for managing the very big and complex personality that is ours.

For years, I was an utter slave to mind chatter.  It has, quite honestly, ruled my life.  Once I identified it, I became even more frustrated by the amount of energy I had given up to this nagging and gnawing that always seemed to show up right when things were getting good.

Untitled Image from the Utah Desert, ©2012, Lauren Berley Studio

Buddhists call it the “monkey mind,” and, my guess is, you know it well. No matter how many times you sit down to focus on something, it tugs at you like a nagging child at your pant leg. Persistent and incessant, the mind operates as its own organism with individual needs, separate from the brain you thought you were using to focus, and it won’t stop until we are exasperated and look it dead in the eye, with a big “Yes, Dear!”

Yoga and meditation are ages-old methods for calming the monkey mind, practices that guide the practitioner toward a peaceful, blissful, and more reasonable state from which creativity can flow freely. But let’s face it: You’re trying to work, and in this moment, that’s what you’d like to be doing. Not yoga. Not meditation.  
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Solitude vs. Isolation: An Introvert’s Invitation to Shift Perspective

This is an image of a bison inside a paddock, looking out into the world beyond the gate. I love this image because I think he looks contemplative, which is a good, gentle state of Being instead of Doing, an important aspect of living Gifted. We work with this concept as a basis for the work with Authentic Way Coaching.
“Untitled image of bison in solitude,” ©2021, Lauren Berley Studio

by Lauren Berley

The creative personality can be dichotomous, sometimes an even split between introvert and extrovert, and balancing those aspects is conducive to a general state of well-being.  But more common is the person whose personality is better defined as either introvert or extrovert.

To an extrovert, expression seems to fly out of every pore seamlessly, and the absence of an audience is a less effective work space. We all know them.  The life of the party, the one first to jump up in front of a group, the one who stands out.  They are magnetic, intoxicating, and, in the best of scenarios, walking their walk.  To an introvert, merely observing and coexisting with an extrovert is either energizing or draining, depending on the introvert’s relationship with himself.

To an introvert, the creative process occurs in solitude.  Because of this, in the best of circumstances, the space is nurturing, safe, and free from static.  In it, the magic happens.  In it, all is possible.  It is that space of no one and nothing, the unfettered relationship between human and creation.  This is the somewhat-elusive ideal.
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