This week I celebrated my 3rd wedding Anniversary with my husband, Joel. He’s a character and often brings up funny questions and insights that are rich in content and inspire deeper reflections within me.
Several weekends ago, we were invited to a Birthday party celebration in a rural setting. Joel is a five star kind of guy with his accommodations, food and travel preferences. He’s not big on camping and didn’t grow up with those experiences as a young person. I on the hand, spent many a summer on canoe trips, camping and sitting around a fire enjoying the company of my friends and family.
Being the good sport that he is and always up for an adventure, we rented a cabin that you might see used in a state park or sleep over camp. Directly in front of our cabin was an area to set up chairs and build a camp fire.
Upon arriving we unloaded our vehicles, got ourselves situated and began talking with the others who were joining the camp. Some began setting up chairs around the fire pit and others found wood that we would need later. Each person intuitively jumped in and began contributing to the camping experience.
After a period of time, we began to settle down for a moment of rest. Joel sat there for a minute a little restless and fidgety, then looked at the group and asked inquisitively “Uh…What am I supposed to be doing?”
This elicited quite the belly laugh in me because it really captured the essence of how Joel shows up in the world and how a lot of people live their lives in a perpetual state of motion: moving from one task to the next, believing that a constant state of doing will propel them forward, keeping themselves distracted and feeling as though there is an external source that ‘wants’ them to do something.
MOVING FROM TASK TO TASK
Whether it’s true or not, most of us feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. Our lives are full and as we pursue our desires we create more and more situations, circumstances, and responsibilities. Then we add this more to an already full plate.
Add in the advances from technology that help us get more done and we arrive at a calendar full of tasks that keep us moving from one to do item to the next.
Rarely do we de-clutter our lives by removing those circumstances and responsibilities but instead opt for running faster and harder to prove that we can do it all!
BELIEVING THAT DOING MORE WILL PROPEL US FORWARD
With our buy in to busyness, we’ve also bought into the belief that doing more will propel us forward. And this thinking can be illogical because it doesn’t factor in the notion of quality over quantity.
It isn’t the quantity of our doing that creates the results in our life, it’s the quality of how we are thinking, what we are doing and how we are being.
Our external circumstances are a product of our internal world, NOT a product of the speed at which we can get shit done.
When we make choices from obligation energy, we are often creating more obligation instead of the freedom and expansion that we seek.
If we create a super busy life that we loathe, how is that moving us forward?
KEEPING OURSELVES DISTRACTED
Doing often doesn’t produce the results we seek of joy, balance, harmony and fulfillment but instead creates overwhelm, emptiness and frustration. So to manage these feelings we engage in our favorite pastime of escapism.
For some that can look like taking on more work and responsibility. For others it can be social media, addictions or numbing out in front of Netflix. It is whatever helps us mask what we are feeling inside.
We most certainly don’t want to acknowledge those feelings because that might require serious changes to the way we live and who wants that?
AN EXTERNAL SOURCE WANTS ME TO DO SOMETHING
I laughed when Joel asked ‘What am I supposed to be doing?’ because clients frequently have this question that they carry around with them.
Often it’s a belief that God/Source/the Universe wants them to do something but they don’t know what it is. This is a teaching from organized religion that there is a specific rubric we are ‘supposed’ to be following to get into the pearly gates.
In truth, we are unique aspects of Divine Intelligence with individual purpose and soul level ambitions for our life but nothing outside of us ‘wants’ us to do something. We are in the driver’s seat at all times and have free will to create our life via the choices we make.
How did I respond to my husband’s funny question?
There is nothing you are ‘supposed to be doing.’ We are meditating on the fire, focusing on the presence of others, sharing stories, laughing and enjoying nature. We are celebrating the stillness of life. We are simply BEING.