Have you ever stopped to wonder ‘why’ you do all the things you do? I started asking myself this recently as my back froze up twice in the space of a fortnight, and I decided to pay closer attention to what all my ‘busyness’ was really in aid of. I was pretty shocked at the amount of things I do just because I feel I ‘should’….. not because it inspires me.
The general advice in self-advancement is to stop ‘do’ing so much and just ‘be’, but what does that mean exactly? I can’t just stop doing stuff, I need to cook and look after my kids and buy groceries and work and make a living! The biggest misinterpretation of just ‘Be’ing is people automatically think it means bumming about doing nothing. But a much better interpretation is to think about the motive for what you do, and tweak that.
When you invite a friend for dinner, do you do it because you love your friend’s company, or because you owe her dinner and it’s been so long it’s getting embarrassing?
When you clean your house do you do it because you like living in a clean and tidy environment….or because your mother-in-law is staying with you?
Reflecting on all your actions can help you figure out how much of your life is a ‘should’, and how much of it is ‘be’ing. Even making a note of all the things you do during the day and then grading it as a ‘should’ or a ‘want’ to is an enormous help. If you end up with mostly ‘shoulds’ it doesn’t mean you have to turn your life upside down and get rid of all of them! But it does mean you’ll be more honest with yourself, and more authentic when you are doing these actions. When you are cleaning your house for your mother-in-law, instead of resenting her (and your husband!) you’ll find yourself acknowledging that you are doing this for her, and who knows, the ‘should’ may well turn into a ‘want’ once you reflect on how much easier it is to keep her happy!
For some of the bigger things you ‘do’ in your life, it may be difficult to figure out if it is something that comes from your passion or from your fear, deeper reflection can be very useful.
Using Reiki as a tool try the following exercise:
Think of something you do in your life that you are trying to get more clarity around eg. You enjoy your job but is it your passion? Or you enjoy your charity work but is it a ‘should’? Maybe you feel stress around a relationship, are you in it for love or fear? Take anything that is causing you some stress, and when you Reiki yourself bring this issue into focus, be super-aware of where the thinking is coming from. ‘Do’ing thoughts originate from the head and are often starting with ‘but’, they create a tightness in the body and when you think about it, it feels stressful and ‘closed’ in the body. ‘Be’ing thoughts originate from the heart area and are expansive – the head may jump in with lots of ‘buts’ so you need to be super-aware of where the first thoughts arise and the initial feelings you get when you start thinking about the issue.
Once you understand more authentically what areas of your life are in flow and what areas you are ‘do’ing you are more ready and able to allow change. Simply becoming aware that you are in the wrong relationship, job, activity doesn’t mean you have to drastically change everything now, but it will help you to understand why you feel the stress you do, and it will gently help you to move away from those areas and into areas that are more ‘you’.
Another important aspect of this exercise is there is no judgment on what comes to you – you are a unique human being, and your only real job in this life is to be authentic and true to yourself. If the rest of the world thinks you are crazy to give up your high paying job, but during this exercise you realize it is not your truth, then you are right, the rest of the world is wrong, probably operating out of fear. You only have to look around to see that is true.
No one else can tell you your own truth, and in looking inwards, you have all the answers within you. Following someone else’s truth is like living someone else’s life, its never going to be fulfilling, and will always cause you stress and unhappiness.