There is Great Freedom in Stepping Back

I am currently in a ‘stepping back’ frame of mind.

For me this is huge! I don’t step back, I never just sit quietly doing absolutely nothing (unless I am meditating and that technically is not doing nothing). I always have a book or three to read, lists to make, something to write or something to listen to. More often than not I am doing several of these things at the same time.

I got my first job when I was 19 and I have been working ever since. I did my first degree at night while working a full time job, took me an extra year but I got it done. I believe this is where the urge to constantly be doing something was born (I was out of a job for a week or so in my 20s and almost lost my mind).

This has been such an interesting time for so many people globally and I am no different – it has been challenging in several ways – most, if not all, stemming from the fact that I can’t control life. My usual coping mechanism when confronted with this truth is to throw myself into something and DO instead of BE and when that proves not to be enough I push even harder and DO some more but this week, after weeks of on and off migraines and just feeling worn out on every level, I have decided to just BE!

This, I have to confess, did not come out of some profound aha revelatory experience but out of the need for self preservation and when it came it brought with it an incredible sense of relief and freedom!! Its ok to just relax and chill, its ok to not get it all done, its ok to say no and its most definitely ok to put yourself first!! How did I not do this before?

There are obviously certain obligations, both professionally and personally, that will have to be honored but outside of those I commit to doing one thing at a time, I commit to spending time doing things that make me feel relaxed and happy, I commit to spending more focused time with my kids and among other things I definitely commit to NOT living by my todo list (my lists have lists) and judging my success, or lack thereof, by how many items I was able to tick off in a day.

I have realized (and I am pretty sure that I have known this for quite some time, somewhere deep down inside) that I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn every single day to get that extra hour or two in to accomplish more DOING. More importantly I have acknowledged that I don’t have to have a plan for every minute of every day (still working on this – as a friend kindly pointed out to me this weekend, even when I think I am going with the flow I usually had to PLAN to go with said flow).

I am not saying that after 51 and 7/8 years this will be easy but it is definitely necessary because the truth of it is I AM TIRED! Tired of efforting (if that is even a word) and tired of doing and so now, as often as I can, I am going to just BE.

Please feel free to join me!

8 thoughts on “There is Great Freedom in Stepping Back”

  1. Exactly! That is the story of my life I go hard at whatever I am doing and then I get reminders to just be,
    I enjoy that and wonder why I don’t just ‘be’ all the time and then all of a sudden I have somehow found myself in ‘do’ mode again and the cycle continues lol…


  2. I think this change in mindset has been a benefit of this global pandemic that many never expected. I have a son who has been going hard since he was a tot. Do! Do! Do! Now he still does a lot – but he has learned to prioritize just being and appreciating life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s always a thin line between being and doing. I believe it’s a blessing to be a doer–to accomplish worthwhile goals. The trick is to be careful not to burn out. Congratulations on stepping back. PS–I couldn’t live without meditation.


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