Easeful Productivity: The Intersection of Doing and Being
Running a business requires focus and hard work. It also requires inspiration and creativity.
These two qualities of our human experience come from different places.
Our minds are our tools. When they are sharp and honed, our experience is that of focus and clarity. We can execute our plans and visions methodically and with relative ease.
Our minds are problem solvers but they do not generate ideas.
Ideas and inspiration swell up from the space in between the thinking. Where are soul speaks to us. When we give ourselves the opportunity to stop working and problem solving – we create a space within us for ideas to come forth. To hear the language of our soul.
This is why it is so important to master when to BE and when to DO.
This is conscious entrepreneurship. This is conscious living.
The longer I progress on the entrepreneurial path, the more I realize that creating space in my day for me to be in silence, or loafing around, or doing yoga, or running on the elliptical is vital to an ease-fully productive experience.
It's useful to illustrate what an ease-fully productive experience is by painting a picture of what it's not.
Have you ever noticed that more busy you are the busier you get?
This is the mind in charge (in the driver's seat) and not the Soul.
The mind, being a great tool, loves to be in charge. Loves to get shit done. Loves to solve problems.
Lets face it – the mind loves to create problems to solve!
So we get consumed with our “very important” to do list. The fear around not getting it all done is quite real as the mind generates thoughts that tell us of all the disastrous consequences that will occur if we stop doing. If we DROP THE BALL.
The thinking mind is like a helicopter parent. Well meaning but really problematic.
A friend of mine, a wise and soulful business coach recently advised her very busy client to clear her schedule for two days in a row. Within the next 14 days. No to-do lists, no taking care of others. NOTHING.
Take a moment and ask yourself – how can I take two days off in a row and be by myself. Watch how the mind reacts. You can't do that! Who will watch the kids? Who will see the clients? Who will feed the dog? What about all the responsibilities? The mind doesn't want a vacation! It likes it's position in the driver's seat.
I used to be that person.
Two years ago I was in the thick of it – running the yoga studio, being a mom and a wife. Managing the studio and my family calendar (which often felt like a full time job in and of itself).
I was in a constant state of doing.
And it never, ever got all done.
I'd wake up with my feet hitting the ground running. Check email. Make breakfast. Organize day's priorities. Take kids to school. DO days priorities...check...check...check...home, dinner, kids to bed and then, finally, I would meditate for 30-40 minutes and then fall asleep.
I thought – this is how you do it, man! I'm getting so much accomplished!!!!
Yet my sleep sucked. I gained weight. I experienced a boat load of anxiety. I was productive for sure. But not anywhere close to easeful.
Then my Spiritual Teacher Selina challenged me to take 5 minutes several times a day to “just be”. (She didn't even ask two days).
I tried it and it was uncomfortable. Physically and psychologically.
I would just lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling (my instructions) and my mind would pump out a continuous dialogue about what I should be doing.
Sigh. I came face to face with the source of my anxiety. My own freaking mind.
And like anything, it took practice. A lot of it.
I practiced and I began to weave being and doing into the fabric of my day.
How? What does that even mean?
When I was not engaging the tool of my mind; I was watching my breath.
I was controlling my breath.
My breath was an anchor to Being.
If I noticed my thinking trying to solve a problem that had nothing to do with my moment right then and there (like when walking down the street, in the subway, in a car, washing dishes, making dinner), I told myself the BEST thing I could be doing for myself was to simply watch my breath.
How fucking liberating!!!!! The BEST thing I could do for myself is to simply watch my breath.
That uncomplicated things fast. And lets the Soul take the driver's seat.
And what was my experience then? Here are some words that describe it:
Ease. Flow. Inspiration. Purpose. Joy.
So here is the paradox. The less we DO the more we truly accomplish. And our accomplishments are more soulful, and more in line with what we feel is our purpose in this world.
And because they are in line with our Soul – we are in the flow of our lives. The next step is always obvious – we don't wonder or second guess. Opportunities present themselves. Ideas and inspiration are everywhere (so much we need to be discerning as to what ideas are useful to make manifest).
In the expansive state of the Soul, anything is possible.
So remember; in your state of frenzy and busy. The BEST thing you can do for yourself is watch your breath.
So start practicing. Right. Now.