Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Musings on Doing, Being and Living Consciously

Lately, I have been very lethargic. May be because I am just unwinding and de-stressing after a long awaited event that happened in our family. While I say that "I am destressing", I notice that I am not doing anything to de-stress; the body has naturally been doing the unwinding job by being so lethargic and making me sleep more than I usually do. Believe me or not, sleeping is one of the difficult tasks for me on earth. I am so surprised how I am sleeping so much nowadays. It could be that my body naturally needs that much rest. Anyways, I am letting it be and allowing what so ever is happening.

Sometimes, we tend to forget that we really are tired and when we sit down to relax, we notice that the body automatically wanting to unwind. I notice this in moms and more in working moms or working from home moms. If we are not conscious, we are never aware how much stress our body goes through. Rest is so important for mothers (whether working outside home or not). I have generally noticed that mothers have this pattern of over committing. I am not talking about the habit of over committing to others. I am talking about over committing to oneself. The impact of such over commitment is generally not noticed and life moves on.

Recently, my husband shared a thought provoking quote with me.  He said the quote is from some movie that he does not remember and the quote goes like this, "Your ego writes checks that your body can not cash" . I would rather add, it is not just ego, even when passion takes more room, that is when balance is out of place. The balance that I am talking about is wanting to always do more rather than simply just being and letting things take its course.

"Many of us are so tied up with the identity of what we are doing rather than focusing on who we are being. ‘Doing’ is focused more on achievements measured by external standards. ‘Doing’ is more directed and intentional. But what is allowing these external achievements with an authentic quality is the ‘being’. ‘Being’ immerses us in the flow of life. It is about allowing it to happen, letting go, and accepting what is there. ‘Being’ orientations values the person and not the achievement. It is inward, placing greatest emphasis on rewards that are intrinsically meaningful to the person." 
--------------- Coaching for Self Awareness - The role of coaching in helping you identify who we are (2009) by Prabha Sathyanarayanan (Ref: Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and, Life by Laura Whitworth)

So, we don't need to come up with a list of skill sets to manage oneself during burn outs or explore ideas to de-stress. Just being in the moment immerses us in the flow of life. It can relax us and not allow us to participate in the race that forces us to achieve or die. It is simple. This is what I got to say. The only thing we might choose to do in such situations when we notice that we are either getting unrealistic with our goals and thereby experiencing burn outs due to over commitment is


There is this book that I have come across. It is a book that was a part of the prescribed curriculum when I was getting trained in Co Active coaching at CTI, The Coaches Institute, California. The book is Taming your Gremlin by Richard D Carson. There are many things that I learnt from this book but one simple yet powerful thing that I learnt from this book is TO SIMPLY NOTICE. Simple two words, but believe me, they are really very powerful words.  The first step to live consciously is to simply notice. Simply noticing ourselves unleashes many insights on who we are being and what we are doing at the moment. It increases self awareness, thereby we start to think in an emotionally intelligent manner to find out whether what we are experiencing at the moment is valuable, meaningful and purposeful for us.

For learners, letting go of any kind of  attachment, simply being in the moment, enjoying the process, not stressed out to run a race and not wanting to reach somewhere ; all of these can be a very liberating moment. This kind of an experience can really make children develop a positive attitude towards learning rather than asking them to commit to finish writing with in 10 minutes and finish reading with in 16 minutes or asking them to solve 13 addition problems with in the next half hour. I see that many schools and parents are creating a competitive environment where in lot of pressure is being put on children forcing them to achieve with in limited time. Now, let us stop and ask ourselves this question - Are adults over committing on their behalf, setting unrealistic goals for THEM?  This is something to think about. While setting realistic goals are necessary, putting such pressure on children can kill creativity.

LEARNING BY BEING is equally important as LEARNING BY DOING. The need of the hour is BALANCE. Encouraging children to be conscious of who they are being, what they are learning, what is happening around them or with them, helping them to notice their emotions etc can help them to become joyful learners. I intentionally take this approach while I create a learning environment for DS.

So, let us take a moment to simply notice, live consciously and learn to BE in the moment. It is a wonderful medicine to all stress, burn out and over commitment that we get sucked into. And, let us not set unrealistic goals for our children either. I invite hands to join me to take a stand to let our children enjoy the process of just BEING. Let us all live a conscious, meaningful and purposeful life.

Enjoy learning and sharing.