Priorities. Do you know yours?
Think about it.
It’s easy to live life turned upside down, to focus on the wrong things.
Culture tells us to have, have, have.
Or maybe the message that resonates is do, do, do.
Have the biggest and best, the most, the most talked about, the most envied.
Do the most exciting, the most unusual, the most adventurous, the most noteworthy.
It’s all about who is the most popular. We took the old competition from the playground to Instagram and Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest followers.
Do and have focus on the externals.
But it’s the internal that’s important.
Who are you? What are you? Do you know? Are you living in integrity with your values? Are you living up to your aspirations?
Have you done the work to BE?
Being is harder to do well than doing or having. You can experience (do) and accumulate things (have). But to really BE… aaahh…that’s inside work. You have to grow from within, and you have to do the work for yourself.
Of course you’re going to do and have as you develop, as you move through life. Impossible not to.
But I’m talking about priorities..where’s your focus? I’ll give you an example of what I mean.
On the adult path, it’s easy to get caught up in doing, and having.
You want to nurture a career, or you’re trying to be a successful entrepreneur. Maybe you’re busy with a family, or some other personal calling. It’s so easy to be enticed by having…having a nice home, a great car, all the things that say you’re successful, that you’re living the life you deserve.
The crazy thing is, it can take so much work to keep life going, when it’s consumed by the externals. You get lost in trying to get ahead, and staying current with the latest trends is often just a merry-go-round of keeping up.
Latest styles, newest apps, hot new phone, social media followings, kids in all the right groups, moving ahead with the job.
Stop. Be still and listen.
Listen to yourself. Are you in there? We are human beings, not human doings.
Did you forget to be? Just be.
When I think of being, I sense stillness. I hear quiet.
There is self-talk. Reading. Growing.
When I let myself be, I sit with a cup of tea and nothing else. No phone. No laptop.
I am being.
When you give yourself time to be, you order your life from the inside out.
I can hear you now…all the busyness of living is crowding your thoughts. You’re thinking, even as you read, how impossible to carve out time for self, for quiet, for being.
My friend, I’ve been there.
Been so weary at night that just going to bed felt like winning the lottery, a prize to savor at the end of a long day of mothering. A long day of giving. A long day of othering.
I know what it’s like to need every last-minute of sleep, because there just aren’t enough to begin with, and getting up early to nurture self seems too hard, too much to face at the beginning of another day of living outside of self.
I know what it’s like to run so long and so hard that you finally feel like a shell, given out, needing to replenish but hardly knowing where to begin. Because there’s always more you need to give, even when you don’t have it yourself.
When I began to run dry, early in my years of mothering…it wasn’t a lack of love, but a lack of time to be…I had to learn the old wisdom.
You can’t give what you don’t have. You have to feed yourself first, in order to have strength to care for anyone else.
When I began to know this…not just intellectually, but deep within my spirit…I made some changes.
I started taking time to read again. How had I let that slip away?
I found time to write, a simple journal of thought, intention, hopes, and dreams.
I found time to play. I got intentional about saying yes to things that would take me out, would give me a change of pace.
It was slow at first.
But at last, I had a sense of being me again. I wasn’t just doing, or having.
I was being.
Rushing through life at the speed of busy, overwhelmed, always thinking of what’s next…that’s no way to live.
It’s counterintuitive to do less in order to be more.
But that’s what I needed to do…what I had to do.
Now, years later, I know the lesson well.
When I feel myself slipping back…getting caught up in the doing, and especially in the having, I reach for being.
Being quiet. Being still. Being myself.
There’s only so much of me to go around, and if I deplete my store of me, I won’t be able to be the wife I want to be, the mom, the daughter, friend, writer, doer.
When I overdo, I am undone.
The art of being doesn’t require lavish amounts of time or money.
It does require regular time. Sometimes money.
But mostly, being requires planning. Some thought, intentionality.
When my priorities are in order, life flows smoothly. I can do for others without losing myself.
I don’t need to have more stuff in my life to make up for not having a life.
Be. Do. Have.
In the right order, it all flows. As it should.
It’s great to do, and wonderful to have. But you need to be, first. You need your foundation…clarity of thought, rested spirit, values and priorities in order; enough reserve of yourself that you have something to give to others.
It’s a hard lesson to keep hold of. I have to right myself on a regular basis, reset, retrace my steps. But having done it now… oh, a few thousand times, over the years… I know when I’m off balance again, and how to restore order.
You can apply the same formula to many things. My new site, for instance, follows Be. Do. Have.
First, the mission of Story Revisioned is to be a resource and a lighthouse to others. (BE)
Second, the goal is to offer products that are valuable for anyone who wants to go beyond the wealth of free resources available for the taking. (DO)
Third, the dream is to create a community of readers and followers who share their stories of ups and downs, failures and successes, the how-tos and the nitty-gritty; and to build a platform that is transformative for participants. (HAVE)
The goal is to help: one person, a hundred, a thousand, or a million. And if that’s possible, it will grow out of being, before doing or having.
Like many, I struggled with questions of purpose for a long time. My epiphany…that I am in charge of choosing my purpose…was profoundly meaningful. Crafting a statement of purpose is rewarding and fulfilling. It can provide direction and insight for many life choices, and help us see ourselves more clearly.
As I worked through my process to find answers, I made notes, and from those notes, wrote a book, Choose Your Purpose, Love Your Life http://amzn.to/1sv2Wa3
You’ll find questions, answers, tools, stories, and more in the book. I invite you to read, and to choose purpose for yourself. You’ll never look back, I promise!
Design your life plan. Using the guidance and formula I share, you’ll be more than successful; you’ll be satisfied. And that’s a very fine thing, indeed.