Why is it that humans put such a premium on being busy? Ask anyone these days how they are and the first thing they say is “oh, I’m so busy”. Like busy-ness is a badge of honour. And the busier one is, the bigger the badge on your chest, right?
It’s funny really when you think about it. We aren’t human doings, we are human BEINGs. So why do most people find it so hard to just BE??
As I write this morning I’m sitting on the deck of the beach house I’m managing this year. My dog is at my feet. There are king parrots, cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets making a huge racket in the trees all around me (and eating the bird seed at the end of the deck). There is a kangaroo grazing in the garden across the road. I can hear the sound of the waves as they hit the beach. The sun is shining, but as this is winter, I’m sitting in jeans and a sweatshirt and wrapped in a blanket I recently knitted. I’m drinking my first coffee of the morning. I’ve already walked along the beach and meditated. I am in my happy place. My life at this very moment is perfect and I am grateful.
Before writing this post, I just sat. And listened to the birds. And the waves. And thought about all the people who are running around being busy at this moment. But are they really doing anything important? I’m sure some people are, but I’m sure a lot are just being busy because that’s what one does.
For many years I stayed in a job I didn’t love. I met interesting people around the world. I travelled. I learned new skills. I rose to a senior role. I got paid well. I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I couldn’t really see a reason to leave. And besides, what would I do? I had to be busy. Isn’t that what society values?
It was only when I had a bit of a breakdown resulting from an incident at work, that I began to see that I couldn’t stay. I was ruining my physical and mental health. So I resigned.
I told everyone that I had plan – and I did – sort of. But I also left myself time and space to just BE.
And that time and space has been where the magic has happened so far for me
Days after resigning, friends who own this beach house approached me about property managing it for them whilst they were overseas for a year. I never would have been able to do it if was working full-time. I had to have the time and space open in my life for this opportunity to come in.
Other opportunities like this keep showing up in my life. I am amazed and grateful for them all. But this beach house is a place for my soul. I can breathe here and my soul has healed here and I can just BE here.
I still have to earn a living and haven’t dropped out of society altogether, but I can work from anywhere now. So my office on the days when I’m here is the deck where my dog Reg is at my feet and the birds are in the trees all around. It’s pretty special. But what I really love is that I work for a few hours and then can just sit and BE. I don’t have to get into arguments with colleagues or worry about delivering on some project that I could care less about. I choose what I say yes to.
And right now I say yes to more BEING and no to more doing.
It is in the BEING where I can daydream. I can let my mind wander. I can be creative. I’ve got lots of ideas coming… more than I’ve had for years when I was so busy.
And I love the BEING by myself. The solitude does me and my soul good. And when I do feel like seeing people or being around people, I do.
The beauty of the beach house is that I have been able to share it with people I love this year and see its’ magical effects on them too: my girls, my friends and even Reg. Everyone who has spent time with me here recognises its significance and goes home more grounded.
I love that.
The thing I’ve learned the most in the past couple of years is that the less I do and the more I BE, the better I am.
So I’m turning off my laptop, my iPad, my phone and I’m heading to the beach for a long walk this afternoon. Want to join me?