I had a being weekend last month. I’ve been curious about the concept of being as I’ve
progressed through my coach’s training. Who are you being? is a powerful question. It brings awareness about the core of who we are and how we want to be. So I didn’t consciously PLAN a being weekend, but as I was experiencing it, I realized that that’s what I was doing.
I went to San Luis Obispo in California to visit my friend, Susan, who moved there a year ago. She completely cleared her schedule from Thursday afternoon until Saturday afternoon. We hung out in her sunroom, read the paper, and talked about anything that came up. We walked through the SLO downtown and browsed through shops, ate at interesting restaurants, and talked about anything that came up. We hiked along the edge of the cliffs that border the ocean, marveling at the power of the waves as they crashed against the rocks and hugging our sweaters tighter in the chill wind… and soaked up sunshine on the beach just 15 minutes in the other direction, watching children brave the cold Pacific…and talked about anything that came up. Neither one of us had to do something, be somewhere, accomplish anything. We were just being together and reconnecting. We were free to be open to each other without looking at our watches or wondering if we needed to bring a conversation to a close so we could get busy doing.
I am realizing since I returned to the real world of full-time job, managing my coaching practice, parenting and family responsibilities, that I need to be careful of becoming too much the human doing and not enough the human being. How do I want to be when I am with my colleagues, students, parents, clients? How can I be mindful of the importance of spending time just being with my family? And what value do I attach to the relationships that I build or deepen when I remember how and who I want to be?
I think I will make that a personal challenge for the year: to remember what being feels like and how much more meaningful my life and the lives of people I touch are, when I make time for being in their presence. That means really listening—not half listening and thinking about what else I need to do. It means sharing my deeper self, my playful self, not just my organized-what-are-we-scheduled-for-this-week self. Perhaps it means (rather a tough one for me) being spontaneous when an opportunity to connect presents itself, and letting go of what was scheduled.
My commitment to this challenge is to start the habit of waking up and reminding myself before I get out of bed, to be with people as the day progresses. I will take a deep breath between students or just before client appointments, to access myself and bring myself into the moment. And review how I did at the end of the day. Not with the purpose of judging, but to ground myself in my goal and what differences I’m noticing as I make it a habit.
Where are you in your balance between human being and human doing?
What step might you take toward achieving better balance in this area?
How can you ground that commitment in action, to increase your awareness of the changes you’re making and how they impact your life?