Do. Have. Be. Do Be? To Be?
No I am not talking about the Doobie Brothers. Or Hamlet. I’m talking about the struggle we have in ourselves. We all want to Be something, right?
Be happy. Be wealthy. Be beautiful. Be calm. Be secure. Be loved.
Oftentimes it feels unattainable. So we search for what might help us get there and we “Do.” We take classes, we diet, we put in Ring cameras, we take on side hustles, we scour the internet until 4am begging Google to provide the answers to our life. (ahem)
Or sometimes we feel we must “Have”
We date people hoping they’ll provide us security and love. We look for new houses, assuming that will bring us calm. We go on an acquisition spree hoping things might save us, like that new Breville espresso machine to energize us with joy each day.
If we act and if we acquire, will we be? If we WANT hard enough, will we Be?
Learning from Those that Are…
I visited friends this weekend and confessed to my entrepreneur pal Sanjay that I was feeling very anxious and unsure. I wasn’t “Being” the Heidi I wanted to be. Perhaps he had the answers as he seemed to both “have’ and “be” it all..
“What do you want to be?” he asked.
“Calm. Joyful. Secure.” I replied.
I then listed out all the actions I was taking in order to get to this end state and the things I felt I needed. A new house. A stable relationship. A promotion at work. A new color of nail polish. And 30 self help books…
“Why can’t you Be all those things now?” he asked. I was flabbergasted. Calm NOW? In a pandemic? While working out custody for my daughter living in a small rental ? Joyful now?
“Yes. I mean. If you work on those things now and can be calm, joyful and secure…then all the haves and dos will just come into place.”
“So If I am calm, a promotion will just land in my lap?” I asked him.
“Probably.” he said. “But it also won’t matter as much as you’ve already reached the end state. Stop searching. Start being.”
But how do you just “be” something overnight? I started Googling for quick fixes. Do I go back to Esalen? Do I embark upon a Ayahuasca trip in Peru guided by a fur wearing Shaman. Was this the answer? I quickly realized psychedelics and puking out demons weren’t my thing and looked to other ways to get there. Without Google.
To Be Calm
Sitting still. Like VERY still. Meditative still for 5 mins each morning. I went back in time to the days I spent in the Ashram in Kerala India and even recounted some old chants. “Jaya Ganesha…Jaya Gansesha…” Attachment dissipated. CALM
To Be Joyful
Throwing myself 100 percent into Vivi land when we were together…which meant dressing up like unicorn soccer players (don’t ask) and decorating the apartment with rainbow art. JOY. (nothing can bring joy like children)
To Be Secure
Locking my door at night definitely preserved my physical security but it was actually emotional security that I needed. For emotional security I had to feel at peace with my decisions. Emotional security means making choices and not looking back. Sometimes it means saying yes. Other times it means saying no. It does NOT mean ruminating all night on what might have been. This is the hardest one for me. But I have committed to making one “no looking back “ on decision a day. SECURE.
I don’t think I’m quite self actualized yet like Sanjay. But I am a lot closer to being how I want to be. The Doing and the Having can wait….
There is an amazing power getting to know your inner self and learning how to use it and not fight with the world. If you know what makes you happy, your personality, interests and capabilities, just use them, and everything else flows beautifully. -Juhi Chawla