“WHAT am I doing with my life!?”…
Whether I am chatting to a friend over coffee [at NR of course!], speaking to work colleagues, or even in passing conversation with someone that appears to be ‘adulting’ really well (yep, think successful business owners or parents), it seems that everyone, at some point, questions their existence.
“Have I chosen the ‘right’ path and made the ‘right’ decisions?
Am I going in the ‘right’ direction? Do I have direction at all?”
Don’t get me wrong, most of these people are extremely happy, but there’s still this burning sense of unsatisfiable dissatisfaction. Are we simply ungracious?
It’s nothing new that humans are curious creatures in search for the meaning of life and who we are in the ‘grand scheme of things’. We live in a society where there are norms about what we should be doing at particular times in our life: Study. Work. Move-out. Party. Marry. Travel. Exercise. The list goes on.
We spend our lives constantly ‘doing’ even when free of obligation or necessity (Wilcock 1999). We ‘do’ to become that someone or something we strive towards, and when we’re unsure who/what that someone or something is, we ‘do’ even more in attempt to find the answers! Indeed, trying new things and filling your life with meaningful activities is vital for health and happiness, however I suspect that amongst all the ‘doing’, we have forgotten how to just ‘be’.
As #hippy #zen #cleansed as it may sound, when was the last time you just stopped to reflect on your values, your interests, your intuition, your self?
When was the last time you went out into nature to be mindful and objectively notice your surroundings?
When was the last time you unplugged from your ipod, ipad, iphone, itunes, ilife (!), to just lie down, breathe and observe your thoughts?
It is in these moments of just ‘being’, that you develop a deeper sense of emotional and personal intelligence, and ironically, can reconnect in this hyper-connected world of ours. ‘Being’ gifts us some time to purely exist, without needing to consider the future or our ‘becomings’.
So next time you feel any sense of anxiety about what you are ‘doing’, step back for a minute and just be. Balance your ‘doing’ and ‘becoming’ with a good chunk of ‘being’, and you’ll create that meaning you are searching for.
Wilcock, AA 1999, 'Reflections on doing, being and becoming', Australian occupational therapy journal, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 1-11.
Alexandra Nuzzo is an occupational therapist with a passion for enabling others to live fulfilling, happy and vibrant lives. She is interested in holistic health, and leads a lifestyle fuelled by plant-based wholefoods, alongside her regular engagement in Crossfit and yoga.