Being vs Doing

Listening to one of my favorite pod casts Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown, her cohost Jonathan Cohen repeated a Kurt Vonnegut quote “I am a human being not a human doing”. That coupled by an outstanding post about slowing down by Christine Higgins prompted me to add my 2 cents.

Americans are known for their work hard play hard attitude. You would think that being a highly developed country, with all the resources available they would be one of the healthiest. No not even close, the US is the 35th healthiest nation. With Spain being number one. There are quite a few factors involved here; the lack of decent health care system, diet, the lack of down time (vacations), and the general over consumption of food, and stuff.

Conversely Europeans have more time off, better nutrition, higher standards of what is permitted as additives. They rest more, and consume less.

Many Americans don’t take the full allotted time off, consumed with getting more having more. We’ve made keeping up with the Jones’ a national pastime. One of my. favorite lines from an old TV series was “How’s the rat race?” “The rats are winning!”

The rats are winning, stress, substance abuse, anxiety, poor health are the rats!

My belief is we need to stop doing for the sake of doing! Accumulating stuff that gives us momentary pleasure which will be either thrown out or donated in two years. We are all seeking peace and that can only be attained by getting quiet, breathing, and being in nature. Listening to each other ,not texting or messaging. Try writing a letter, call someone better yet visit someone.

We don’t need stuff we need connection…

Which is why I’m making a point to not drive at least once a week. I cycle or walk on Thursdays. I’m lucky I live in an area in which that can be done, but how can you slow down? I also have been making a point to visit with people, reconnect with old friends. This is in addition to a very involved morning practice which consists of spiritual reading, meditation, Yoga, mindful eating, and journaling. This is where I’m a human being, before I get caught in the tsunami of “doing” day to day life .

Take a deep breath, and just be…



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