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Doing & Being…and the Friendship That Binds Them

by Wendy Ellin
 ∙ Oct 13 ∙ 4 Min Read

I recently spent the weekend with my dear friend, Sussy (see: Anne Sussman).  She’s a meditation teacher, a mindfulness ambassador, and my daily “Be” reminder.  Since meeting three years ago at Campowerment, I have discovered how so much of what she believes and shares in the world, I have come to believe, too.

In three years, Sussy has become the yin to my yang. 


She is a “be-er,” and I’m a “do-er.”  And both are equally as critical to experience the joy and balance we’re all striving for.

As the mindfulness revolution spreads through the world like wildfire, so too, does the daily stress around getting things done. There’s that “doing” thing again…it never seems to just leave us alone, does it? And it never will…until we’re NO LONGER BREATHING.  And since that’s not the desirable option, I believe identifying how to best get the most out of living each day is something worth taking a look at.

So, how about going into Fall and all the holidays asking these three questions every single day:

1 // What is a REALISTIC EXPECTATION for how much I can get done today? 

In other words: With every element that plays a part in this 24 hours, what can I reasonably get done…without compromising the other moving parts that are required of me today? 

Most people don’t spend the time necessary to look at their day before hitting the ground running every morning.  They are looking at the first necessary item in isolation, instead of in the context of all the other things that need to get done. 

If you look at your day before starting, and can re-arrange accordingly to make sure you didn’t over-book, over-promise, or overload, you will be more able to produce what is necessary to feel fulfilled, successful, and productive at the end of the day.  And you just might want to leave an hour open every day for that unexpected something that always seems to appear. In fact, you just might want to come to expect it!

2 // Am I the right person to be handling all the “to do’s” on my list? 

So many times we think just because it needs to get done, it needs to get done by US. Not necessarily. 

Who could you ask to help lighten your load today, because they might be going in the direction of where your task might be? In return, can you do the same when the situation makes sense! Why do we all need to spend all our time in the car getting things done when we can use our community to divide and conquer?  Whose teenage kid can we hire to help with those house chores that might be a much better use of their time than ours? 

There are ways to leverage what my dear friend Dawn Andrews refers to as our “lady power” to make navigating our life much more doable and enjoyable. That power lies in our communities; our networks.

After all, aren’t we all dealing with the same frustrations, “to do” lists, responsibilities, daily challenges as everyone else? You are not alone in this…so don’t stay alone in this!

3// How can I STOP DOING AND JUST BE…every day?

That means taking the time to recharge your ever-ready battery at any point during the day.  Even 5 or 10 minutes of doing nothing but BREATHING can do a world of good when you are on a mission to get things done. 

We don’t have to be doing something every minute to feel successful.  Part of the success in life is balance. And balance means a fair share of the doing and the being – both equally as important.  So just take the time to BE…call it “meditation” if you’d like, or just be still.  Close your eyes…or don’t.  Listen to the sounds around you.  Be in nature. Be in gratitude.  Be in silence. 

I have learned that it’s in these moments that I am more able to appreciate the DOING, just because I’m BEING.  It’s what allows me to keep going with a sense of passion, focus and energy.  I have come to know that I can no longer live with one and not the other.  They, together, are what keep me grounded and available for whatever next comes my way.  Whether I expect it or not.

And from this, I am reminded of why certain people come into our lives…to share their passion, and to make sure that while we are DO-ing, BE-ing gets its fair share of our time, attention and love. For that, I am grateful.


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