Addiction to Doing

BeesI’ve come from a long line of them. Workers. Busy bees. One of the reasons why I named this blog, “The Inspiring Bee,” is people buzzing around was normal to me.

So many hot afternoons on Kauai with my grandmother clanging pots, mixing azuki beans and opening the oven door to let out heat and sweet manju. Either that or she was cleaning. There were always floors that needed sweeping, dishes that needed cleaning or laundry that needed to be washed.

Doing meant living. Sitting was equatable to death.

I think that’s how it started-my insistence on doing.

I think that’s why it took an autoimmune disease to stop me.

I was in remission for two whole years before the holidays knocked me off my feet. Obligations, and unhealthy eating were more than my body could handle.

For two weeks and counting, I ended up bedridden. It was a miserable beginning to 2017.

After cursing my illness, I can honestly say I’m grateful.

It is a reminder that being is every bit as important as doing. In 2016, there were days where I’d hike, bike and swim with my boys. But then I would do it until I crashed and end up holed up in my room watching the sun rise and fall.

I’m returning to the lazy me. The girl who my grandmother called, “Lazy bones,” for lying on the couch watching her work. I need her to keep me from doing too much. I need her to remind me that being, just breathing is also a magical, spiritual experience.

For when we stop to breathe, we notice the things we take for granted.

The wind.

The sound of your working heart.

The intuitive knowing that speaks when you listen.

If you give yourself time to savor a cup of warm tea, sit in silence and lie down in reverie, you will hear the call of your heart. You will find energy that you try to gain from Starbucks. And you will reconnect with the part of you, you thought was lost.

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Taking Risks in 2014: What You Risk When You Don’t Take Risks

{Etsy print by SilverMoonPrints}

{Etsy print by SilverMoonPrints}

When you think of risk-taking, what do you think of?

Skydiving? Parachuting? Mountain climbing?

Or do they look more like this:

Writing? Giving speeches? Speaking up for yourself?

According to The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things by Larry Dossey, M.D., the former list classifies you as a Level I risk-taker and the latter is a Level II type. Level I activities are the ones we are more likely to associate with risks, but the good news is you don’t have to live dangerously to reap the benefits of risk-taking.

Why You Should Take Risks in 2014

Taking risks whether it’s starting a new career or learning to say, “No” is invaluable. Why? Common sense says risk-taking leads to danger, accident, illness and even death. But on the other side of the coin, taking risks can make us healthier. In a brilliant summation, Dosser says:

“Risk is a paradox, which has been defined as truth standing upside down to attract attention.”

In this analogy, to find purpose and meaning in our lives, we need only look at the thing in our lives dressed up as fear.

He goes on to say that risk-taking and playing safe are both “competing biological urges” and “our birthright.” It is “a reminder that our obsession with creating a risk-free existence, from the nursery to the crematorium, is folly.”

Whether you decide to do something monumental like backpack around the country, quit your job or windsurf, or do something on a less grander scale that still gets your heart pumping like join a club or pitch a publication, taking risks are what fuels us. It may feel foreign and uncomfortable because it’s supposed to feel that way. It’s the bridge that when crossed opens us to new possibility. It makes our lives more meaningful. It’s what hope is made out of.

This year while you’re dreaming up your resolutions list, take the time to think up what risks you can take in 2014. It may not mean river rafting, but it may be doing the following:

  1. It’s saying how you really feel.
  2. It’s quitting when something’s not right.
  3. It’s saying, “Yes” to opportunities that thrill you.
  4. It’s saying, “No” to people, places and things that don’t fit.
  5. It’s showing up, not just because other people are watching, but because it matters to you.
  6. It’s taking the necessary steps to fulfill a dream.
  7. It’s following your passion.
  8. It’s being vulnerable.
  9. It’s letting other people see your imperfections.
  10. It’s being you. You in all of your wonderful eccentricities and flaws and strengths and idiosyncrasies.

 

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