Being Balanced in a Tyranny of “To Do” – Part I


“Gotta go”, “gotta run”, “gotta do”, “gotta get”, start out as exciting, fun, even thrilling states until one day, untethered from our center, something inevitable happens. A ray of light shines into our cave of busyness. We are flat-out stopped and advised to look around and… look within.

The ray I am talking about isn’t the gently warming, comforting, delicious feeling of sunshine on my shoulders. It is a blast of bright that painfully reveals our human frailty. It can come in the form of loss, disease, accidents, upsets, reversals, extreme depletion, etc.

On June 06, 2011 the Wall Street Journal front page headline stated: “Major Shift in War on Cancer”. Research is leading to personalized therapies and, “Currently about 800 cancer drugs are in development, many of them designed to target specific mutations.”

It is impossible to completely comprehend the ongoing amount of human, scientific and economic resources needed for developing 800 drugs for the war on cancer.

Is there is something more we could be “doing”? …scratch that. Is there something more we could be “being”? Is there any way to reduce our need for this massive war?

Maybe a piece of the puzzle is hidden in our “to do” lists.

Let’s take a look at our “To Do” regimes…regimens .

1. What am I doing that I love to do?
2. What do I love to do that I am not doing?
3. What do I have to do that even though it isn’t in my “love realm”, it’s still OK?
4. What do I have to do that, in all honesty, drags me down?

Everything in the second category is a potential, personal therapy for optimum health. Everything that lands in the fourth category is a problem. It would be wonderful if we could shuffle all of those to someone else’s list. Responsible delegation is great. Many times that is not an option and the line item responsibility remains day in and day out exactly where it is waiting for our attention and doing.

Dealing with category four: One strategy might be trying to suppress or hide our habitually toxic feelings. Exhausting. Another may be the “surrender approach” with resignation to a complaining, chronic state of toxic “doing”. Or, a hyper-busy strategy for avoidance and neglect may be our choice. Denied or not, if we feel it, it is in us, it is cellular.

Our life enhancing practices of meditation, exercise, body therapies and good nutrition ease the traces of our unhealthy states of “doing and being”. And, still…”we are at war”.

“It’s not what you can do but the way you do it that counts.” – Mae West

We need tools for developing new contexts and healthy feeling states for fulfilling our professional and personal responsibilities and “to do’s”. Without these we are living Einstein’s definition of insanity.

…tools and techniques coming soon in
Part II of Being Balanced in the Tyranny of “To Do”.

“…I’m trying my hardest to get it right this time around.” -Sarah Kay

Doing what she loves!

To view brilliant Performance Poetry by Sarah Kay click here:

3 thoughts on “Being Balanced in a Tyranny of “To Do” – Part I

  1. Rhana, Your message is totally relevant to our cultural crisis of being “busy” all the time. We keep telling each other we are “overwhelmed” as a way to validate the mass psychosis. It’s not a good story line. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy that we reinforce every day when we say these words to each other.

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