Are you awake?

Marcella Bremer Reflection 3 Comments

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How are you? Busy? Relaxed? Energized? Tired? I notice a pattern in modern life. I’m going too fast and packing too much in my days. I’m hunting for stimuli – or at least I’m distracted by them. I notice restlessness when I’m already tired. I see most people around me living by schedules that don’t leave space to slow down and to be mindfully aware of what really happens. How do you wake up to the present?

I’m lucky, though. Since I am self-employed, I can schedule time for contemplation. I know that I need some time for silence – to be my best self again when I work with clients. When I’m going too fast – I am less awake, less present in the moment.
So I’ve started an experiment. My intention is to follow my energy as much as possible – what do I feel like doing now? What gives me pleasure? What do I need at this moment?
Let’s wise up and go with the flow Click To Tweet Let’s see if and how my experiences and results change when I give more attention to what I’m doing right now, with mindfulness. What emerges if I let go of attachment to outcomes and SMART goals?
For instance, my intention is to create something new (it’s been stewing and brewing for a while) but I’m not going to translate that into a target up front, like: “Finish my next book by the summer”.

Trust this moment

I’m going to BE with whatever is present – instead of only focusing on everything I must DO. I’m going to trust that things will work out – instead of fearing that I won’t get enough done when I follow my energy and needs.
I’m curious to see what emerges, or what important clues I get (that I may have missed in my busy-doing mindset) when I’ll be more mindful. It feels like an adventurous journey – in a way it’s letting go of (the illusion of) planning and control. I’m tired of trying to force reality into my mould according to schedules and goals.
Can you BE present instead of focusing on everything you must DO? Click To Tweet

What if I was more open and trusting toward reality? I have my intentions – but let’s see what happens when I travel in that direction: listening, feeling, sensing, checking, learning whether I’m aligned with what is present.
Let’s “wise up” and go with the flow – if there is any. Or wait ashore, if there is no flow, temporarily. The tide will eventually rise again – and until it does – why not enjoy your quiet time at the beach?

How do you satisfy your need for introversion, contemplation, quiet time?
People don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflection on experience. Regarding going too fast, consider this: There are three times to wake up: never, afterwards or while it is happening. As Eckhart Tolle says:

“Don’t ask, how long can I stay awake?
Rather count how many times you woke up.”

  • How do you help yourself to wake up?
  • How are you? What’s your energy and needs at this moment?
  • How does your day change when you acknowledge them?

Marcella Bremer co-founded this Leadership & Change Blog and OCAI-online.com. She’s an author and culture & change consultant.


Comments 3

  1. I entirely agree that the paradigm needs to be ‘BE-DO-HAVE’. Firstly we need to need to ‘be’, the core sense of self that is guided by principles and not by outside forces. Then ‘do’, the actions formed on those principles and our goals related to the same. Then we will ‘have’, either a sense of achievement, an actual achievement, a tangible product or a task completed. Most people live by ‘HAVE-DO-BE’ ie ‘If only I HAD x then I would DO y so I could BE z’ – once glance tells you how ineffectual this paradigm is (how can one have something without doing something first?!). Also bear in mind that without the DO, we’re still stuck in ‘dream state’. It’s always possible to be doing too much, but also to be doing too little! The balance is the skill set

    1. I like the way you phrase it, Mithu Rahman! It makes things very clear: BE-DO-HAVE is the way things go. Thank you for this beautiful additional clarification.

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