The importance of being

I remarked to a friend that last week was quite strange. A number of fellow business owners were outwardly struggling with depression, anxiety, cyber-bullying, lack of sales, and generally just feeling funky. I have to admit, I was one of them. Now we couldn’t answer the world’s problems in our five minute walk from the car, if only! But it has stuck with me; perhaps it’s the psych grad in me wanting to know the ‘why’. I haven’t found a ‘why’, but I believe I have found a ‘what’.

I believe that we are stuck in the glorification of the ‘ing’. You know what I mean, we are all busy do-‘ing’. As business owners we are busy:

– chasing

– planning

– selling

– learning

– marketing

– making

– writing

– budgeting

– accounting

– worrying

I am certain there are others, as we each run different businesses and each in our own ways. We are projecting all of this energy out of us and into our business and customers. Then on top of that some of us have families.

As a wife and mother I have a whole other list of ‘ing’s and they seem to grow around Christmas. This time of year we add attending/organising Christmas functions, organising school holiday activities and chasing the right present (anyone who has had a child who has wanted this years’ must have present will know exactly what I mean).

Then when the list is made, we glorify it. Friends come and ask how we are, and we openly respond with “Tired”, “Rushed”, “Exhausted”, “Busy” and they nod in empathy, for they are the same. We talk about all the things we have to do, obligations we have, how we need xyz for the business, and how we are waiting to steal a few days of rest over Christmas (amongst the other ‘ings’ we have lined up).

It was another conversation that I had over the weekend, with a client, which pointed it all out. You see, she was establishing a new business, sorting out stock issues, and planning and growing her business; but she was too busy to enjoy it. With a wistful look in her  eye she said “I just wish I could create what I wanted to, I miss playing”. You see, in all of our ‘ing’ we miss out on some of the greats:

– playing

– loving

– sharing

– being

I like the last one as it can encapsulate the others. Watch this talk from TED to see how big business is encouraging creativity and profiting from the investment.

As a small business owner, I need to back away from the ‘ing’ and look to the creative. I took a month away from work and travelled with my family. In this time I had the space to be and in that I found clarity. This clarity has formed a new direction and untold benefit. Last week, I needed that time again, time to just ‘be’ and in that time I found strength to move forward.

So I wonder, maybe the ‘ing’ that we need to incorporate more into our business (and life) is being. Taking the time and being in a space where we are not bound by rules and expectations; a space where we can play, experiment, and tell stories. A place where there is no right or wrong. What the video was looking at was using the life of children to fuel our creativity. The thing about childhood is that most of us were left to be. We were told to go outside and play, to entertain ourselves; why as adults do we not give ourselves that space? We are too busy with and glorifying the ‘ing’ to go and just be.

So, in the comments below, where do you go to just be? How do you recharge and explore your creativity? There are no right or wrong answers, and you just might inspire someone.

  • Love this post. I often have to schedule social media free time, while I need it for work to a point, it can be a little all consuming. It’s all about disconnecting to reconnect. Especially where my family is concerned.

    The first attempt a mere 24 hours was like torture for both myself and my family. I think I drove them mad with spring cleaning and redecorating the house.

    The next attempt was an entire weekend, where we booked in at a resort with no mobile or internet connection. I vaguely remember climbing a cliff with my mobile and standing on one leg trying to check on a social media campaign that had launched for a client feeling really disjointed.

    By the end of the weekend, I hardly wanted to head back to social media town.

    • Oh Raychael,
      you made me laugh! I feel like my arm is cut off for the first few days & then I enjoy it.
      That said, now I am managing social media accounts I find downtime harder to find.
      I still have days where I would love to deactivate my account, but that wouldn’t be wise. 🙂

  • My being is best done in nature, be it the bush, the beach, or somewhere else it doesn’t matter as long as I am surrounded by fresh air and sunshine I feel at peace and rejuvenate. I have just finished 9 months of being actually, it was so amazing, I am struggling to readjust to normal life again actually

    • Rhianna, I find that some days just walking to the letterbox. The sun shining down, birds chirping, a deep breath and I can be.
      I hope that you can find your definition of normal, because what is normal for you is different for me. x

  • I just need that NOW! And I usually find this part of my ings in hiking. Hiking works for me as mindful meditation. The voices in my head (do this do that…) will lower and I can find myself again. Thanks for sharing this post. InspirING. haha xx cathy

  • My husband is majoring in innovation at university. The focus it places upon creativity is fascinating. For any business to become a market leader (it is argued), the business needs to think creatively so to be innovative in its field so to provide a unique product or service to the consumer. Interestingly, part of how I’ve established a healthy wellbeing is to refocus upon my creativity. I have re looked at all the crafts, hobbies, interests I had as a child and found ways to fit them into my life today. Children are naturally creative, and somehow as we grow this creativity and ability to think differently is withdrawn. It’s sad. My husband’s lectures often focus on the current education system and how it encourages children to all think the same, and doesn’t encourage creative practices or thoughts. It is also something I’ve noticed since homeschooling our children. We can spend hours in imaginative play, or creating some project. I can allow my children to just be creative. I value my creativity, and my husband is learning how to be creative and is a good thing that we can also encourage our children’s creativity as part of a balanced wellbeing.

    • It’s sad that your husband has had to learn how to be creative Sarah. I think if we did more beING we would be less likely to need to learn this skill.

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