Life is a busy place. We come here every morning and start the day with a mental list of things to do. Meetings meals, classes, jobs, tests, housework, work work...stop! Stop doing and start being! Sit, pray, meditate, experience nature, see the people around you. Be part of the world. Stop making a living. Start making a life. Be present!
Sound familiar? If you follow our weekly Moments of Motivation, you read those words there a few weeks ago. Our motivations come from our experiences. What nuggets of wisdom have inspired us; what have we passed on to others; what can we say to make a difference? As “they” say, experience is the best teacher.
What does experience teach us about being present. I believe it is the penultimate line above that captures the bee’s attention.
Stop making a living. Start making a life.
There are many variations of that line, attributed to several sources. My inspiration for including it in our motivation is a plaque I’ve had on the wall above my desk everywhere I’ve had a desk for these many years.
Please help me not to be so busy making a living, I forget to make a life. Amen.
Excellent advice, but did I heed it for all these many years? If so, it likely wouldn’t have ended up as a Motivating Moment for us. Like much we encounter, the words are easier said than the action done. How exactly does one stop from being so busy in today's busy world? The answer is surprisingly short and equally excellent, and it also appears in the motivation text.
That’s it. Just stop being so busy. Consider this. Do you start every day - even non-work, non-school, non-important days – asking yourself “What am I going to do today?” and review your version of a daily to-do list? Do you have your phone programmed to display your calendar entries on wake up? Are you immersing yourself in the business life rather than the business of life? Are you concentrating on the tasks, like the bees, intent on extracting the flowers’ nectar rather than recognizing the beauty of the flower?
As a young professional I would often leave at night, with, “See you later. I have a meeting I’d rather not go to but the right people will be there and I have to make myself seen,” or not think twice about taking on the extra project at work because it could look good on the resume. “When will a chance like this come again?” was my logic. But what seemed like a justification for doing the work is the very same logic for stopping and concentrating on the flower instead of the nectar.
Rather than immersing yourself in the busyness of business, immerse yourself in that which is around you. We are part of the beauty of the world, and we are loved for that - not for the work we accomplish or the words we write. We are loved because we are us. We belong because of who we are. We often think in terms of “what may be” rather than “who am I.” We look at what might happen if I do or don’t do something, say or don’t say something, go or not go somewhere. Yes, we need to plan, we need to set goals, and we need to be certain we do the things that will keep us around for a long time for those who love and need us. But we need to also see that the most important thing is why we are here and how we can contribute to life.
Life isn’t all about work. To be alive is to be part of what makes our world beautiful. We are beautiful, created to love and be loved. You are loved as you are.
Making a living is part of life. Making a life is life itself. Stop just making a living. Start making a life. Be present!