Ever see this bumper sticker? It reflects an alternative perspective to our society’s hard-driving, goal-directed approach to life. The view that if one is not constantly focused and actively directing one’s energies, then one is inherently lost, unproductive, failing and flailing in the breeze. Need I go on?
If one were to take away daydreams and choices that take us off the “beaten track”, many discoveries would not have been made. I am suggesting that we cultivate a more balanced approach to our lives and lifestyle. Having greater balance between being and doing doesn’t only release internal pressure of the drive to always be doing, but allows the “shy soul”* to move into the “being state”. It allows us to simply be, explore, and listen to the parts of ourselves that we may be keeping constrained in this “doing” world. In such a pressure cooker there is little time to experience the self and the soul.
In some ways, we treat the soul as that small child who is being dragged along by a busy adult. They hold hands and the adult walks at a fervent pace with coffee in one hand and child in the other. Moving so quickly that the small child’s little legs only touch ground lightly every other step. One arm stretched to capacity holding on for dear life, and in the other dangles her doll, the world of her imagination, so precious and dear.
Most of us learn how not to pay attention to the precious and tender parts of ourselves, how to hurry through life and not listen or play in the fertile ground of imagination. The more we lose this connection to ourselves, the more we lose connection to our soul, to our joy. The more we look to outer sources the more our world becomes a world of distraction, and off balance, moving us further and further away from our true self and from our soul.
Make time to wander, explore, and play.
* The term“shy soul” was coined by Parker Palmer.
©2010 Leslie Bambic Ciechanowski