Don’t we all love to feel productive? Somehow many other things are less frustrating if we have had a productive day. It gives us a feeling of being in control… the demanding events of daily life are not in charge – at least not totally. When life throws us a curveball and we don’t know which way to turn there are many things we can concentrate on… like ironing or scrubbing the floor or washing the car… that tells us quite clearly that we are on top of things.
Productivity is a very important aspect of life… I’d say essential to the successful functioning of daily life. What we need to be careful of is that productivity does not become an escape from the ‘being’ aspect of life. We are human beings and not human doings and it is crucial to remember this and to act upon it.
Presenceis equally important but it is easier to be productive than it is to be present to ourselves. To be present with and for ourselves. The ego loves to be stroked and to feel important and successful so being productive is joy indeed for the ego. Great feelings of achievement! Now, the ego is not all bad. A healthy ego is essential for our sense of self-worth. Without a healthy ego nothing of any value would be achieved. But the ego is a hard and greedy task master and is forever striving to be in charge and to ignore the call for us to be ‘present’ in our lives.
Without presence and awareness of what we are dealing with and experiencing… how can we have any clue of how to be productively productive? It may sound like an oxymoron but if you just stop and appraise your daily activities … how many things felt productive at the time but didn’t really achieve much in the greater scheme of things? Kept us busy but at the expense of what? Just maybe at the expense of being present to the emotions and strengths involved in dealing with the realities of daily life.
Being present means checking in with ourselves on the four pillars of PIES. Rather than avoiding issues (and we are all expert at doing this) … we need to ask ourselves where we are being touched, what type of response is being called for – is it the physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual pillar which is being affected or maybe a combination?
Simply, take a deep breath and still your mind. Take stock of your feelings at a time when that sense of productivity was strong. Let it blossom… and enjoy those feelings. And then just allow yourself to be aware of any area of your life that you have not really been fully present to… Physically, Intellectually Emotionally or Spiritually. How many times do you catch yourself saying you’ll do it later… listen later… call later… play later… message later… I’m busy just now… And so on.
Think of an issue that niggles you or needs attending to… be present to it fully… be aware of any changes that take place in your feelings towards it or how you thought you would deal with it.
Play around with these ideas… not judging yourself but evaluating with interest how it plays out in your daily life. Remember that being present can mean suspending productivity and the ego does not like that!! Productivity is ego led and presence is being led. The more we can become present to the moment and the energy around us the more productive we can be. The reason being that as soon as we identify which of the four pillars is being called upon then the faster and more efficiently, we can focus on and achieve resolution without being distracted by a million other insignificant things.
A client recently as working through this process with me and was able to identify that when she had been working through a difficult divorce a few years ago she kept herself super busy in order to distract herself from the pain and sadness involved in her situation. Subsequently, she avoided being present with these emotions and so they appeared back in her life in different guises until she addressed them, acknowledged and let them go.
Look at children… children are so in the moment… so present and this actually develops their productivity because the very act of being present means that they are paying attention to their being-ness and in turn can immediately relate it to whatever they move on to make or do. Balance.
As spiritual beings having a material experience in the physical body, it’s always tempting for the ego to keep pulling us back into the physical realm. It seems easier to deal with the things that we can see and touch. However, just because we can’t see and touch emotions doesn’t mean that they are not just as, if not more, powerful at weighing us don and holding us back from standing in our truth and light. And loving ourselves fully. 878
Animals too are such great teachers. Dogs in particular know how to just be in the moment. If we listen to them our dogs are desperate to teach us exactly how to be present to and with ourselves. They are envoys of unconditional love and their loyalty and perception of our perfection is truly awesome.
We are human beings not human doings. Presence is being and productivity is doing. Strive for the balance and live your life to the full.
Kate Mchardy MA(Hons) PGCE MSPH Spiritual coach, teacher and healer. firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: +44 7712889534. Facebook: The University of Light Group / Readings at The University of Light (@tarotangelspiritreadings).