by Andrea Noel
Four years ago, I began writing these “Dear ME” messages on post-it notes, sticking them up around my house and cubicle at work. This practice was more than writing simple affirmations or wishes; it was my approach to manifesting a new way of being. After working as a chemical engineer for almost seven years, buying my first home, car, and travelling around and outside the United States, I recognized that I spent a lot of time doing things, but not much time being. I considered how I lived. I had accumulated material possessions, and even more digital photos, but could not feel those tangible emotions that give life deeper meaning. I felt empty inside.
I began reflecting on what does it mean to be? According to my iPhone’s dictionary.com mobile application, some synonyms for the word doing are action, performance, and execution; and synonyms for the word being are living, conscious, and substance. Doing and being are clearly two different states: I was definitely great at doing, but needed to work on my being. I also recognized that both doing and being are necessary parts of life. However, striking a healthy balance between the two is the trick to living a fulfilling existence.
So, I made the intention to find small ways to punctuate my doing with being, using the “Dear ME” messages as simple reminders. I began being more patient with myself and others. I learned how to be silent; listening for God and to those around me. I started to be more accepting of events and people; learning to let go and seeking less control.
After a few months I noticed that I smiled more, I rushed less; I even drove the speed limit more often! Then I explored bigger ways to be. I intentionally attended a retreat every three months. I began spending more time with family and friends. I also explored several contemplative spiritual practices to further cultivate my capacity to be.
Those around me began seeing the difference that the intention to be made in my life. My co-workers shared in my pleasant mood and enjoyed seeking my help with things outside of our job responsibilities. My relationships seemed to deepen in ways I had never experienced before. I also perceived that life in general began to respond toward me more compassionately.
The intention to be, more than to do, continues to transform my experience of life; I have more clarity in my life, a deeper sense of peace, better relationships with others, a well-integrated spiritual life, and I find it easier to compassionately share myself with the world. Every day I make the intention to be. Be love. Be joy. Be radiant. Be ME.
So, how have you been lately?