Are You Enslaved by “Doing”?
By Art Ramsay, PhD

 I have often heard that we ought to be called “human-doings” instead of human-beings. What does this mean? Since the “Industrial Revolution” we, in Western societies have been “enslaved” by having to work in factories and such to support our families. Our very existence depends on our job. Therefore, we as a species have gotten into the perceived necessity of having to “work for a living”.

 It may have seemed to our ancestors that we were moving forward in not having to work on a farm through long days to feed our families. Instead of our dependency on staying well and hoping the weather allowed us to grow what we would need for the coming year, we now depended on someone else to provide the means to buy food instead of growing it.

 So what does the above have to do with us now, and how does this affect our spiritual growth? The fact that we have to depend on someone else (if we do not own our own business) to supply the means for us to live comfortably, has enslaved us. But even if you do own your own business, our fast-paced societies and the habits we have formed as a result, keep us doing, doing, doing. We seem to know no other way.

 What if you could stop or even slow down all this “doing”? What would this change provide for you? Like me, some of you are retired and the “doing” part seems not to be as much of a lifestyle as it is for those still working in a job; or is it? Whether you realize it or not, it still affects you; I can attest to that.

 So what to do? If you have read a few, hopefully many, of my articles you know the ways I have suggested to “go within”. If you have not, or it has been awhile since reading one that mentions ways to slow down, I will discuss what works for many and can for those that might have difficulty with them.

 How to slow down differs from person to person, so I will mention several ways of accomplishing the same thing from different points of view or lifestyle. First, how do you know if you need to slow down? Some people are so caught up with a certain way of living that it just seems natural, and may not recognize that they are being a “doer”, so to speak.

 Since I am speaking to a diverse group of people, some of you might actually be living a “slowed down” lifestyle, although I doubt itJ A way to check yourself, perhaps, is to stop whatever you are doing at some point during the day and just do nothing for 30 minutes. By doing nothing I do not mean to watch TV or read, this is still doing something. Just Be; no thinking allowed either. If you can’t do this, you are in the fast lane of living.

 Over the past six months or so, I have found my lifestyle change due to what has gone on with my mother and stepfather. Not only have I traveled to Maryland, a 9 hour drive, several times, but stayed there for two months out of four, doing anything but Being. It has carried over into my lifestyle here at home, especially now that we are preparing our house to sell so we can move closer to my mom, and thus this article. We often experience changes such as I have that throws a “switch” in our psyche and lead us astray. Has something changed in your life like what has in mine that pushed you into a mode of living unfamiliar, but seemingly necessary lives?

 Below are a number of things you can do, listed in an order that may be easier for the fast-lane person. Many of these may seem like “doing”, but it gets you out of your head and if you are aware enough, into your heart:

  • Listen to some music; get into the music and out of your head
  • Take a walk; start with 10 minutes, work up to 30 or 40
  • Go out into nature and walk, run, pedal, or just sit on a rock; go to the beach and listen to the waves, be with the waves
  • Slow down your thinking, especially while doing either of the two above; appreciate the world around you and get out of your head
  • Play some music, that is, do some drumming, play a guitar, and such
  • Dance to some music in whatever way brings you joy
  • Do some journaling; just let it flow without much or any thinking
  • Do some chanting; the OM is a place to start
  • Meditate; there are various ways and methods I have discussed before, but you can Google this a find all sorts of techniques
  • Just BE, that is, sit or walk and go within; put your hand on you heart, breathe deeply and then softly. Shut out the world around you by closing your eyes and focus on your heart, or your third eye area

 The above are what came to mind while writing this article, you may find something on you own that works for you in the moment. Try any of the above and modify them to fit your personality. You may also combine some of the above; whatever works. This whole process is focused on getting out of your head where the "doing" lies.

 The “doing” mindset so corrupts our lives that it even affects our bodies to where the body gets into the habit of moving and doing; even watching TV sends our minds racing with ads, news, and such. Your lifestyle HAS TO CHANGE if you are going to escape the "doing" enslavement.

 I will not sit here and claim that the above is easy; for some it may be, for others it may be very difficult. It takes time to change habits, and a lot of persistence. But when you “slow down and smell the roses” you will live a life of joy, beauty, happiness, and peace that will be well worth the effort.

 I am doing this with you, for I too have stepped out of the “slow lane” into a faster way of life and much more “doing”. I can more easily stop and step back into a slower, more peaceful way of life, then the “fast lane” person, but I still need to pay attention and take actions as shown above to get there.

Peace be with you, Art


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