Overcoming the Addiction to Doing
You might have a very severe addiction for real. It’s not the common and typical one that’s talked about. This addiction is to doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing.
Doing is what has created the magnificence of the Western world – skyscrapers, putting humankind on the moon, you name it.
Doing creates a lot, but if you’ve been doing for a long period of time, you might find yourself in an addiction to it. Even if you want to check out, pull away, go on a retreat, meditate, cultivate mindfulness – any of these things, which somehow we’ve been told will slow us down and help us – there is this addictive energy that can trap us into the compulsive habit of doing.
You, yourself – have you ever tried actually checking out and slowing down? Turning it off? Turning the doing off? Have you ever tried that? It’s essential now.
We all know the stats around health and well-being, we all know the value of equilibrium and balance. There’s a hundred articles on LinkedIn every day about work-life balance. We don’t need to be told anymore that this is important. So, let’s take a moment and drop from our intellectual understanding, from the need to get it right. Let’s go down the journey of actually shutting off our doingness.
How can we do that?
First of all, you have to acknowledge, like in any 12-step program, that you have an addiction to keeping it going, to moving. Now, let’s try something together.
Take a moment and drop into your body.
Feel all that you need to do today right now, this week, this month.
Rather than keep yourself distant from it, or stay in your intellect and organize all these thoughts, turn your attention to what it feels like in your body to have to do all of this.
This feeling of having to do and accomplish, and meet goals and deadlines, bring things through to completion – where do you feel that most strongly in your body right now?
Use your imagination, and give this doing a quality, or qualities.
If it had a shape, this doing energy, what shape would it be? For me, it’s shaped like a ball bearing, it’s metallic, and it sits around my solar plexus.
So, what shape is yours?
What size is this feeling of doing in you?
What colour is it?
Use your imagination.
How heavy is this feeling? How much kinetic energy is there, or calmness to this doing energy inside of you? Take a moment and feel it.
How old is this doing in energy? Is it ancient? Perhaps lifetimes old?
What if, for a moment, you could just assume that this energy is an aspect of yourself, of your totality. It’s somehow doing its own thing, yet it is a part of you.
I want you to speak to this aspect within you, and ask it: What is your goal for me? What do you want me to attain, to achieve? Go ahead and listen.
What does it say? what’s its goal for you? Is it achievement, success, acknowledgement, freedom? Whatever it says, this aspect of yourself has a lesson for you.
This energy, no matter how it feels right now, actually has a greater, higher gift for you than the outcome of doing alone.
In your imagination, join with that goal inside of yourself. Unite with your aspect and imagine that this goal that it wishes for you is fully complete inside yourself, fully attained, fully realized.
What would it feel like that goal being fully realized? Achieve it right now, feel it 100%.
Notice how your body changes? Notice how your breath might be deeper? It might be more dropped in.
Very good. Now once again, ask this aspect within yourself, that doing energy, What is your next, higher, more spiritual goal for me? Now that your first goal is achieved, what does it wish for you to attain, to achieve?
Take a moment and listen. Whatever comes up from within, recognize it, and now join your aspect, as a team inside yourself. Create that goal as fully complete inside yourself. What is it? Peace, accomplishment, inner freedom, adventure?
Now, expand open as if all the goals of this doingness have been absolutely achieved and realized.
How are you breathing differently?
Can you breathe in a way that magnifies the attainment of this goal as fully achieved?
Do you celebrate that attainment?
Your desire for doing always has a higher purpose, a higher meaning, a bigger goal for you. When you ask it what it is, and you achieve it inside yourself, you’ll find a deepening of your being will happen. Perhaps that’s happening right now.
You’ll find a quieting starting in your mind; a deeper stillness emerging from within you. An aliveness that transcends your intellect and thinking.
This is the beauty of being in the place of who you are, of your truth, of your nature. When you’ve already achieved all your goals, and you’ve attained them within, and you are completely free, whole, and realized.
The Zen paradox is that from this place of union and wholeness, now when it’s time to do your actions, to follow through with projects, you’re able to do it from the place of tranquility and equilibrium, calmness. You’ve relaxed this excessive push for gain, or pull for gain, and now you’re coming from a transmission of already attained.
That’s the doorway in to “shutting off,” and turning something else that’s even more powerful on.