Pillar VII: Being vs. Doing
Being versus Doing. It is often difficult for us to distinguish where our pendulum swings on the gradient scale between our active, creating selves and our softer, regenerative selves. We spin into a cycle of endless doing, and then suffer an inevitable crash of illness, injury, or exhaustion. Presiding in a culture where pushing beyond our limits is not only encouraged, but is the norm, denies us the critical insights revealed in quiet and stillness. Cultivating this regenerative space is our work for this, our seventh pillar.
Demeter is our archetype lighting the way to this valuable lesson of being. She is the harvest goddess and loving mother of Persephone. We encounter this golden goddess most intimately during Lammas, the first marking of the Fall harvest. She embodies the fertility of the Earth, tends the seeds of grain, and harvests the season’s wheat when it matures. As the agricultural deity, she shares her wisdom of allowing time to work its magic. She teaches us the energetic balance between work and rest for an abundant harvest to yield. Her message for us is to only sow the seeds we are able to tend with our highest selves. For, a smaller plot of healthy grain nurtures more than a larger plot of withered wheat.
The work of this pillar is about establishing value in being present to your own essence — the sacred self — and thus honoring what your mind, body, and soul need to be healthy. As women and born nurturers, we often say “yes” to requests before considering ourselves; we extend our energy in service of others without honoring our own needs.
I ask you to consider this: how often do you allow yourself to rest in your power? By creating a sustainable cycle of energy, would you not be more present to the relationships and work you are engaged in? The key lesson to learn is this: the less you do, the more you can be. Breathe into that feeling for a minute and tell me your soul doesn’t hum in agreement.
When you are trying to control and do so much, you don’t allow the divine plan of the Universe to flow in your life. Remember the work we did in Pillar One at the beginning of this journey together? Surrender. Being is a surrendering to faith— trusting that the Universe is there to do some of the work for you. You are not alone, there is a plan for you, and there are many divine elements at work. There is wisdom in knowing that not everything is meant for you to do, sometimes people need to fall and learn lessons through their own experiences. Sometimes it’s best to let life unfold in its own way.
This is not easy work, I know. Learning and living this lesson has transformed every realm of my life. In my marriage, as a mother, as a business woman… I learned to delegate so I can make space for being, instead of doing every task myself. While it was uncomfortable at first, I learned that prioritizing who and what I share my energy with has made me a healthier and happier person, and has allowed me to walk my path as a teacher and priestess.
I invite you to explore the balance of being and doing in your own life by journaling responses to these questions:
- What areas of your life can you delegate your tasks and energy to other people? What resistance and emotions arise for you as you consider this release of responsibility?
- Who in your life do you find yourself continuously trying to protect or prevent harm? How could releasing this energy support your personal wellbeing?