I am a Doer

To Do ListI am a doer — I like to do — I like to check stuff off my list. You see, I have a very long list that never seems to end. I check stuff off and almost like magic new stuff appears. Tasks emerge from nowhere — out of my subconscious need to keep busy — there’s always more and more to do.

I know that as soon as I cross something off my list, something new will appear — it’s like those birthday candles that don’t blow out. This is what being a doer feels like. The doer likes to do and will not stop until my much wiser “being” steps in, raises her hand and says, (sometimes yells) “STOP! Stop right here and pause. Put down your phone. Put down your book of lists. Look around and what is happening around you cause your life is speeding by and you are not even noticing!”

I know that I cannot “do” life. I can only “be” life. I know that I can try to get to the bottom of my list but that is surely the fool’s path. My yoga and meditation practices have shown me my patterns and my addiction to doing. Observing myself during practice can often be like watching a three-ringed circus. While it may look like I am meditating, I may just be planning the next Verge newsletter, or assessing the current classes of my two college-age daughters. The doer, you see, is very sneaky that way. It will find ways to keep doing, all day long, 24/7.

If I don’t intentionally create space in my life, it will never manifest. If I don’t figure out how to press the pause button, I will “do” myself to death. The truth is that trying to get to the bottom of the to-do list is as ridiculous as watching my dog chasing his tail.

I don’t claim to have answers, though I do know that my yoga and meditation practices have at least help get me to this place — where I can at least observe my insanity. I guess that is a good start.

Comments 6

  1. Very wise words – also love “when u die, ur inbox will be full” but nothing helped me change until I found meditation and then it took time as I am a doer – well my mind “does” as that is what it does…plans, creates lists…my soul flows and when I found the now my lists faded and so did my stress as in the now there are no lists, no future just now and it is blissfully calm.

  2. Wonderful post! The “fool’s path” seems right on! As a fellow doer, I completely relate. In fact, I just finished rewriting today’s to-do list with only four or five changes (of over 20 items) for tomorrow. Yes, meditation is one of the main ways to trick the doer into being–and even then she is sneaky.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I just spend a week in Jamaica teaching a retreat and didn’t make one list! I feel revived and ready to settle into a more mellow list making routine.

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