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This week’s #SpiritChat conversation idea, cover-post (below) and questions come to us from my good friend on twitter, Panteli Tritchew. Some of you may know him as an energetic participant in many chats, including #SpiritChat. Panteli will co-host this week’s chat for us. Please read his very well-thought post on the topic. Thank you.

The Balance of Being and Doing – Panteli Tritchew

It has been said that we are human beings, not human doings. But what does that mean exactly? Why is it that Being and Doing seem mutually exclusive? What is the duality? What are the tensions? And why is finding a balance so difficult?

We know that we are spiritual beings (or consciousness’s) that reside in physical bodies. So right from the womb, we are faced with a duality and a built-in tension. As spiritual Beings, we seek To Be. At the same time, as physical beings, we need To Do, to earn our daily bread, to have shelter, to survive. We can say that this duality or tension is hard-wired, and we face the tension between Being and Doing daily. Trying to balance these tensions, we find ourselves pushed and pulled by friends, family, colleagues, supervisors, employees, the media and by world events. Sometimes we push-back. Forces and vectors collide. The tension between competing desires is nurtured, renewed, and invigorated, even if we are not. We have a name for this internal cacophony. Stress.

Many of us are caught between the duality of Being and Doing, some of us daily, some of us hourly. Do I go for a walk, or do I check my email? Do I go to yoga or do I tackle the next item on the To-Do List? We all keep To-do lists of various kinds. Submit performance evaluation. Check. Meet with client. Check. Prepare and submit agenda for meeting. Check. Live consciously in the moment and be purposeful. Hmmm… The “check” doesn’t flow quite as easily. Why is it that we keep To-Do lists and not To-Be lists?

When overwhelmed by our daily responsibilities, we often seek solace in silence and solitude, whether it is walking through the woods or meditation or yoga practice. Many of us schedule down-time, a time to do nothing, a time to recharge. Suddenly, magically, mysteriously, our time to do nothing, our Time To-Be becomes a Thing To-Do. Living the simple life is immensely complicated, it seems. One struggles to miss the irony.

When we speak of tension or stress, we refer to mental or emotional strain. In physics, tension is defined as the act of stretching or the state or degree of being stretched, and is usually taught using a string or a rope as an example. Like a rope, when we are under too much duress or too much tension, we can “snap,” or reach our “breaking point.”

When we speak of balance, we refer to mental, emotional or spiritual stability. In physics, balance refers to an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. When we are under too much duress or too much tension, we become “unbalanced.”

Trying to balance our spiritual and our material life, our Being and our Doing is like trying to balance the old double-pan balance scales, with Being on one pan and Doing on the other pan, as they see-saw back and forth over the pivot point in the center.

In physics, a system is in equilibrium (at rest) when the sum of all forces is zero. That is completely different from there being no forces (or no stress). Unfortunately, many people seem to equate balance as the absence of stress or tension. First of all, that isn’t balance, that’s a vacuum. Secondly, living a life free of stress is a chimera, an illusion.

The key to balance, it seems, is our ability to maintain and sustain tension between the competing forces in our lives, our inner desires, wants, and needs, and the constant push and pull from the outer material world, from family and friends, from colleagues and community.

We live in uniquely challenging times, and we are bombarded with more data, more information and more choices more quickly and more frequently than ever before. In the midst of this noise and turbulence, and the challenges of our everyday crucible, what are some of the strategies and techniques we can share to resolve the duality and tensions between Being and Doing?

Panteli Tritchew

Panteli Tritchew on Twitter
Panteli Tritchew on LinkedIn
Panteli is a “Communications & Entrepreneurial Leadership Faculty, Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Venn Thinker: Communications, Innovation, Leadership, Creativity, Learning”, and resides in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is “passionate about writing, teaching and communications: an experienced educator and communications professional, equally at ease in the classroom or the boardroom.”

Please join us Sunday, October 19th at 9amET / 1pm UTC in #SpiritChat on twitter, and share your thoughts on this wonderful topic. I am very excited and energized about the fact that Panteli Tritchew will co-host the conversation. Thank you, Panteli!