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It's All Living

At times I still struggle with whether or not I am being productive enough. A subtle voice tries to "should" me into doing more writing, networking , attending events etc. Attached to this should are feelings of dread and drudgery. Most would tell me to just push through it, hustle, “You have to do what you have to do because if you don’t, nothing will happen.” Now, in and of itself, there is nothing wrong with these activities. I actually enjoy them and know that they are necessary, but there are times when everything in me would rather be doing something else. 

So not too long ago, I was hit with something life-shifting (a bit less dramatic than life-changing). It was unexpected, as God moments often are. I was in a coffee shop passing the time, awaiting for someone to arrive. As I sat there, I took my time sipping my coffee, reading, and listening to what seemed to be my personal Pandora station playing from their speakers. This feeling of contentment did not last very long before the thoughts started to creep in, “What should I be doing?” "I need to start ______ and I'm not finished with _____ ." You know how the tape plays. It goes through the list of tasks I have yet to complete and then gives me a demerit for each infraction. Thankfully, this only lasted a moment before I was then met with another thought, a calming one. "It's all living.” I immediately knew the meaning this phrase held for me. It felt as though God was broadening my definition of what it meant to live and to be productive. Being productive can take the form of working, spending time with friends, exercising, sleeping, and having coffee. All of these things serve a purpose and our minds and bodies gravitate towards them for a reason.

Our culture shames use when we are not doing "enough" or producing in great quantities. We are pigeon-holed into believing that we can only feel content after we have done something. The truth is, we are no less worthy when enjoying leisure activities, than when we are doing work-related tasks for a specific number of hours. In fact, many great sources of inspiration arise when our minds are not preoccupied with the to do-list. So whether you are breaking a mental or physical sweat or basking in quietness of the morning, it's all living.

"I am a human being, not a human doing. Don't equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren't what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don't...you aren't." - Dr. Wayne Dyer

Ashley Buffington