Checking In vs. Checking Out

Maybe it’s the full moon, but this last week has been crazy.  I’ve had lots of meetings, work opportunities, and even some personal challenges.  Now I’m exhausted and need to find my equilibrium again.  Even though good things are happening, my “Self” can hardly keep up.  So instead of going with the flow, I’m choosing to break .. and check in with myself.

Sometimes we need downtime to process life.  We don’t realize how much space we need to fully digest until we’re suddenly snappy, spacey or burnt out.  What I’ve discovered is that many of us find ourselves at a loss as to what to do for this “break time.” The tendency for many is to “check out” and engage in lower level activities like:

  • Surfing the Internet
  • Glazing over FaceBook
  • Going to the Bar
  • Watching Youtube, Netflix or TV
  • Shopping
  • Going to the coffee shop to see who is there
  • Eating your pants off
  • Getting involved in things that have nothing to do with you

You get the point.  All of these activities require lower brain wattage.  It’s like being in a hypnotic state of participation where you’re there, but not really there.  You feel good momentarily – then it’s over.  Back to the foggy haze.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix, but there’s a time and place for that. I do my best not to use it as an unconscious drug of choice.

What keeps us in over-drive?  Why do we have a constant need to be doing something?

Instead of “checking out” and looking to outer sources to uplift us temporarily, what if we checked-in?  Just BE with ourselves.  What would it be like to just be with ourselves without being with someone else, without engaging, without doing something?  What if we didn’t feel the need to prove ourselves in any way through doing?

What if we just sat there and did .. nothing?

Here’s the paradox of doing nothing:  we get more out of it.  By emptying ourselves and creating inner space, we find new space.  I know, it’s hard to do nothing. It’s easier to do something.. to go along with the collective program of doing.  But doing nothing “productively” is like going into the fertile void.  It’s there that you can fill your well and be nourished with the life-giving spring.

(I’m going to refrain from putting a plug about meditation here.. )

When you feel the need to do, do, do – ask yourself:

1.  Do I really need to do that?

2.  Why am I doing it?    Is it because:

  • a ) I am trying to please someone.
  • b)  I am trying to prove myself.
  • c)  I feel responsible for the way someone else feels.
  • d)  I don’t know what else to do.

Take notice of the need to keep throwing your energy out of whack instead of inviting it back into the center of your Being.

Man goes to the sea on dark sand beach under beautiful colorful cloudy sky

Ask yourself: What can I do to check in with myself? 

What would elevate my state of Being?

What would allow me to feel healthy, balanced and brighter?

When you attune yourself to the intention of checking in and taking care of yourself, notice what you feel inspired and moved to do.  Maybe it’s just lying flat on your back on your yoga mat.  Or looking out the window and really looking at what’s in front of you.  It takes effort to stop the senseless doing.  But this little bit of effort is worth it.

Do yourself a favor.  Let go of unconscious doing and embrace conscious being.  Have the courage to invite yourself to a higher way.  Rest.  Unplug.  Undo.  Sometimes just sitting under a tree, looking out into the sky..  or staring at a blank wall, can do a world of inner good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Sura
Kelsey Merdian

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