Successful solopreneurs are remarkably good at strategizing; articulating a plan and working that plan with discipline and diligence. In other words, we are accomplished “doers” in that we spend a great deal of time doing what needs to be done. But what we sometimes fail to remember is that doing is only half the equation. “Time for Being” (or TFB, as my friend Amy would say) is every bit as important as “Time for Doing” (TFD).
We experience Time for Being by observing at least a few minutes of silence every day. Silence is the birthplace of inspiration. Silence is where the disparate parts of our strategy click effortlessly into place.
Perhaps most importantly, silence is the place where we engage in the work of inner transformation, the very work that makes outer transformation both possible and permanent.
I discovered this quite by accident.
A few short years ago, I found myself in the midst of my “dark night of the soul” experience. I was emotionally shattered, unemployed, and frightfully sick to boot. In an effort to put my life back together, I began a desperate job search, put myself on a clean eating diet plan, took classes, made vision boards of my ideal life, and “worked my plan” with all the energy I could muster. But for all my effort, I got nowhere.
Within a few short months, I was so exhausted that I could hardly get out of bed, and it looked as if I would lose everything. I remember the day I accepted my fate. If I lost everything, so be it; I had done all I could do.
On that day, I let go and went “into the Wilderness,” both literally and figuratively.
Largely because I was too exhausted to do anything else, I began spending time each and every day in the little stone chapel in Montgomery Bell State Park, near where I live. I sat in silence, basking in the peace and quiet that came with my new-found surrender. I was too tired to strategize, and so instead I accepted my fate, whatever it was.
What I didn’t expect is that while I sat in blissful quietude, all of my beloved initiatives—the very ones I hadn’t been able to move forward in inch, seemed to somehow take on a life of their own. While I experienced a peace I hadn’t touched in years, my inbox and voice mail filled up with answers and offers.
Fast forward to now.
Today, I am healthier than I have been in decades, and my work is rich and fulfilling. In the past two years, with equal parts “doing” and “being,” I have published a book, written a play (which is now touring the state) started my dream company, and launched a beloved non-profit organization. Best of all, I feel happy, peaceful, and powerful beyond measure.
It is true what they say: Life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. It is true that you can relax and let go and that, when you do, things start falling into place in wonderful ways that you might never have imagined. I have tested the theory am ready to declare it sound.
As Deepak Chopra says, “If intention is left to the ego, great things can be accomplished, but these are minuscule compared to what can be achieved with infinite intelligence and organizing power at your disposal.”
We tap into the infinite organizing power not by doing, but by being; we do our work, and then we get quiet, allowing things to fall into place effortlessly.
There are myriad workshops and online seminars currently available to teach you about everything from starting a business to attracting your ideal clients. (See Samantha’s “Attracting Perfect Clients” training program!) They are invaluable. Sign up. Do the work. Learn and move forward.
But always, ALWAYS balance Time for Doing with Time for Being. You’ll save yourself countless hours and loads of stress. Go out into the world, yes, but not without also going regularly into the Wilderness and experiencing the magic of the rich and profound silence you’ll find there.
Note: Today’s is a guest post from Sara Sharpe.
Sara Sharpe is the founder of The Arete Institute and the author of Into the Wilderness: A 12 Month Wilderness Guide to the Inner Transformation that makes Outer Transformation Both Possible and Permanent. Learn more at www.TheAreteInstitute.com.