Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bubbles In The Workplace/Doing Vs Being

Yesterday I was at work sitting at my computer intently reading an email. I kept noticing little flashes of light and color. I wasn't sure if it was sunlight reflecting off the window blinds or possibly a kind of eye condition that ophthalmologists call "floaters". I also considered the possibility of a flashback from the sixties. Eventually, I snapped out of the deeply meditative state that I was in and realized that two of my co-workers were standing behind me blowing bubbles on my head. The good news is that they were very impressed with my deep focus and powers of concentration. This experience reminded me of the concept of "Flow". Flow is a term used by some psychologists to describe a state of being where one is so intently in the moment that all sense of time and space is gone. You literally become lost in the moment totally absorbed in whatever you are doing. Apparently I was having a flow moment when the attack of the bubble people began. Of course, I thought it was all very funny and they did as well. I don't mind when I am the cause of laughter.

My musical hero Jerry Garcia once sang a song with a lyric that went "I'm thinking more and more about less and less". As I get older this lyric makes more and more sense to me. When I was younger I was a voracious reader. I am not talking about reading romance novels while sitting on the beach. I read biographies, theology, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality books. The "lightest" material I read was probably about music or a musician. I was often consumed with trying to understand the meaning of everything that I thought was important. Is there a God? Why am I alive? What is the meaning of my life? Do I have a purpose? Is there more to life than the daily tasks and routines that all of us get locked into? What's the point of anything? Do you want to know the answers to these questions? The truth is that I don't know the answers. I do, however, have beliefs and speculations about all these things. At one time this "unknowing" bothered me. I wanted to know and understand. These days I "think more and more about less and less". I am more focused now on simply trying to live my life. I have given up trying to understand life in general and my own life in particular. I have learned that life is not always fair, it doesn't always make sense, and often doesn't go my way. There are things I do because I have to and there are things I do because I want to. Weaved in, around, and through all these tasks of living, I try to be open to all opportunities for happiness, laughter, love, joy, and the transcendent. You can never factor these things into your day so one must be open for the sneak attack they often make on us. For example, I rarely look forward to getting out of bed and coming to work. Does anyone? However, it is often in the workplace that I laugh the most. My friends and co-workers, and not just the one's that blow bubbles on company time, often bring a smile to my face. There's a lot of "doing " in the world and most "doing" requires thinking. I am thinking less, and perhaps doing less, but I am "being" more. By the way, did you notice the sunrise this morning or were you already thinking about what you had to do when you got to the office? For those of you who may wonder, I am not naive enough to think that everyone can stop doing and simply be. I have spent much of my life doing all kinds of things. What I am saying is that there is a time for doing and a time for being. Some of us are called to more "being" so we can remind all of you consumed with "doing" that you need to stop once in a while and notice a sunrise.

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