Open Source Sofware

Stop What You’re Doing

How often do you jump in to solve someone’s problem, offering to do more work than you feel comfortable with, plan something you don’t have time for, or otherwise commit yourself beyond what you really want to do?

In “What Other People Think of You” I addressed those of us who tend to want to fix everything, to help everyone, to jump in and “do” something to make a situation better.

“Often, our “doing” is our own way of not being present, because we’re not comfortable with someone else’s pain.” -What Other People Think of You

There is a big difference between acting out of love and acting out of fear, uncomfortable feelings, stress, obligation, annoyance, and frustration.

When you act out of love, your action feels effortless. Your face lights up with happiness. You feel light and free. You are honored to help rather than obligated.

When you act out of fear, you’re not present. You’re trying to prevent something from happening (or happening again). You want to control the outcome. You want to protect or prevent with an underlying urgency instead of giving with a sense of peace.

“When you know that the only thing that can make someone hurt is their own thoughts, you realize how silly and egoic it is to believe that you can make them happy. Even if they outright tell you, “I won’t be happy until you fix this!” you can know that it is only their story of being unhappy (and the silliness of putting that on you) that is making them suffer. Sometimes, they need to know that you’re not going to jump for their happiness, and what a blissful thing for them to learn when they see that they are in control, not you.” -What Other People Think of You

 

How to Stop Over-Doing

1. Notice when you’re jumping in with a solution instead of just listening. Just noticing your actions will empower you beyond measure. At first, you might still offer solutions. You might watch yourself offering something you don’t have time to offer, or trying to fix something that you really can’t. This is fine, just notice it.

By being the observer instead of reacting blindly, you have already made a huge shift between the “doer” and the more present, mindful you.

2. Notice the times when giving/solving/fixing felt good and lovely versus the times when it felt like an obligation or demand. Not every situation is cut and dry. We need to be present in every moment to respond in a way that’s perfect for us and for the ones we’re with. By noticing how you feel as a result of your decisions, you’ll create an incredible foundation of self-knowledge. You’ll soon learn more about yourself than you thought possible- and you’ll know which situations require you to be present, and which ones require you to fix, just by your feelings.

After an interaction, ask yourself if it felt good. Are you resentful you have an additional task, or delighted you were able to help? Be honest with yourself. Often we think we should be happy we helped, but in reality, we’re annoyed and overburdened.

3. Practice not doing. At first, not doing can seem uncomfortable. When we listen to our ego, we feel obligation is more important than our own needs. We feel justified in taking care of someone else at our own expense. We might even feel a little righteous and self-satisfied. This is all ego. See if you can sit with the uncomfortable feeling, yet extend pure love and presence toward the person you’re with.

If you stay present, your ego’s uncomfortableness disappears and you find the perfect joy of presence in it’s place.

4. Notice how not doing, not fixing, and just staying present empowers others. Often, we just want someone to listen while we figure it out. When you are that quiet presence for someone, you empower them mightily with your attention.

When you rush to fix it, sometimes you’re saying, “I don’t think you can handle this by yourself,” or “You might be capable, but it’s better if I help.”

If nothing else, when you don’t rush in to fix something, you enable the other person to actually ask for your help if they want it- and what they ask for might surprise you.

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks again Belle,

    This is such a beautiful reminder. You are one of my favorite yoginis!

    Julie

  2. Inspiring solutions and workable…I continue to have good results in this process…mine takes a lot of time but is so worth it!
    Thanks Belle!!

  3. Amazing help – thank you. I will learn to listen and just be in the moment with people and let them realize their solutions in their own time. That is indeed empowering for them. Thanks and namaste !

    • Thank you for your comment Vonny! It is such a blessing to watch the profound effect of this in action on others. Namaste!
      <3
      Belle

  4. Always great info and oh so true! Thanks for posting my dear friend Belle.

  5. Sometime in our lives we may came across some incidents beyond our control. For example when I was in the World I went to a hair Saloon for my hair with just 30 pounds in my pause, a person came in and was asking for help at least to eat for the day everybody turned her down but because of my soft heart, I gave her 20 pounds out my money and she was so happy and blessed me and left, I also left because I am short of money. We can stop what we do sometime when the need arises for our own good and for the good of others.

    • Oh Florence, what a beautiful act! I am confident your hair and face glows with more beauty than you could ever have bought at a salon because of your kind heart.
      Love&hugs,
      Belle

  6. Thank you for that great post. Recently, I also felt obliged to help people though it might have been better just to listen. Sometimes I also feel that I cannot bear all the problems of some friends and I even need to stay away. I can only be a good listener when I am feeling comfortable

    • I completely understand this John! Knowing ourselves is knowing when we need to recharge or get in a better place in order to be there for others. Great point. Thank you for being here!
      Love,
      Belle

  7. Thank you Belle!! And SOOO important with my teenager.
    I DO try to stick to the giving that feels good and natural, and most of the time I find people really don’t want you to ‘solve’ things for them, they want you to help them sort it out verbally. The ones who do want you to ‘solve’ for them I tend to find are the vampires.
    Thanks for this!!! YOUR lovely!

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