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Doing and Being Selves -
The difference between these two kinds of selves is subtle yet once you can see it the energetic contrast is profound.
Let’s start with a story to help illustrate the difference. For a start I need to explain that my natural energy state is very much oriented in the doing direction and for a large part of my life my being selves were largely inactive or even disowned.
About 15 years ago after discovering that I was in fact a raving workaholic I joined a 12 step group to deal with my addiction. I decided that to “sober up” I would need to retire from the workforce. I bought a campervan, with the intention of travelling alone around Australia and started to set it up with all the necessary equipment that I needed for my retirement. Apart from all the standard camping equipment I also needed a laptop computer, a hi-
However, as fast as I managed to install at each of these new technical devices they started breaking down. Then my car which I needed to tow my new campervan blew its head gasket. At this point I knew enough about the energetic side of voice dialogue to realise that the universe was sending me a very clear message, but one which I was not paying enough attention to.
In desperation I phoned Hal and Sidra Stone in California and asked for their help.
Having trained with them for a number of years I acknowledged to them that I was badly out of balance and that I understood that until I regained my self-
Hal Stone listened patiently as I explained the problem. He knew me well enough to know about my overly developed pusher and workaholic selves and so at the end of my story he made a short but incredibly clear observation.
“John, ” explained Hal “I think you’ll find that retired is something you are, not something you do!”
And there it was, instead of recognising that I wanted to be someone different, I had set out in my usual style to “do” retirement and I was doing it to the very best of my ability as a workaholic would.
I did sober up but I never did get round to retiring, nor do I think I probably ever will, but in the meantime I discovered that I can have some wonderful experiences just “being John” instead of trying to “do John” all the time.
That awareness has since enabled me to see the same contrast in other people I am working with and to realise just how important it is to distinguish the selves that are doing things from the selves that are just being.
How do you identify a “being self” or a “doing self” when you are dialoguing?
1. A doing self might more accurately described as a doing and saying self. As well as the things it does it will put more energy into talking about what it does or what other selves are saying or doing.
2. A being self will talk less and be less openly active but it may use the phrase “I am .......” to describe itself or its role as a protector.
3. Doing selves are often looking forward or backwards in time, or looking outwards towards other people and talking about the things they are saying and doing.
4. Some being selves will hardly talk at all. You can feel their energy but you can also sense that it is more contained and more focused inwards. Its non-
5. Being selves are very much more in the moment. I am ..... (at the present time) ......
6. A typical comment by a being self during a dialogue is “I don’t do anything I am just here.”
7. Being selves are more likely to describe a feeling that they are experiencing than an activity.
Being selves can play a special role in enhancing close friendships and relationships.
Being selves can often get much closer to another person than doing selves. Examples:
One self could be energetically focused just on “being a friend” not doing or saying anything, but “being there” for a partner.
Another self could be much more energised about doing the things that enhance that friendship or relationship.
One can be a great teacher by setting an example. Another will do and say the things that need to be taught.
One self could be very much focused on being a lover while another might concentrate on doing the things a lover needs to do.
This is a good time to remember the so often forgotten wisdom
“You are not your behaviour”.
You may do something while you are angry but that does not mean to are an angry person. Yet we all fall into this trap so often.
We may describe a man who shot someone with a gun as (being) a gunman.. He is not. He is a person who used a gun illegally. Another person who shot someone may be a police officer or a soldier. Who or what they are being at the time affects the way we see their behaviour.
Often men describe a woman who enjoys sex outside of a committed relationship as being a slut. She is not. She is a being a single woman who chooses to be active sexually. A man on the other hand who does the same thing is described as being a stud. Not so. He is just a man but it is what he is doing that we notice.