Thoughts on "Doing" and "Being"

I’ll be honest, I’ve felt twinges of angst all week at the delay of sharing this post. Posting weekly on my personal website is something I do for myself — additional viewership is simply an added bonus. (Nonetheless, thank you for the bottom of my heart for reading!)

When I recommitted to sharing weekly, my schedule was different. Initially, posting on Monday was effortlessly attainable. Now, I teach four yoga classes on Monday — the window of opportunity to post has narrowed.

Writing for my website is important to me because sharing is a vital component of my personal wellness. Expressing myself in an open forum is liberating. It makes me feel alive and brings me great joy and happiness.

The dark moments I have shared on my site has diminished the power those instances have over my thoughts and identity. All-in-all, sharing on is one of my favorite activities. 

I am writer — I journal, I write for my personal website, and I am paid to write for other websites, as well.  I am also a yoga teacher, the Founder and Chief Consultant at The Julia Sparkman Agency, and I volunteer in my local communities. For years, I suppressed the desire to write for my own website to instead use that time and energy for projects that fiscally benefited me.

Now, the compensation I receive from the personal commitment to myself and the dedication of time to cultivate my passion is far more valuable than money. 

With that said, I will be the first one to admit that I am always overcommitted. This week, my other time-sensitive obligations prevented me from taking the time I needed to complete this article early. Yet, the anxiety I experienced not dedicating the space to complete these thoughts made me terribly uneasy. It was a great reminder to focus more clearly on my priorities.  

I am driven to be an active participant in life — experiencing as many things as I can with cognizance and conscientiousness. In addition to my external pursuits, since the age of nineteen, I have explored a connection to myself and spirituality. In undergrad, I took every philosophy and religion class I could squeeze into my Communication major.

Independently, I read spiritual literature and religious books and I visit churches and temples.  I pray. I practice yoga.  I meditate. I practice compassion and kindness. I volunteer. I teach yoga. And today, for me, these practices are as essential to daily living as eating and sleeping. 

Given the high degree and importance I have placed upon the aforementioned practices, I was recently scrutinized for my desire to “do” versus “be” — for identifying with so many identities. 

Paraphrasing, I was questioned, "if you are seeking to become one with yourself and all things through meditation, why are you so loudly going after your outside pursuits and so many external activities (aka actively posting on social media and chasing my day dreams)? Why can’t you be happy just being? When will ‘I am’ suffice as your identity? If all things are one — why do you shield yourself from the darkness and only seek the light?”

After wrestling with the thought of “doing” versus “being” — deconstructing “I am” — and, pondering my quest for lightness —  I arrived at a conclusion that satisfied me… 

In this lifetime, it is my dharma to initiate enlightened engagement in people and places — that requires me to act, outside of myself. 

Fortunately though, through my practices of yoga and meditation, all of my “identities” originate from our common source of oneness and all of my work seeks to uplift others to their highest capacity.

I am still uncertain as to why I shield myself from “darkness” — as many of my darkest moments have led me into the proverbial light. However, I do know, that whatever I do, I am going to do it loudly, because Malcolm X shared it best in his autobiography

 “I learned early that crying out in protest could accomplish things. My older brothers and sister had started school when, sometimes, they would come in and ask for a butter biscuit or something and my mother, impatiently, would tell them no. But I would cry to and make a fuss until I got what I wanted. I remember well how my mother asked me why I couldn’t be a nice boy like Wilfred; but I would think to myself that Wilfred, for being nice and quiet, often stayed hungry. So early in life, I learned, if you want something, you had better make some noise.” 

 I truly believe everything you need is inside of yourself but if you want to go beyond your needs to help others’ achieve their own, sometimes it requires stepping outside of oneself and speaking loudly.