Taking Time To Be

May 20, 2011

This week I’ve had one reminder after another that I need to take some time for myself. Not to do anything per se, but to just be.

The world is full of distractions and things that can pull us off the path which we choose to lead. It can be challenging to navigate the seemingly winding path of life without losing our way. That’s why we need to slow down from time to time and ask the question: am I the person I want to be today?

It’s not about doing. It’s about being.

ButterflyDoing things is only a part of the picture. Certainly the things we do can have a major impact on who we are as people, but there is more to it than just the doing part. The first thoughts we have when waking and the things that we think about between acts of doing – this is what shows us who we really are. It takes our attention to realize it though.

From time to time throughout the day it’s important to pause and ask ourselves where our attention is focused. Where we place our attention is critical. Lately, I’ve found myself placing my attention on things that are not bringing me happiness or fulfillment.

3 things hit me yesterday and I finally got it. First, my friend Simone shared her story about a recent vacation she went on where she was completely disconnected from technology while she experienced some remarkable diving off Bonaire. Her story of bonding with the ocean was quite inspiring and it reminded of how incredible I felt last summer in the woods of New Mexico during my trip out to Vista Caballo.

Then I read Tyler Tervooren’s outstanding post on doing what we are here to do without all the distractions and excuses. His point was crystal clear to me – if you have a calling in life, then do whatever it takes to keep moving yourself forward in that direction. It hit me between the eyes – I’ve been ‘busy’ with all kinds of tasks and things that must be done, but what have I done to truly move myself into alignment with who I want to be as a person?

I was chatting on Twitter last night around 2am with Reese, and she seemed to be struggling with this same thing. She said: “I dislike getting to 1pm and the only thing to show for it is work for other people.” Bam – right between the eyes. It was like a mirror had just been put before me with bright lights shining straight on all of my stuff, and I couldn’t look away. I actually sent her a link to Tyler’s post and 5 minutes later she signed off Twitter to create for herself. 🙂

2am. That’s when I finally got through all the ‘stuff’ that I had to do yesterday, but when I look back on it, the majority of the day wasn’t spent on being who I really am. I’ve made a conscious decision to have a positive impact on the world through my work, and there is much to be done in that arena.

Today, and on through the weekend, I’m taking the time to just be. It starts with this post which I’m writing before checking email, Twitter, or any of the other things that can take me into the vortex of digital life. And after I publish this, I’m going to breakfast with a friend.

Special thanks to Simone, Tyler and Reese for the reminders that we have to take time for ourselves. It’s essential to our well-being.

What about you? Are you taking the time to be who you are or who you want to become?


  • Reply Lisa Robbin Young May 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    “if you have a calling in life, then do whatever it takes to keep moving yourself forward in that direction”

    Not to get all scriptural here, but I really believe that THIS is what Jesus was trying to communicate to us. His calling was to spread a particular message – even if it meant dying to do it – and nothing got in his way.

    I believe we all have a calling, and when we figure it out, we’re doing not only ourselves a disservice, but the world – because the world needs us to fulfill that calling. We are the only ones that can. No pressure or anything. 🙂

    Great post, Brandon. thanks for shaking my apple cart this morning.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      You nailed it, Lisa.  We are doing a disservice to ourselves and the world by not steadfastly following our true calling. Glad this resonated with you. I know today’s a big day for you (rapture notwithstanding, haha).

      • Reply Lisa Robbin Young May 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

        Yep, big day. And as for the rapture, my wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I think hubby’s trying to dodge an anniversary card. 🙂 

  • Reply Simone Lipscomb May 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm

     Brandon, you and I ‘get it’ synchronistically. I am so grateful to have friends that understand the struggles and the ‘ah-ha’ moments. I realize that in coming back to myself, returning to my core last week in Bonaire, I am so much more present to do the work I feel led to do. And it’s from a relaxed, centered place….not a frenzied ‘gotta do it now or the world will end’ point of view. Relax…have fun….enjoy the beauty that resides in you that is waiting for a breath or two to be born. 

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      I really like how you put this, Simone: “…enjoy the beauty that resides in you that is waiting for a breath or two to be born.”

      It can be tempting to stay in a constant active state, but sometimes we need to slow down and take a breath.  This morning before I wrote this, I took a few minutes to contemplate the painting that hangs in my bedroom. It’s been there for over 8 years, but it’s been a while since I’ve really been present with it. It was good to slow down and appreciate the magnificent detail in this particular piece. I felt honored to have this work of beauty in my dwelling, beside my bed. Really great way to start the day.

  • Reply Al Smith May 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks Brandon.  A great reminder.  I feel the same way and have also made the decision to help others and make a difference.  Sounds like you are on your way.  Continued success to you, my friend. 

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Excellent – thanks Al! I hope you’ll keep coming back and sharing your stories here. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply Ibosarge May 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you Brandon, Simone, Al and Lisa. I’m struggling with everyday going by. I seem to get nothing accomplished. I read the positive and inspirational comments and post and I feel them deep in my soul. I cry and take deep breaths, smile and keep believing. I have not been able to get myself centered for quite sometime. But with true heartfelt friends I have in you I maybe struggling now, but I know in time I will get to that soulful place in myself. God Bless 

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      Hey Lori – I think as long as you keep believing in a brighter future, it will manifest in your life. It can be challenging to push though the dark hours, but I’ve seen how you have come through some of the biggest obstacles and had a huge positive impact on others. 

      Don’t think for a minute that you aren’t accomplishing anything. You are having an impact on the world with every word, every smile, and every conversation.  Just ask yourself what you want that impact to be. Sit with this question and let it be with you.  I think you’ll be surprised by what you’ll see and hear.  Thanks as always for sharing your journey!

  • Reply Sandra May 27, 2011 at 2:09 am

    First of all, thank you Brandon for all the positive advice.  Taking time to just be is much easier said than done.  But of course anything is worth a shot.  I think those of us who are not content with their lives will have a much harder time with this.  I lost my mom to cancer 2 years ago and it has taken its toll on me.  I am not the same person I was before she got sick.  Part of me died when she died and its been such a struggle trying to get back to feeling normal. I don’t think I’ll ever feel normal.  Most think I should be done grieving by now.  I have a few choice words for those people.  Pair that with new stress and and upset in the workplace and its made for a miserable existence as of late. 

    You talked about not watching tv before bed because it can stir up stressful imagery.  I am going to try that because I’ve been having terrible dreams lately.  Several of them have been about death and uncomfortable situations.  I’m not sure if its because of too much CNN or something deeper.

    I apologize for taking your blog discussion to a darker place Brandon.  I would love so badly to “just be’ for awhile but until I can be content with other areas of my life….I’m not sure it will happen.  I’m a photographer, and I can tell you that when I am out with my camera just walking around exploring the city or somewhere new…I am most content.  It’s almost a “just be” moment for me.

    I will leave you with lyrics from a favorite musician of mine.  “Breathe, just breathe.  Let the life that you live be all that you need.”

    Thanks for always making me think.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 27, 2011 at 3:50 am

      No need to apologize, Sandra. It’s all about sharing stories, strength and hope with each other. 🙂

      It sounds like you have some clues for what you need to do to get yourself in a better state of mind. If being out with your camera helps you feel more at peace, maybe that can be a part of your healing process. 

      I look forward to hearing more about your journey.  Thanks for the comment.

      • Reply Sandra May 27, 2011 at 5:21 am

        I’ve had quite a journey already.  I have two blogs myself.  I started one when my mom got sick through the suggestion of a friend.  I needed a release.  I haven’t posted there in a while, but occasionally I go back and re-read my writings.  Wow.  I’m amazed I’m still standing.

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