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Addicted to Doing

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on June 19, 2014 12:30 PM

Even before I was a single mom, my calendar was filled with triathlons, workshops, volunteering, a coaching practice, writing a book and consulting business travel. Becoming a single mom only fed into this story and addiction to "doing", with lots of opportunities to tell myself that I didn't have time to sit still...there was laundry to fold, poop stains to scrub, dishes to clean, diapers to change, toddler tantrums to address on top of my consulting and coaching, cleaning and shopping, handling the bills and finances for our household. 

After several years of "doing" I fainted in a hotel tub on a business trip. When I returned home my doctor slid a paper prescription paper across her desk that said, "Stop doing and start sitting still". What a wake up call.

I stopped working on weekends and in the evenings. I stopped folding the laundry and took a nap instead. I went to bed early and let dust settle on the coffee table. The cobwebs didn't gather for long, as I thought they would, and our clothes always eventually got folded.

What did happen was an emotional upheaval. All of the feelings and stories, that I was covertly avoiding when I was continually doing, bubbled up to the surface. It was uncomfortable and yet I had to feel my way through the discomfort to change.

The past six months of slowing down gave me the space to learn lessons and discover a new way of being. And in the stillness I embodied a gentler power and experience more success and productivity than before.

Gwen Dittmar is an Executive Coach and the founder of Entelechy Coaching.  She is running a free workshop on the addiction to Doing in July.  Find out more here.  

Photo via Flickr

This article originally appeared in the DCC monthly newsletter, "Connecting the Dots".  Would you like to receive exclusive inspirational articles and blogs in your inbox each month?  Sign up here.

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