To be or do?

by Danielle MacKinnon

To be or do?

Frustration. Yep. That’s what I’m feeling this morning so that’s what you’re going to hear a little about right here.

I can’t help it. I really feel frustrated.

Lately, I’ve been playing with a deck of tarot cards. I’m NOT a tarot reader in any way, but that doesn’t mean I can’t intuitively read the cards. Plus, it’s fun!

So, most mornings I wake up early, go to my office (which is my sacred space) and meditate for a bit. Then, I get out my cards and start playing.

The thing is: it’s really not fun to play with the cards when they keep saying the same thing again and again!

And what do they keep saying to me?

Slow down. Stop DOING. Chill out and allow.


I’ve written two books now (Animal Lessons and Soul Contracts) that talk about those secret hidden negative beliefs we hold and the things we do to stop ourselves from experiencing those negative beliefs.

One of the negative beliefs I’m still working on is feeling 100% safe, supported, and protected in the world. Yes, I’ve come far on it, shifting it to the positive bit by bit (just like my books say), but I haven’t nailed it 100% yet – after all, it is one of my Soul Lessons.

And I’m sure that this will make sense to you – as a result of not feeling totally protected in the world I do, do, do. In other words, I’ve been behaving like the more I do, the harder I push, the better it will all work out, which will finally fully (yet erroneously!) create that feeling of safety. [To clarify, the feeling of security that I’m seeking really comes from within, not from what I DO.]

So, here I sit, with a Todo list a mile long, where for the past five months I haven’t taken a break and have piled too much on my plate. With these tarot cards telling me again and again to just CHILL OUT and be. Observe. Notice. Allow…

So, that’s why I’m frustrated.

What’s funny about this is that the Animal Lessons Book Club just ended this week (you can still sign up to watch all the videos by going here if you want) and one of the things I saw happen in that group is how difficult it is for pretty much everyone to chill out and allow.

Everyone wants to do.

Everyone wants that next step!

But what if that next step is not do DO but to watch. To notice. To just observe how it all works out.

It’s not about laziness (ie just letting everything fall by the wayside). It’s about observation. It’s about noticing. It’s about learning by watching yourself.

In the book club I found myself often bringing participants back to that place of slowing down and watching. But (ha ha on me again!) I didn’t notice that I wasn’t following my own (and the tarot cards, and my guides) repeated advice.

It’s wonderful to have goals and strive for something but perhaps it’s time to stop and take a look at WHY you have those goals.

Are you trying to prove something to yourself or others?

Are you trying to finally feel safe?

Are you trying to show the world (and probably yourself) that you’re good?

When my actions are driven by an internal need to feel secure, the results of my actions can’t achieve nearly what they could if my actions were driven by passion, excitement, and love.

So, for me today, I’m going to be sitting back. I’m going to take a look at the big picture. I’m going to not do, but just BE.

Give BEING a try with me!

Love and Light,

6 replies
  1. Donna Ohanian
    Donna Ohanian says:

    I too have a long list. I like to accomplish things because I get irritated with the ‘undone’ and I am proud of what I complete.

    My front porch, built in 1860’s, has needed sanding & painting since I bought this house 8 years ago. I will sand & paint at some point so I can smile at the new look.

    I spend enough time sitting in the sun & dipping my toes in a lake… or at least I think I do.

    Sure, I want my other house sold today, I want extra furniture out of my garage, I would rather drive to the ocean in my convertible today. But I also enjoy crossing things off my To-do list if I stay home & ‘get ‘er done’.

    Is motivation really so bad when it provides thankfulness at what we accomplish??

  2. Susan C
    Susan C says:

    Wow, thank you for your honesty, Danielle. This post resonates with me. I’ve spent most of my adult life striving and achieving to try and fill that internal need for security, only to burn out and withdrawal. Now I’m trying to emerge from my cocoon and create that life lived through passion, excitement and love. It is a different perspective, for sure, but that need for security is still haunting me and keeps me tethered in. I’m working on your energy management techniques to help me with this. Thank you for the work you do, you are awesome!!

  3. Patty D
    Patty D says:

    What a great blog entry on doing versus being. I had just written about that in my own blog but certainly not as thoughtfully and in-depth as you have. I also need to follow the advice of chilling out to the point where my horse reminded me of this. Saturday my horse dumped me and I have fractured ribs and I have to sit still LOL. I will be re-reading this blog entry thank you so much for it

  4. Susan
    Susan says:

    That so hits the nail on the head! That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately! There just hasn’t been enough hours in the days to accomplish everything! Not sleeping much, exhausted. Just do, do, do! After a wonderful craniotomy-sacral treatment at the chiropractor yesterday, someone in the office asked “why aren’t y’all u sleeping?” “Is it your back keeping you up?” When I responded, “No, I have too much to do!” She said, “Oh, you’re a work-a-holic.” When I came home, I spent time with my 2 little dogs who always want to play and watched hummingbird after hummingbird come to the feeder on our deck outside, amazed at these tiny creatures. The chiropractor treatment helped realign my spine and my energie. I have started doing meditation again and Reiki. My entire household is benefiting from it. As you said, time to stop do, do, doing and time to chill and observe. Great advice! Thank you!

  5. Pam
    Pam says:

    I is interesting that i also want to do and not to be, but not to feel safe and supported, but to prove i can do it right. You would call it not good enough or not enough. The way it plays for me is I have to do it right, as i never did do it right with my mother.


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