We often find ourselves in the monotonous hectic routine of life, where we finish one task and immediately start a new one. We plan so many things for the future and we always try to stay focused and concentrate on trying to achieve all goals that we set for ourselves. So much so is this the case that we often forget to stop and just breathe.
We loose ourselves in a world of tasks and the comfort zone of our routine. Get to work, go home, do laundry, pick up the kids, cook dinner, feed the dog…it’s never ending. We’re writing more To Do lists than ever and yet, it never seems to all get done.
We live in a competitive world where society expects us to always be ‘doing’. With everything changing so fast and everyone overly busy constantly, even when we meet new people we tend to ask: “What do you do?”
Our focus centres on the “doing” of our lives and not the “being” of our lives. We often forget to live in the moment, relax and leave worries aside. Granted, learning to do even this, may be easier said than done for most of us!
“In the moment lies a very valuable gift, that is why it is called the present. It is the gift of connecting with ourselves and with a higher power of source that provides peace, clarity, simplicity and serenity that can only be found in the here an now.”
Recently brought to our attention was the very essence of being and doing.
The DC was approached by a company regarding a partnership which on this occasion wasn’t right for the cafe, a frequent occurrence although on this occasion our founder wrote a reply that got us to thinking about being and doing.
Here’s part of the reply she wrote. After reading it back, with a different perspective in mind, we realized just how important being and doing is, not just for ourselves but for those with dementia as well…
“As those with dementia progress, the focus tends to be on removing objects/difficult tasks and removing things that cause concern, “obstacles” if you will. As advised by charities alike and health professionals, for dementia, the approach should be on what the person can do and not on what they cannot.
Dementia friendly areas publicly (airports etc) help those that are still able, with clear signage etc and removing words and replacing them with pictures….
While most people are learning and absorbing information, their actions are progressive and new information can be obtained.
Unfortunately with dementia, actions become reduced. To prompt is fine but to teach or remind someone is impossible. If the memory has disappeared, it is gone. It cannot be brought back. Dementia is degenerative. The person will not ‘get better’ only worse over time.
A common mistake is to ‘helpfully remind’ someone with dementia how to do something or to try to teach them something. This makes them feel stupid and confuses and upsets them.
Additionally; these two aspects rely on memory cells. For someone with dementia, new information can very rarely be obtained and reminding someone is hardly ever an option. If the brain cells carrying those memories have died, medicine at the moment (in 2016), cannot sadly bring those brain cells/memories back to life.
At the Dementia Cafe our aim is to love people as they are at whatever stage they are at in their journey and not to try to alter them in any way. We don’t expect anything from anyone or try to teach anyone with dementia new skills.
For us, it’s about being instead of doing”
-Emily-Jane Stapley – DC Founder.
Being instead of doing is for any age, not just those in later life or those with dementia. A particular article of interest on this subject written by Gabrielle Lane was recently published in ‘Psychologies’ magazine. She writes detailing how anyone at any stage of life can take stock and allow themselves to ‘be’ instead of ‘do’. In this context she writes with regard to taking time out from a busy career in London on a sabbatical to Australia.
“I am able to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’. And I’ve realized how much richer that experience is when you allow yourself to acknowledge the highs and lows.”
If you’re interested in how to focus more on being, here are some helpful articles…
It is often asked whether you’re a Human Being or a Human Doing. An interesting concept. Connecting with the self may be seen as a waste of time but it’s actually more frequent among successful people than you’d think.
When considering the self, we look further into mindfulness. This can include meditation which is often part of yoga and can be called upon to help us just be and relax, to rest the mind.
We talked about yoga for stress and yoga in dementia in our post: Nama Yay! Yoga to Prevent or Slow Progression of Alzheimers, which you can read here.
Thank you for reading. We hope that today with all that you have to do, you are able to find some time to just be.