An expression I’ve heard a few times recently has really resonated: We are human beings, not human doings.
It’s made me think: where did we start to go so wrong with how we live our lives? As a society, we are always “on”. We are always doing things.
When was the last time you asked someone how they are and they didn’t respond with some version of busy? To me, busy is the new four-letter word.
We spend so much time in a state of “busy” – doing things that frequently have no, or little, meaning – scrolling through social media, binging on Netflix, the daily multitude of tasks that are not important or urgent. We often forget to just “be”. How can we get back to a state of being rather than doing?
What do we need to do to take a step back? To reconnect with our purpose? To remember that we are all humans with real feelings, with a multitude of emotions and shared experiences?
Last week I had the absolute pleasure and privilege of attending s p a c e series. A conference at Byron Bay where 200 unlikely people came together for unexpected conversations. It was a time to switch off technology and focus on ourselves and on each other. To have conversations with real people in real time. To get to know each other without the barriers a job title can present. To create new friendships and new relationships with people who share the common goal of wanting to leave the world in a better place to how it was when we entered. It was a time to be rather than a time to do.
Perhaps unique to this event was that every participant had to participate. We all led a session, whether it was a workshop or discussion. Or we could share a story or lead a morning – or evening – activity. Taking such an active role helped further break down the barriers that often spring up at conferences – the barriers between them (the speakers) and us (the listeners).
So what did I take away from s p a c e?
A reminder that this world is a pretty freaking amazing place and we need to look after it a whole lot more.
That many of the people who inhabit this world are phenomenal and we need to be more open to conversations with people who seem “different” to us. We all bleed red and we all have something that makes us extra-special.
Taking myself out of my comfort zone will allow me to stretch and grow and, hopefully, become a better version of me.
When we leave our egos at home, and turn off our technology, we open ourselves up to possibility and opportunity. And this can rock our world.
And a reminder that even though there is a massive amount to do to make this world a better place, we all need to prioritise time to be.
Thank you to CJ Holden, Holly Ransom and Adam Ferrier for making the s p a c e for such a diverse, eclectic and beautiful group of humans to come together. You’ve changed my world in ways I couldn’t have imagined.