When You Lose Yourself in the Midst of Doing What You Love

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    I’m excited that I finally made a account here on Tiny Buddha. I’ve been following the website on Twitter for quite some time now & always have such eye-openings when I take the time to read the posts. Thank you.

    I’ve never met someone who can relate to my life – it doesn’t make me feel lonely but more so makes me wonder why I do this.

    I am full-time everything. I work about 50 hours a week at a law firm for 1 year now, I’m a full-time sophomore in college, I am a girlfriend of almost 1 year, & I am the 23 year old single parent to the most delightful little 7 year old girl. A rebirthed, not-so-teen mother, if you will. All of the roles I play, I love. At a glance, I live a very blessed life and handle all my situations oh-so well. However, I am not here to complain about how in reality these things are so difficult & debilitating – these are things that are a given & I chose to follow through on, knowing what would or could happen. I love the feeling of living such a fruitful life and that everything is in a constant forward motion. This whole time I’ve thought that this is who I am, this is what I should be. However, I find myself not being anyone. I’m support staff at the firm, I’m a student at the school, I’m his everything, I’m her mommy. I’m everything but me – the young girl who heavily researched things for hours of her sudden instinct, exceled at every endeavor she tried such as playing the cello or singing, boxing, or writing. She really could have done anything. She was smart beyond her years.

    Now she sits in here in front of a computer hoping to see if anyone can relate & how they’ve been successful in dealing with losing everything they are. Some might say that all of the above is me. If so, then why after everything I’ve managed to do, do I still feel like I’m letting life pass me by?

    I rush to get to places that I’m supposed to be relaxing at. I obsessively plan every aspect of my life to the T. I choose to work overtime & enroll in summer classes. I’m racing to the finish line as far as I can & I put every ounce of mental/physical energy into everything I do. & I almost have a hard time telling you why I do this all…I guess in my head, when all is said and done, I may finally get the peace of mind I ask for. All while feeling like I am “me” & defeating my fear of not reaching my full potential.

    I apologize for the lengthy post. What is wrong here? Please and thank you.



    Sometimes when we invest a lot of energy into the running, we don’t nurture the runner. There are two extremes of such a life. One, a person is in a state of inner peace, where each step is a courageous leap into the unknown. That type of person might say things just like you. Another is someone who is afraid of the unknown, and so fills their time with known activities so they do not have to look in the mirror the fundamental nature of their being.

    Consider scheduling a time where you don’t have anything scheduled. Go for a walk, or a sit, or a drive. When you get to the blank spot in your schedule, is your mind peaceful? Do you have the ability to be spontaneously creative with your own direction? Can you sit and listing contently to birds and wind and nothing?

    Its like someone who loves listening to music and dancing, so they put it on and dance and dance. When the music stops, are they uprooted by the silence? Do you NEED the music?

    If you do, then your absorbing into roles is really just running away. A filling up of your time so you don’t have to confront your fears of meaninglessness, death, impermanence and so forth. If you make that discovery, there is the work of non-work to be done!

    Remember that we are born with an ignorance of how to become joyous and buoyant, running won’t teach us… we have to run and listen and look and learn. Otherwise we burnout and become old, tired, and serious.

    With warmth,


    Dear Jen.

    Wow. You are a very busy individual.

    Consider the difference between Being and Doing.

    The ego loves doings, fulfilling roles. The errant thought here is that if I DO enough, I will BE enough. But it is an empty promise.

    At the core of us, in the stillness, is an awareness of our Divine nature. This awareness is the questioner that is asking, ‘What is wrong here?’ It is this awareness, this Divine essence that you are awakening to.

    Being happens in the present moment. Being here now collapses time to this moment. Being aware does not necessarily change the external, but allows a connection to the core of who you are internally.

    Being is an experience of self, not a thought. This awareness allows awakened doings. Instead of filling roles, the doings are an expression of the awareness at the core, the essential Divine nature.

    This is hard to express. I use the breath. If I am fully aware of this breath I am taking then I find myself in this moment. No past breaths or future breaths. I can only experience this breath I am taking. I become aware of my body, the feelings in my hands feet and torso. I allow my breath to fill me from the inside out so I feel like I am glowing from the inside out. Experience the stillness. Surrender to the stillness. Be in the moment.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Your inquiry is very inspiring and I hope in some small way this helps.

    Kindest regards,


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