Fiercely Being

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I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I’m building. And I’ve asked a lot of people what they’re building. Or becoming.


And I’m starting to think it’s not the best question.

Increasingly, I’m less drawn by that metric. Not that I don’t want to create a meaningful legacy, I do. But I’m opening more and more to the notion that my greatest legacy will be the outgrowth of a deepening commitment to action aligned with my essence. My True Nature. What if your metric was…

Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve.

What if your commitment was simply to fill as much of today with that? Then, wake up tomorrow and do the same thing. And the next day. And the next.

If you can do that, just maybe the cumulative effect of your daily state will add up to your highest-potential fate. And it won’t just have been about getting there, or building, or becoming, but simply being. Fiercely. With all your heart.

Increasingly, I wonder if…

The path to becoming is littered with the remains of  those who missed the grace in being.

Does that mean I live every day by this standard? That I have no aspirations or desires? Not quite. I’m still a work in progress. Achingly aware of my own humanity. But also celebrating it as much as I can along the way. Being with it.

That’s what I’m thinking as I ease into a sunny Monday in Gotham. What about you?

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51 responses

51 responses to “Fiercely Being”

  1. Monica says:

    As always, your words really resonate. I love your phrase wondering if, “The path to becoming is littered with the remains of those who missed the grace in being”.

    I’m in a space of shifting things around, and the words and values you share help immensely knowing that it is a process.

    And it is about fiercely being. And at moments, it is uncomfortable because it is something new. Our destiny is outside our comfort zone until we invite it in.

    It helps knowing that we are not alone in our quest for tapping more into our own essence.

    That’s the beauty of being first.

    Happy Monday Jonathan!

  2. Trish says:

    Brilliant and *beautifully* expressed. THANK YOU for sharing, Jonathan. ~Namaste~

  3. JF,
    I love you “Do…With…For” quote. It’s been so present with me all week as I build this years curriculum. With that as my mantra I believe we will attract the right students and amazing mentors to serve them.
    Last night I had a dream that we took our kids to the moon. Strange way to wake up, here in the city of fountains.

  4. Laura says:

    Love it, Jonathan! So this is about the degree of *being* of an aligned life, yah? E.g., I can figure out my deepest values, my greatest strengths, etc., change up some stuff in my life so that it reflects more of that, but all the while still be showing up in the vanilla version of it all. What you’re inviting us to here seems to be the **rockin’ technicolor version** of ourselves, sourced from that deepest fire within.

    So, go for the highest wattage of what lights me up, and dare to go for the brightest light of desire for the kind of people I want to be with that fan the flames of Me, and in so doing, give back in a way that creates a beacon of service shining out into the world. YEAH!

    I know it’s a step by step, moment to moment, choice by aware choice kind of path, but certainly the one I want to be on every day. Dig it. Thank you!

    p.s. “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” (Joseph Campbell)

  5. Cammie says:

    Definite good for thought! I’ve found myself recently spending some much time and energy thinking about “what I want to become” that I’m missing the pleasure of simply being who I am right now. All it seems to highlight is a perceived gap between where I am and where I want to be and by default leaves me with a sense of being stuck with where I am. Thank you for reminding me that my legacy is the life that I’m living today…not the one I’m aiming for tomorrow.

  6. Cathy says:

    Love the ‘Fiercely being” phrase…
    Read these words by Richard Rohr today too…
    “The work of spirituality, which makes presence possible, is keeping the heart space open (which is the work of love), keeping the mind space in a “right mind” (which is the work of contemplation), and keeping the body living inside this very moment (which is often the work of healing)”

  7. Yes! Wonderful message. As you describe, the secret to a good life is being. We are taught to “become something,” and this is important, involving learning and practicing skills. But if we can’t celebrate being and sharing with like minded others, the becoming and striving to become is an empty process. Today, I am going out to ‘be’ and hope that I can combine the being and becoming for a positive outcome!

  8. Brigette says:

    It’s dark here in Australia and the neighbours 2 up have turned their music down, which is a shame.
    The jasmine is out and it’s time to wear less cloth and get more energy. I’ve lived in the snow and it’s easier because you’re more prepared for the cold…

  9. Lights in the darkness… each of our individual lights is necessary. Our ability to respond (response-ability) is know know we are lights and to get on with making our contribution to bring more light into the world. Every little bit of light helps!

  10. Love this. Beautiful. So on point. I might also add that for so many people the path feels like the path to becoming because they are still trying to fugue out what they love and who they would love to do it for. We should teach this in schools.

  11. Jayne Ryan says:

    Hi Jonathan – you are one of very few in this space who can articulate the ‘thing’ that seekers and creatives are seeking and experiencing… and what it means to be human! – I love that your work is doing deeper and deeper – and that you are taking us all on the journey with you – xxx

  12. Jonathan, I SO love and resonate with 99% of every bit of what you said. In fact, it is the exact thing that I’ve been more aware of and speaking about with others recently. Your upgraded metric captures the essence of it so beautifully and succinctly.

    I hit a “clanging” note, though, when I read these words in your last paragraph: “I’m still a work in progress. Achingly aware of my own humanity. But also celebrating it as much as I can along the way. Being with it.” For me, being aware of our own humanity is not a cause to ache, it’s a cause to celebrate. The magic lies in the integration of our humanity AND our core essence, experiencing a more expanded state of grace “through” our humanity rather than “instead of” our humanity.

    You may be saying the very same thing, just in a different way. Thank you for sharing this post today.

  13. Being…becoming…fiercely being…graceful being.
    Always another word, another thought…two, to add,
    To be continued…
    The search for the perfect word, the perfect phrase,
    Meaning, metaphor, space and nothingness
    Hot air thoughts, like balloons, popping up, drifting on, reproducing,
    Being…becoming…fiercely gracefully gratefully being.

  14. Pamela Miles says:

    So beautiful, Jonathan! The space of being is expansive enough to embrace even those moments spent engrossed in becoming.

    It just might be as simple as choosing happiness, again and again, contemplating anew what happiness means as we play and morph, morph and play.

  15. Stede Barber says:

    I often contemplate this same fine line of being and doing, Jonathan. So far, it seems my moments of “becoming” emerge from my moments of really being present with myself, what/who is around me, and tasks at hand. Efforting seems to melt away, and movement flows…

    Thank you for beginning my day with a calming and centering reminder…so much easier to then get things done!

  16. Anna *Sparkle* Hickner says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks so much for this – I just came back from northern, rural Michigan where I grew up. As a child I wanted nothing more than to not “be” where I was. Now that I’ve landed in NYC, I can appreciate “home” more, and I am learning that I don’t have to reject my past to enjoy the present and prosper in the future. It’s my mission to build a different life here in New York City, to embrace what was, look forward to what is to come, and fiercely BE on each step of the way. Thanks so much for starting the week off right 🙂

    I look forward to meeting you in person at the GLP camp!

  17. Dangerous Christian says:

    Thanks for sharing Jonathan. I think on my Pastor’s words that we are human beings, not human doings. We’re so busy “doing” that we forget to be. And right now, I’m learning on what God calls me to be, not so much do.

    Grace and Peace.

  18. Jim says:

    I love finding what resonates inside of me, because I know that if I follow that path it will lead me to not just my greatest potential, but to a life everyday full of meaning and connection.

    Great post Jonathan.

  19. Rachel Gogos says:

    About to leave on a two week vaca where I am completely unplugging because I’ve realized that I’m living in a hurried state, always thinking about the next thing that needs to be done…a proposal, a client call, feedback to a designer, making dinner, going to the pool with the kids – very rarely in the present, in the moment. I realized a few weeks ago that I’m well on my way to being “one of those who missed the grace in being.” Hitting the reset button –that’s what I’m thinking about this Monday morning.

  20. Jessica says:

    Great post. I’ve been thinking a lot about being vs becoming lately and I think I’ve come to the same conclusion as you. For a long time I believed that becoming was something I needed to focus on because most spiritual teachers teach that our natural state is a state of becoming, but honestly, that just stressed me out because becoming assumes a destination and if spiritual teachers are right, that’s a destination that we will never reach because we will always be in a state of becoming something else. It is tiring to the human mind to think that it will never reach a state of completion. Unless of course you believe that each state you experience is already complete, which is what I think happens when we focus on being. Lillian DeWaters, an early 20th century New Age teacher, taught that perfection exists now and we already are everything that we will ever be, now, we just have to realize this. This has been a very freeing realization to me. Now I see that being is the way to live your life whereas becoming is the cumulative effect of your soul’s journey. When I look back on my life, when I was fully inhabiting the space I was in – when I was fully “Being” – I felt alive and vital. It was only when I looked back on my cumulative experience of those moments of Being that I realized that they were actually leading me to a higher expression of myself; that they were leading me to my “Becoming”. The “Becoming” takes care of itself; it’s the “Being” that needs our help.

  21. sara says:

    Love it! Thank you, just what I needed.

  22. Ayoka says:

    Beautiful and very much in my mind these days. I find having a community with shared aspirations is so important in a culture that so deeply values “DO”ing vs “BE”ing. Such a big leap of faith in the “BE”ing world to trust in our inner brilliance.

  23. Put simply ~ quite so, Jonathan; and, thanks, as always. Enjoy this day you make/are given. #MagnificentMonday

  24. Colin Smith says:

    Well written Jonathan, thank you.

    I very much relate to the words you have used, especially your first quote, simply profound, and a way of being.

    I also like the comments regarding doing and being, and feel the world would be a far more kinder, thoughtful, caring, inspiring (and so much more), if we introduced a high level of being into our work before we did the doing.

    My work as The Listener means I spend a lot of my time simply being, being present with the speaker. Where the connection breaks down is when I move from my heart and being to my head and doing.


  25. Jonathan,

    Like Linda, your “Do…with…for” has been seeping into my bones the past few weeks since I heard you say it at WDS. Simply stated, sometimes challenging to do, yet really powerful and freeing when we let the magic happen.

    Thanks for sharing some of your personal journey with us. What an excellent start to the week!

  26. Fraser says:

    A great post received at a time when more than ever my focus is on just being while doing the things that ‘light me up.’

    I can’t help feeling that by living that way we will naturally become more than we ever dreamed we could be.

    Only one way to find out!

    Thanks for sharing Jonathan

  27. Fraser says:

    Focusing on becoming is a bit like leaving things until tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes!

  28. […] Fiercely Being from Jonathan Fields. This one is important. If you don’t click any other link on this […]

  29. Sayward says:

    Beautiful post, Jonathan. My black lab Brandon taught me a ton about just ‘being’ when he was with me (he’s passed on to just being on the other side now). We spent a lot of time in the wilderness that slowed us down to each moment of being, observing, cherishing, breathing, seeing…still miss him, but still ‘being’ and loving it! Thank you for your beautiful writing and thoughts.

  30. Madeleine says:

    BEcoming comes from BEing. When you are aware of the power of being in the present moment, authentic, inspired action flows from there…..

  31. As someone who focuses on love I absolutely agree with your phrase “Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve” because it’s much easier to move forward from where we are and who we are than the illusive version of who we want to be.

    When we focus on who we want to become, at least to a microscopic degree we’re saying that we’re not happy/satisfied with who we are.

    Of course, personal evolution is best, but not at the mercy of hating/despising ourselves.

    A great way to evolve is to focus on the feeling we want to feel. If you focus on what you imagine yourself to be like when you’ve “arrived” it’s hardly ever the feeling that you image, it’s usually always the image. Yet the feeling is much more important than the image. The image can fade away, but the feeling can be replicated… because it depends on us, and not on how others perceive us.

  32. Hudson Davis says:

    I love your posts Johnathan, your edge and outlook on life honestly feels very Christian (in its purest form, not a lot of the method feeling shame filled environment we see today, though there are exceptions)

    I believe if you read Romans you would particularly enjoy chapters 6 ,7 , and 8. They talk about who we believe ourselves to be is what we become, we cannot become without being, and the ability to attain salvation and perfection through Christ is simply realizing its already done, finished, and out of that notion you begin to “be” who you have longed to be because a true revelation causes you to live out of its outflow.

    “In order to become who you long to be, you have to forget who you were and become who you are”
    -No idea, but i love the quote!

    Thanks Jonathan,

    P.S. if you have already read Romans or other biblical text I would love to see your comments on it.

  33. Donna Martemucci says:

    Hi, Jonathan….
    Love, love, love this post! Thank you for so beautifully articulating thoughts on this topic…so relevant for me.

    P.S. I, too, am very excited about camp! Won’t be long now!

  34. Love this post! Thank you!
    Fierce Traveler

  35. Jane says:

    thank you Jonathan for sharing your thoughts for today,

    your message
    “Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve” sunk into my mind and is what I am striving for as I craft out my path and create a place where I am doing this.

  36. EviesGirl says:

    Enriching message; I really have been thinking about life and service. I love this message you’re expressing here, and in the era of “self” I wish we could see more of this type of philosophy.

  37. […] Thanks Jonathan Fields for this inspiring thought on fiercely being, every day, instead of only focusing on what you want to become in the future. […]

  38. Rae says:

    Hi:) My name is Rae, I’m very new to the tribe. Today was the first email I had received and it touched my heart so deeply. I am blessed to say I get to experience ” do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve ” everyday. It’s my job description! For over 6 years my sister and I have been managing a cute 8ft by 16ft cabin style drive through coffee shop in Anchorage Alaska. I believe the universe placed me there to serve enlightenment. Your daily dose is always free. The coffee is only a front for the real work !:) Its a tight network between the team inside the shop and the customers on the outside. We are all one big family. We are always talking about the universe, God and the Great Spirit in the sky. Talks of being in your now, time doesn’t exist, energy, manifesting, vibrations, signs and symbols just to name a few. Stories of magic and unexplainable events are almost everyday conversations! We try healing those who are hurting or suffering. If your feeling sick, you receive healing in your coffee. If your tired of being single we will tell ya to write out your soulmate list. If you have lost a loved one we will tell you to talk to them and watch for amazing signs letting you know they are with you. Tuesday is quote day where we tape the new inspirational words of week to the window. Your quote is so beautiful and perfect timing for tomorrow! Your words will inspire many here in Alaska. If your hungry we have muffins, bagels and fortune croissants! Served in a square to-go box, pop open the lid and it might read…” Your magnetism is contagious “. If you build the best day possible moment by moment then who you become becomes the best possible you. The journey becomes one with you. The process becomes as thrilling and exciting as the end result, a new improved you. Then a new journey of becoming what’s best for you next becomes easier. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and others. The little things add up to big picture. Enjoy them because It’s truly a good life when you do!:) thanks so much for letting me share a piece of my story! Tomorrow is a new dream full of creating happiness for all!

  39. Scott Asai says:

    Makes sense. When I coach people I love identifying their talents, then challenging them to surpass their potential (even if they don’t believe it). I get goose bumps every time it happens. It’s like speaking motivation into them. I’d do it for free!

  40. Building is about the future. Forecasting, considering new angles, new goals to reach. Always aiming. Becoming is too. What is the new personal development goal? I get exhausted from that constant go go go despite it being part of my personality type (Achiever is my number one from Now Discover Your Strengths).

    Being is about mindfulness. What can I enjoy, work on, like, laugh about, right now? What is actually happening in my life at this moment? Being fuels my becoming. That’s half the reason I paint, I’m sure of it. It helps me disconnect from my future dreams and aspirations. It helps me savor my current state. Even if those ideas about becoming sometimes drive the work.

    Can we be truly mindful and think about the future at the same time? Or does always thinking about the next thing have us living in our future and never enjoying our now? Good questions. Thanks for your thoughts Jonathan.

  41. Wow. What a different world we would experience if we all lived moment by moment with your new metric. I found a word years ago that embodies that sentiment – Educe – it means to lead by drawing out latent potential. It’s now on my license plate – I EDUCE. It is the way I am living out my legacy NOW and helping others do the same. ONWARD & UPWARD!

  42. […] Fiercely Being – its about more than just Becoming. […]

  43. Rick Lugash says:

    This brought a tear to my eye, Jonathan.

    Always at the perfect time,

  44. […] Fiercely Being by Jonathan Fields (h/t to Jill for sharing on her Something Good post) An interesting look at how we might measure our lives – not about what we are building or becoming, but something a bit deeper than that. […]

  45. Aarti says:

    For me, it’s just about showing up and well ‘being’ ! it took me a while to learn that.Because you never know, on which day, in which moment you’ll be called on to be there for someone or something. And if we are so busy trying to build a forest, we just might trample on some little seedlings that make our forest. 🙂

  46. Lidia says:

    We all are a work in progress on our own. I’ve came today to this post, and the timing could’t be better.

    Instead of thinking of being frustrated, or being late in living, just fiercely Being is enough, and a lot at the same time.

    Thank you Johnathan. Keep sharing your path with the rest of us. We’ll build our own eventually. 🙂