I love to rewatch old movies. Movies become a beautiful mix of the familiar and surprise once they’ve hit that magical place where it’s been long enough that I don’t remember much of the storyline.
Recently, I rewatched Father of the Bride, a Steve Martin film with the perfect balance of humor and heart.
In the last scene, Ken Banks (played by Steve Martin) is sitting in his empty living room after hosting his daughter’s wedding. The room is a mess. Glitter and streamers cover the floor. Empty glasses strewn about. His wife Nina (played by Diane Keaton) comes and sits next to him. They’ve both removed their shoes and are rubbing their tired feet. Ken finally stands up and puts on a CD, then extends his hand to Nina for a dance. They sink into each other, fully present and in the moment.
As the credits roll, I think about how beautiful that memory will be for them. In the aftermath of the emotion and chaos of the wedding, they are creating stillness to connect and be with each other (watch the end scene).
This moment struck me because it’s exactly the opposite of what I would have done.
If I were in Ken’s shoes, my “doing” autopilot would have switched on immediately after the last guest left, taking over my body like an alien invasion. I would no longer be present. I would have started cleaning with a drill sergeant’s efficiency to make tomorrow a little easier.
As I watched Ken and Nina dance, part of my mind was already thinking about the cleaning job they had ahead of them. My doing-addiction twitching inside of me.
How many beautiful moments do I miss because of my doing-addiction?
How much of life is lost to me?
The truth is, life is meant to be a mesmerizing tango between “doing” and “being”. But the beauty of the dance falls apart if just one of those states is mastered.
Without “being” there isn’t space to appreciate what is. There isn’t a state of presence to let a moment wash over you so fully that it marks your soul.
If you find that the tango between your “doing” and “being” is lopsided, you can adjust. Nothing is locked in for life. As Al Pacino said in Scent of a Women, “If you make a mistake, get all tangled up, just tango on.”
As for me, I’m following Ken’s lead.
I’m creating space to sink into life’s dance.
If you enjoyed today’s blog post, you’ll enjoy my new podcast called Unfolding with Kathy Varol.
Perspectives shape how we see the world. A change in perspective has the power to change everything.
Each episode shares one perspective, in 3 to 20 minutes.
Try it on.
If it fits, take it.
If it doesn’t fit, leave it where it is.
One perspective at a time we’ll pull back layers of conditioning to find the truth underneath. If you feel stuck, if the boxes no longer fit, it’s time to try on a new perspective.
This is the art of unfolding into the fullest expression of you.