Musings: a year’ish on from The DO

The DO 2016

Thanks for the image @Timleroyis

This is one of those blog posts that I wrote, didn’t like, and never published. I’ve just found it, reread it and thought that it wasn’t too bad afterall. It’s almost an entire year since my first (and thus far only DO) but I feel the words are still true, so let’s set them free.  

The DO Lectures is a super-special unconference set in the rolling hills of South Wales, UK.

Written sometime in July 2015…

I’ve just returned from four days at The DO Lectures. If you’ve never heard of The DO, find out about it. If you’ve been thinking about going but haven’t yet gone, go. I’m pretty darn sure you won’t regret it.

At The DO, you gather in a barn and around dinner tables and constantly burning campfires to hear both speakers and attendees share interesting stories and amazing ideas, and how they made inspiring stuff happen, often with little resource and knowledge.

Campfires mean you end up smelling like a kipper – smoked fish for those unfamiliar with the English breakfast delicacy. It’s a smell that lingers for days and reminds you long after you’re home that you’ve got stuff to do, not because it’s on a list but because you’re called to it from somewhere deep inside.

In that sense, it’s fair to say that The DO is an almost-religious affair.

Thoughts on the cult of doing at The DO

As a yogi and biohacker, I’m interested in how my environment and interactions affect my (literal) state of being. Over the four days, it was interesting to observe the effect of The DO, not just on me, the individual, but on the collective group too.

I’ve lived in several ashrams in India and I’ve always found it fascinating to observe the phenomenon of the one – a gathering of people focused intently on one cause, and therefore feeding and growing it like a sourdough, or kefir.

I’m not saying that The DO is a cult – even if it was, it would be a rather positive cult – the cult of doing interesting, inspiring and positive stuff. It’s good, I reckon. However, it was interesting, certainly by the last day, to observe the voice of the crowd grow louder to a sort of feverish pitch about the importance of doing – Lord of the Flies style, but in the nicest possible way. Do it now. Go for it! Collaborate. Share. Don’t think, just do!

There was a momentum that built, crescendoed, then dispersed as everyone made their individual way home, inspired to start new projects, doings and stories. Certainly new friendships and partnerships were formed, and then cemented, that much I know to be true.

During this feverish pitch, I found myself recalling stories of people I’ve met, and some who I’ve loved, who jumped into a project headfirst, all guns blazing, only to lose it all. My intention is not to piss on ‘the DO battery’, but it must be acknowledged that successful doing often needs a good combination of mindfulness, research, prudence, planning and then, of course… the leap of faith, the thrill of doing. Oh, and persistence and hard work too. Or masterful delegation.

So, I took my DO inspiration home and added a good dose of thoughtfulness. Maybe that’s why I’ve not done my dos yet. Though I am doing stuff that’s building up to them. It’s just not instant doing success. Am I procrastinating?

But, success stories always seem instant, don’t they? Especially when shared via the medium of a 30-minute show-the-highlights (both good and bad) talk.

So, I’ve moderated my enthusiasm, maybe. Perhaps I’m a killjoy. A realist. Or just too busy doing other interesting (and well-paid) things to do the things I was inspired to do at The DO. I don’t know which it is yet.

All that said, if you’ve got the cash (much of it) and time (well worth it), go to The DO. It’s not something you’re likely to forget. There are wonderful people a’plenty, great vibes and excellent food. Besides, it’s a flip-your-mind-inside-out, total hoot.

Oh, and spend some time with @mtownsendw, the DO’s yoga teacher. He teaches the art of being too.

Be time at The DO

‘Be time at The DO.’ Thanks for the image @mtownsendw 


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