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by Maria Sylveter
Being, not doing, is my first joy. ~Theodore Roethke
Spring is upon us! And as nature is welcoming in this time of glorious new beginnings, perhaps you too will be inspired for some fresh starts. The spring season, with buds blooming and birds chirping, invites us toward healthier living. Listen. I’m sure you will hear the calling!
Healthy living, to me, includes valuing playtime and just being time as much as work and productive time. We are human beings, not human doings, as the saying goes. So why not use the gift of spring’s arrival as the time you begin to even more deeply embrace the art of being?
Ah, the art of being. To simply slow down and rest in the knowing that your very essence is enough. I can almost guarantee that you will experience a magnificent feeling of lightness, presence, and joy when you begin to appreciate that being is as significant, and powerful as doing. Often we get confused into believing that our self-worth is measured by what we do, or produce. We become driven to perform so that we can feel OK about ourselves, equating self-worth with how well we achieve. One can often sacrifice an emotional sense of well-being and peace in failing to recognize that the restful, in-between moments are as fruitful, rich, and satisfying as busier times. With so much of life focused on outcomes, it can be hard to value and sustain the practice of allowing yourself to just be. And yet, ironically, the more one does this, the more successful, creative, and expansive your life will become.
There are several key ways I have found to more intentionally live in the being zone. Time in nature, for instance, helps. When you can be outside, experiencing the natural world with all of your senses — sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste – you open to sweet moments of delighting in your existence. Scheduling personal playdates for the sheer purpose of simply being in the world in fun or novel ways also helps. It is amazing the impact of even just a small amount of time spent swinging on a swing, taking a walk, dancing wildly, or quietly sitting on your couch doing absolutely nothing, can have on your state of heart and mind. After these little time-out sessions, you’ll feel refreshed and invigorated because you will have been fully present those moments. Healthy living indeed.
I love stressing to all my coaching clients the essentialness of making space in their busy schedules for just being time. I’ve marveled at the creative ways they have developed for routinely building such into their lifestyle. I invite you to do the same. To remind yourself to stop and be, create an anchor for the intention. An anchor, for example, could be a concrete block of time you set aside on your calendar for a pause. Or perhaps just associating a certain time of day in your routine solely for being moments. Phone alarms can be set to help with remembering the value of occasionally pausing. My favorite anchor, reminding me to savor just being time, is a piece of jewelry I wear daily. The piece is both beautiful and pleasantly tactile, and when I look at it, I’m compelled to stop and reflect for a moment. Have fun with this! See what triggers you can build into your life this spring to increase the likelihood that you, too, can begin savoring exquisite moments of sheer existence.