“I am a human being, not a human doing.” ~Kurt Vonnegut
Hello lovely people, and happy Friday! What have you been up to this week in order to ensure that you soak in that beautiful weather? I’ve been running outside, not on the dreadmill, and trying to take walks throughout the workday. Springtime is my favorite, and I don’t want to miss a second of it!
Boston in springtime, can’t wait.
I came across the above Kurt Vonnegut quote, and was mind blown. What a simple concept, that I never thought of. We are called human beings. Being is the “present particle of be,” and be means to exist. How many of us allow space for just being, just existing? It’s incredibly hard to do. It’s uncomfortable, it’s unwarranted by society, and it seems unproductive. However, there are numerous benefits that counteract these “downfalls” that make just being worth it.
We live in a society that gives gold stars for accomplishing, doing, and gaining status. This leads to lists filled with things to do, goals to achieve, tasks to conquer. We are like the ballerinas on top of jewelry boxes, wound and wound and wound up until there’s nothing left to do but unravel. Before this happens to you, schedule yourself some simply being time. That can look like anything that works for you and allows your mind to calm, your body to relax, and to not feel like you have to rush off and conquer the world. For me, it’s yoga class, while we do move and sweat there, I try my hardest to shut off my brain and simply be in my body. I like going for walks and connecting to nature, shutting off my podcasts and listening to the birds chirp. For someone with more Type-A personality traits, penciling this time in could be challenging. Make a commitment to be, instead of do, for just several minutes per day. And be patient with yourself. While it seems like simply being should be natural and easy for us, it’s possibly the hardest to do. We are programmed to go go go, shut off our feelings, and act somewhat robotic. We go into crisis if we feel the slightest bit disconnected from our phones. Quiet time brings up a lot of emotions and feelings we may have been pushing down, but it is important to recognize these in order to let them go.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my to-do lists, I have a million and one goals for myself at anytime, and I am rushing around from place to place frequently. But I have been recently realizing that there is no finish line that I am racing towards. There is never a time when everything on my to-do list will be complete. I will always be thinking up lofty, dreamy plans for myself. Therefore, there’s no rush. I know that my mind will change, goals will be added, there’s no peaceful mountain top that I am reaching up right now. Not everything needs to get done today, or this week, or even this decade. We tend to pat ourselves on the back when we accomplish a goal, which is awesome and I definitely encourage that, however it’s also important to pat ourselves on the back for feeling good. For relaxing. For handling a situation in a mature way. For simply being, not just for doing.
We’re at an exciting time. I feel like our country is finally recognizing and educating on the benefits of relaxing, meditating, slowing down. Be a leader amongst your friends, your co-workers, your community. Encourage people to get quiet and simply be. If you want any suggestions as to how you can rally others around you to get involved, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a stellar weekend!
I challenge you to take a few minutes to not do, but just be.