We are such an action oriented, activity driven society. Always on the move, going here going there, often mindlessly just to be in motion or fill up our calendar. We need to be doing something, going somewhere, doing anything just to feel and look productive. It’s not socially correct just to simply say we are doing nothing, we need to project a life of action and movement, doing this doing that. Even Nike reminds us to Just Do It.
But we are human BEINGS, not human doings. We should learn how to just be, to take joy in just being, without feeling the pressure from friends or ourselves to constantly be doing.
Perhaps this pandemic can serve as a learning experience for us. We’ve all been forced to bring our life to a grinding halt. Our lives move at a slower pace now and yet so many of us resist this. We are not comfortable not doing, not juggling a million things, not having a full calendar. We are not comfortable just being. Because being requires us to be comfortable with our own company, to be okay with living in the present moment, to be able to listen to the voices in our head. It sounds insane that we do not have a level of comfort with this but it is sadly true. We constantly try to fill the void, to distract, to chase the shiny object. We do not know how to just be.
We need to accept the present moment, stop resisting and simply surrender to how life unfolds. But so often we are dwelling in the past or anxious of our future that we deny the only place and only time there is: Here and now. This doesn’t allow us to just be. It robs us of the joy and wonder and full celebration of life.
We can learn from our pets. The playfulness and joy of a dog, its unconditional love and readiness to celebrate life at any moment often contrasts sharply with the inner state of the dog’s owner – depressed, anxious, burdened by problems, lost in thought, not present in the moment. Who is enjoying life more, who is being? I would argue the dog and we should try to emulate this behavior. When walking your dog, put your phone away and observe your surroundings, the stillness of the trees, the fresh air, the beauty of nature. Be present, moment to moment, and see how much joy this brings you. You will find you will enjoy your walks as much as your dog does.
But this can extend to your daily normal routines. It starts with gratitude and acceptance, allowing us to just be. It’s incredible how we resist this so much, our inner dialogue and ego constantly driving us into action whether physically or mentally. It can all be so exhausting. How is it that just relaxing at home can cause so much stress and anxiety? It is because we are not present in the moment, living unconsciously in our minds, fully identifying with our minds. We are immersed with our stories, either replaying things from the past or anxiously contemplating things from the future. This all robs us from the only moment that really matters: Now. Try to live in the moment to fully experience the Joy of Being.