Cultivating a Habit of Being

We’ve done a lot of positive work over the last few weeks on creating our authentic lives. We’ve discovered what an authentic life feels like, we’ve created a safe, cozy and inspiring home to live that life in, and we’ve identified the things that we do to make our hearts sing, to follow our passions and live our dreams. Today I am going to ask you to do a 360 degree turn in order to cultivate an entirely new, and possibly surprising, habit that will enrich and inspire your authentic life: I’m going to ask you to do nothing.

What! Do nothing! Don’t be absurd, we all have to do something! Who would we be if we weren’t doing something? My point exactly! Who would you be if you weren’t always doing something?

In her book, “Joy Diet,” author and psychologist Martha Beck talks about the importance of taking a vacation from your life every day. She asks us to plan time into our day to answer and act on the following questions: “What can I do today to make myself happy? What one thing can I say or do now, in this moment, that will make me smile?” If we can identify one thing that we’d really like every day, from a few quiet minutes to meditate, to a short stroll outside, to simply sitting and listening to the birds tweeting away outside (as opposed to you Tweeting yourself silly inside!), we can open ourselves up to that same sense of enthusiasm, wonder and tenderness we felt as children when we would sit for hours watching insects at work or animals at play. Yes, it requires letting ourselves become vulnerable to whatever might come up out of that nothingness, but it also leaves us open and receptive to an infinite well of inspiration, creativity, and a renewed sense of peace.

Today, and every day, give yourself the gift of some vacation time and enjoy the peace and beauty of doing nothing. Who knows? It just might become a habit you can live with!

As you can imagine, this week’s assignment is going to ask you to answer the questions that we asked above. Let yourself play with this one like a kitten chasing a butterfly …and let yourself remember what happy feels like!

Peace and blessings.

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7 thoughts on “Cultivating a Habit of Being

  1. This is one of the hardest lessons for me to learn but a necessary one to heal. As a child, I loves lying on the grass and watching the clouds, I could do it for hours. Now, I get myself to the beach and just watch and listen to the waves, it’s my healing place.

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  2. This is such a great reminder to make “being” a habit. I have mastered doing but find being a challenge – although I guess I am always being aren’t I? A fun philosophical conundrum but the nonetheless, I know I need more spaciousness in my days…

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  3. This week Barb, I am taking a vacation from my life and doing almost no-thing and it feels right. The timing of it, the feel of it – like being in deep meditation while going about my day. Very mindful 🙂 Thank you for your delightful wisdom!

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  4. Oh yes! Such a wonderful reminder for me. The next time I’m on Twitter, I’ll go outside and listen to the tweeting of the birds! Thank you!

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  5. What’s that expression? Something about “human BEINGS not human DOINGS.” Most of the time when I choose to ignore something on my “to do” list it manages to wait for me. 🙂

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  6. I love the recommendation to just be! I have created a lovely balance of nurturing myself by gardening and cleaning my house this weekend and just being. I feel less angsty than I usually do. I often wish I had achieved more on the weekends. To top off my weekend I am going to see Michael Franti and Spearhead – one of my favorites bands with a large group of my friends. Recognizing the importance of just being has been one of my most important lessons so far on this planet and I am grateful for your insight and wisdom on this subject Barb!

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