Simply: Be

There is so much focus on being something. It’s almost as if we are all working to be someone else, somewhere else, with something else in our lives. Societal messaging bombards us with how to ‘be’.

Be better, be smarter, be more productive, be helpful, be efficient, be kind, be richer, be healthier, be interesting, be a good parent, be a career go-getter. Dare to be different! Be yourself!

Erm, excuse me? Hello! I hate to rain on your ever-so-energetic parade but I am finding the hubris a tad disruptive. All this busy activity is making me uncertain about what I actually should be, or not be.

Does every waking moment have to be filled with action or intended action, goals or purpose? Do we always have to think where and what we need to be to obtain success, happiness, opportunity or reward? Or avoid failure if we don’t think we are any of it?

I’d say no.

Have we simply become so busy focusing on being all these things we’re barely giving ourselves room to just… be?

To that, I would answer yes.

‘Just being’ is as important as reaching out for the goals we want to achieve. ‘Just being’ means we give ourselves space. We breathe. We sit. We unwind. We find inspiration in staring out a window or by sitting quietly with a cup of hot chocolate.

My day was planned. I had to be organised and be places.

I haven’t done any of it.

I chose, instead, to just ‘be’. To act on whatever impulse came to mind. Or not. No pressure, no guilt. No nothing. Mostly nothing, in fact.

I pottered around the house. (I have forgotten how much I love pottering – if anything is mindful it’s that). I spontaneously went for a 5k run. I stood outside and felt the warmth of the December sun on my face, heard birds chirping above and traffic droning in the distance.

I have felt my racing mind slow down, my body relax. The overwhelm subside.

This afternoon I’ve thrown on my scruffiest clothes and snuggled into the sofa to write this blog. I’m going to binge watch Marvel films. Or maybe I won’t. Whatever will be, will be.

‘To be is to do’ – Socrates

‘To do is to be’ – Jean Paul Sartre

‘Do-be-do-be-do-be-do’ – Frank Sinatra

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