Saturday, July 20, 2013

Just Be

“In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East — especially in India — I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving — it is not in the result of loving. “-Mother Teresa

After spending time in India, I found this quote to ring so true.

Coming from the US, a place absorbed in social media, monetary and material success, being better than…it was a shock to the system to see the wildness of India, but the calm and warmth underlying every tuktuk that looked as if it were going to hit us head on, every elder slowly working in a field, and as Mother Teresa pointed out, those spending the hours in deep conversation and laughter with a dear friend on the side of a road, under a tree.

“Wasting time” in our country’s terms, ironically enough, is probably one of the best things we can do for ourselves (but one of the most difficult for a time where focus on one thing is considered laziness).
This wasn't always something I realized and applied, especially after becoming widowed, I felt like I was always "Wasting" away life by simply breathing, crying and loathing the fact that the world could turn without Michael on it.

6 years later, I find a rare beauty in refelecting back to the first few raw years of shapr pain and grief. It was uninhibited, unapologetic and just plain organic to that time.

As I grew more into this life, I saw myself reverting at times to the "Western" philosphy of feeling like I wasn't doing enough.

I see that was a lie I had convinced myself for a period to believe.

So as a way for you to see how simple it is (and a reminder for myself, I’ve put together a list of “time wasters” that equate to “life enhancers”.

Start with 5 minutes. Then an hour. And maybe one day….a full afternoon.

You’ll most likely realize two things: 1.) The world didn’t end! 2.) It was pretty damn nice!

So with no further ado. My list of ways to “just be”:
  1. Turn off your phone/computer/radio
  2. Focus on your breath (watch the rise and fall of your belly)
  3. Ride a Bike (streamers, basket and bell recommended)
  4. Write a letter to a friend (With a pencil or pen…no emoticons allowed)
  5. Savor every bite of an amazing meal
  6. Notice Your surroundings. The bird flying over, the pace of the clouds as they pass by, the wind on your cheek.
  7. Go to a Farmer’s Market
  8. Watch the sunrise
  9. Whistle (or learn to whistle)
  10. Go to the park, layout a blanket, and look at what objects the clouds above resemble
  11. Walk the dogs and indulge them in a belly rub.
  12. Sit with a friend and enjoy a glass of wine and conversation (cheese optional)
  13. Watch the sunset
  14. Buy a box of crayons and draw
  15. Compliment a stranger
  16. Catch your reflection in something and smile back (your hot and amazing and deserve it!)
  17. Be awesome
  18. Live on
Being awesome may come a little easier than turning off your phone, but where there is a will, there is a way.
Try one this weekend, or heck, how about 3! Indulge! Just be. And create or add on to what will allow you to not lead a results-driven life, but more so, a life of living in the now.

1 comment:

  1. Taryn, Thank you and Mother Theresa. Since I became a widow 6 months ago that feeling keeps coming back. Just BE that is what I need to do is just BE. It is hard to explain to those around me but I know what it is and I am doing many of the things you have suggested. I also have a recurring feeling of needing to be authentic in all I do. I know that I am on the right path. The path that will help me to keep moving and allow me to come to some kind of peace with the death of my better half.