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Learning to Simply Be

My summer holiday might be ten days behind me, but what I learned from it is still strong with me. I learned to simply be. It’s not the first time I’ve learned it but it’s the first time it really hit home. Somehow, it felt different this time. It felt more powerful and more magical than ever. It felt certain and it felt grounded. Basically, it just felt so darn good.

simply_be

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Being able to simply be on my holiday made my relaxation go to a whole new level. I was able to observe the world around me and fully cherish it. Noticing details I hadn’t seen before became automatic and appreciation was naturally at the forefront of everything. I was even able to connect with memories I’d never even thought of before. Overall, simply being helped me to connect to me, myself and my life in a whole new level.

It made me wonder why that was the case. What was it about this holiday that made it easy for me to simply be? Was it the location, a new mindset, or the lack of an agenda? Or was it the company of my loving fiance? Or was it because I went totally offline, not checking my email or social media once?

How could I keep this feeling of being in the long-term? Could I sustain it when I was back online? Could I re-create it wherever and whenever I wanted it? How could I turn it into an almost permanent state?

The questions started to come in one after the other, especially after I’d landed back into the hustle and bustle of London. As the days have passed, my moments of simply being have gone up and down.As usual, there have been moments of stress where being mindful was a challenge. On the other hand, there have been the usual moments of being present too, like when riding my horse Mickey or writing in a flow. On top of it all, there have been more moments when I have been able to notice the overwhelm and bring myself back to being.

As usual, there have been moments of stress where being mindful was a challenge. There have been the usual moments of being present too, like when riding my horse Mickey or writing in a flow. Best of all, there have been more moments when I have been able to notice the overwhelm, stop it, and bring myself back to being.

That’s why today I wanted to share four things that are helping me to stay grounded and to simply be. After all, you are a human being, not a human doing.

1. Limit your time online.

Yes, that means email, social media and surfing the web. The full works. Give yourself specific time windows when you are allowed to be online. This will prevent it from getting out of control and you will also be more likely to achieve what you wanted to achieve going into it.

For example, you could say you’re allowed 15 minutes of social media every morning and every evening to get inspiration. You could also commit to only checking your email twice a day to have a more productive focus the rest of the day. You could even give yourself a cut off time for when you detach yourself from the online world every evening, such as 9 PM.

I know this is a difficult one as you live in an increasingly online and connected world. But you need to remember that the real connections are happening offline, not only to others but also to yourself. If you want to dive depeer into this, have a look at my previous blog on How to Have a Positive Relationships with Social Media.

2. Schedule being time into your calendar.

This might sound counterintuitive but it’s the best way to guarantee that you make simply being happen. Best of all, the more you do it, the more likely it is for it to turn into a habit. This is especially important in today’s world where busyness seems to be the norm. You seem to pack your schedule full of tasks, events, and meet-ups. You even carefully calculate travel time into your schedule so you can really maximise every minute of your day. This has got to stop. And yes, I’m talking to myself here too!

What happened to leisurely strolls in your neighbourhood? Savouring every bite of food you eat consciously? Taking the time to reflect on who you are? Appreciating how far you’ve come? All of this becomes easier when you learn the art of being. And the more empty spaces you have in your calendar to just be, the quicker you will learn it.

3. Connect with nature.

Trees, plants, animals – they all are a part of the amazing nature you get to experience. They all also help you to be. Make the time to go your local park, observe the beautiful flowers, or even attempt to grow and nurture some of your own! There is something about the beauty of nature that grounds you, brings you into the moment, and calms you down.

4. Just breathe.

There is nothing that brings you more to the present moment than the act of breathing. I know 99.99% of the time you do it automatically and subconsciously because it is the thing that keeps you alive. Imagine now if you were able to use the remaining 00.01% for conscious, mindful breathing? It would be incredibly powerful.

Breathing influences your parasympathetic nervous system which means that it not only affects how your body feels but also how your mind acts. Learning to breathe calmly and mindfully will help you to lower your stress, reduce your blood pressure, and refocus your mind. Most importantly, it will make it easier for you to simply be.

If you want to dive deeper into being or breathing, I cover both of these in more depth in my new 30 Days of Happiness online course. And, best of all, I’d love to offer you an exclusive 50% discount this month only! Simply click here if you want to sign-up or find out more about it.

With that, I hope you embrace your new practice and learn to simply be.

Wishing you good luck in your adventures and until next time!

Sending you love, light and happiness,

Susanna x


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4 Comments

  • Ramesh Shishu says:

    Susanna
    I am so impressed by the “simplicity” in your blogs. I am using various tips as much as I can in my life.
    It also appears that you use word “stress” a lot in your write-ups. Does it mean you yourself sense a lot of stress. After all words come from one’s “state of mind”. If I may say there is an art of not being stressed even in difficult circumstances and can be practiced. And there is no “pill” available for this. Yoga and meditation can help. But the best thing is to keep learning and practicing not to be stressed. They say that a little stress is useful, but I do not understand it.
    What are your comments?
    Regards.
    Ramesh Shishu, Ph.D.
    Michigan, USA

    • Thank you for your kind words Ramesh :)
      I absolutely believe that sometimes the simplest things can have the most powerful impact and also be the hardest to implement ;)
      Yes there is both good and bad stress, and I do experience a bit of both. As an ambitious, perfectionist the bad stress creeps in sometimes but since I changed my career and became the Happyologist I’m a million times better than I used to be. What I write about is always what I’m experiencing and the tips I share are also the ones that are helping me.
      I do also do yoga and meditation – I love them both! :D

  • Evelyn says:

    Hi Susanna,

    Great article! I find music as a companion to be a crucial part of this process, and taking time to be grateful.

    A different topic, but could you talk a little more, perhaps in a separate blog post, about how you undertook your career change to become that million times happier? Many people, myself included, would love to know what you did in your transition to do this successfully, and thus become happier!

    I find the obsession with full-time work to be madness and the idea of everyone working even 4 days per week (to share the load with other people who are unemployed or underemployed) would make people a lot happier. Yes, surviving and having financial security are important, but at what mental, spiritual, and social cost? Then we could all find time to just be!

    • Yes! Music is also brilliant, you’re so right!
      And yes I’d love to share my story of how I went from a natural pessimist to a trained optimist – and hence became the Happyologist :D I’ll write a blog on this in the next few weeks :)
      I totally agree with your idea of working 4 days a week and job sharing. It’s such a brilliant idea I’m not sure why companies are not putting it into practice yet. Wishing you lots of positive mental, spiritual and social vibes so that you can just have a positive moment of being :* x

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