It was my birthday last Wednesday!
It started off much like any other birthday with lots of birthday messages, cards and presents which were all lovely and much appreciated however, at about 9am, I had this sudden urge to be completely alone and out in nature. I’m always outside seeing to my horse, out with the dogs, gardening and so on but on Wednesday it was different. I wanted to be somewhere where there would be no other people – somewhere where I could sit in peace without having to concentrate on anything and so, at 9.30am, I found myself driving towards a beautiful but wild loch only a few miles from my house.
When I reached the parking area close to the loch I parked my car, got out and started walking down the overgrown track that leads to the water. I knew immediately that I had chosen the right place. There was no-one around for miles – mainly because it’s the middle of winter, the wind was gusting at approximately 60 miles per hour and it was trying its hardest to snow – but it was beautiful all the same and I walked until I came to a broken down old bench at the water’s edge and sat down. I had taken a notebook and pen with me in case I felt the urge to write something however, apart from the fact that I ran the risk of getting frostbite in my fingers if I took my gloves off, it was too wet and windy and so I decided just to sit there doing nothing instead. And that’s when it hit me!
How often do any of us get the chance to just sit and ‘be’?
How often do we make time for ourselves to be alone with nothing but our thoughts? I’m not talking about meditating or practising mindfulness as both of those require a certain amount of effort. I’m not talking about doing a hobby or reading or watching tv. I’m talking about just sitting, at peace with the world, lost in our own thoughts and doing nothing other than contemplating ‘life, the universe and everything’ to quote one of my favourite films.
I bet the answer would be…not very many of us.
We’re all so busy nowadays. We’re busy looking after families, holding down jobs, running businesses, catching up on the news, organising holidays, catching up with friends, making our presence known on Social Media…
We spend time practising mindfulness, meditating, being creative, reading personal growth books, being healthy, exercising and finding new ways to show the world that we are every bit as happy, healthy, successful and positive as the next person and yet, it’s not always the case. All our efforts to be all things to all people and to be constantly striving to show outwardly that we’re living a positive, happy and fulfilling life, aren’t working.
I speak to people every day who give out the message that they’re all of the above but deep down, when you start to peel away the layers, underneath the happy, positive exteriors exist angry, frustrated, sad, worried, unfulfilled, tired, resentful and unhappy people who are not living the lives that they truly want to be living. They’re so busy trying to be a certain type of person that they’ve lost sight of who they really are. By trying to be too many things to too many people they find themselves out of alignment with their authentic self. They can’t remember who they were before they started trying to be the person they’ve become…wife, partner, mother, sister, friend…and this is not just exclusive to women. Many men find themselves in exactly the same position too.
We need to find what it is that makes us (the authentic us) tick. We need to be doing things because they make us happy, not because we think it’s what’s expected of us. We need to follow our hearts. We need to uncover our true passions. We need to make more time to just be ourselves – our authentic selves – the self that only comes out to play when we’re alone…when we sit in silence…when we feel vulnerable…and when we don’t have anyone around to prove anything to. We need to practice the art of just being.
Do you ever feel lost, as though you no longer know who the real you is any more?
Do you ever feel that you spend all of your time pleasing other people and never find the time just to be yourself?
Have you managed to perfect the art of ‘just being’ and has it made a difference?
As always, feel free to leave a comment below.