“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).
As a way for you to see how simple it is, 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”:
- Turn off your phone/computer/radio
- Focus on your breath (watch the rise and fall of your belly)
- Ride a Bike (streamers, basket and bell recommended)
- Write a letter to a friend (With a pencil or pen…no emoticons allowed)
- Savor every bite of an amazing meal
- Notice your surroundings. The bird flying over, the pace of the clouds as they pass by, the wind on your cheek.
- Go to a Farmer’s Market
- Watch the sunrise
- Whistle (or learn to whistle)
- Go to the park, layout a blanket, and look at what objects the clouds above resemble
- Walk the dogs and indulge them in a belly rub.
- Sit with a friend and enjoy a glass of wine and conversation (cheese optional)
- Watch the sunset
- Buy a box of crayons and draw
- Compliment a stranger
- Catch your reflection in something and smile back (your hot and amazing and deserve it!)
- Be awesome
- 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.
Till next time-