There is a lot of literature about well-being, and living a balanced life, as a roadmap to a fulfilled life. Touted sometimes as the “new rich”, well-being is marketed as a secret passage to a life of happiness and wisdom, and the opposite of doing or having it all or as much as possible, as directed by societal aspirations and ambitions that we might get trapped in. Indeed, our modern lifestyles tend to blurr the lines between business and personal hours, and oftentimes, high achievers are conditioned to keep going from one milestone to another, from one success to another, from one task to another … This can eventually lead to burnout or dissatisfaction, a feeling that something is missing or that somehow or somewhere, we got lost in the noises of the world and society. One might find himself or herself rejecting either one or the other lifestyle, and with this rejection, either burn and crash, or risk being a little too complacent and deny himself or herself a natural potential for growth. In this mist of potentially good or bad ways, one lifestyle emerges as an enlightened way – a lifestyle called “being”. Not “well-being”, and not “super-being”, but simply “being”. A quote by deceased American make-up artist and author, Kevin Aucoin, could sum it up: “Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up, I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.”
So what is “being” after all and how much of that is “well-being” or “super-being”? Being is becoming as conscious as possible about our thoughts, values, choices and actions. Being becomes a lifestyle when it is a dynamic reflection of our continued experiences and experiments – sometimes with too much well-being or with too much burn and crash. By being, we give ourselves the space and freedom to experience a spectrum of outcomes and emotions, and constantly calibrate our lifestyles between dimensions of well-being and super-being.
The essence of being is finding our “roots” regardless of what’s happening around us or to us, and taking space and presence such that we remain in congruence with our needs and the needs of those around us. Being is derived from the experiences and emotions we live and not the things we consume, it is coming -sometimes in unexpected ways – with experiences that wake us up to what we might be truly needing or defining us but that we had not known up to that point. Once we experience the “being”, there is no turning back, because we understand that this path is uniquely ours to define and live – having gained more awareness and understanding about our true needs, desires and aspirations.
As a composer breathes new life into old music, so too a lifestyle of “being” is the oxygen to an authentic and rich life.
Some strategies and tactics conducive to a lifestyle of “being”:
– make it a practice to be intentional, present and a good listener, regardless of the circumstances or roles you find yourself in.
– keep experiencing with new skills, new ways of doing or responding to events or others, new activities and hobbies. In other words, cultivate a growth mindset and keep looking for ways to grow.
– simplify and declutter. The more overwhelmed you feel, the more simplification might be required to stay afloat or thrive. The easiest way to achieve a goal is to focus on it and avoid distractions or being spread out too thin. It is harder to simplify when you are a high performer or genuinely have many goals, but sometimes less is more and can be the breakthrough to getting to the next level or experiencing well-being and balance.
– get back up after you tripped. Disappointments, failure or frustrations are unavoidable parts of life. Sooner or later, we will experience negative events or emotions. Making the best of something negative, and finding a way to rebound and grow stronger from a bad experience or event is a recipe for inner growth.
– caring is sharing. Self care and care for others are the most efficient ways to reconnect with ourselves and these around us. Caring, sharing, and being vulnerable are a conduit for building positive emotions, resilience and hope in humanity and our own journeys. Being doesn’t happen “on our own” but in connection and connectivity with our tribe, environment and community.
Being is ultimately taking a driver’s seat to life with its ups and downs, and building an unique path of life by the experience of “being” across each experience, event, and decisions we made or face.