How To “Just Be”: A Learn-As-I-Go Guide

I wrote Monday about my desire to spend the next two months learning to “Just Be”.

Yes, it’s something I need to learn.

After writing that post and posing the question, What does “just being” mean to you?, I found myself thinking of a post Faiqa once wrote about how we often discuss the things our children do, but never what they are – because they just are. I spent 30 minutes searching for that post in her archives and I couldn’t find it, but the bold and italics of you just are continued to dance clearly in my memory. And still, I wasn’t able to put them into context for myself.

Then I read Naomi’s comment on yesterday’s post:

“just being” is a HUGE struggle for me … but I’m working on it.

For me? Just Being means ::

~turning off the computer (literally OFF, which can be so painful sometimes! Pathetic to actually type that out loud!)
~ actually listening to my littles when they ask me a question
~ sitting for 5 minutes with headphones on while waiting to pick up my kids, instead of gabbing with other moms at school
~ not turning on the tv before bed and simply sitting there, collecting my thoughts aimlessly, rehashing the good in the day I’ve just finished.

I’m learning to love finding the small moments in the course of a day!

I noticed that her Just Being suggestions were a combination of minimizing distractions and focusing on her priorities.

And it clicked.

Just Being, I think, is about minimizing distractions so that you can do the things that contribute to who you just are.

This is what that would look like in my own life:

Minimize Distractions:

  • Turn OFF the computer. Fully, really, all the way off.
  • Plug in my iPhone – and all its notifications and apps and reminders – in another room.
  • Turn off the TV, which isn’t hard to do because the only TV we have left in our house doesn’t have a digital tuner in it so it only plays the Wii or movies – and we no longer have a DVD player.

Who I Am:

  • A mother
  • A wife
  • A friend
  • A writer
  • Curious
  • Creative
  • Healthy
  • Social
  • Reflective
  • Fun
  • Spiritual

Little Things That Contribute To Who I Am:

  • Go for a walk with my family.
  • Snuggle with my husband.
  • Draw pictures with Emma.
  • Read.
  • Play card games with Devin.
  • Write letters to my friends and family.
  • Visit friends.
  • Ride a bike.
  • Practice meditation.
  • Take photos.
  • Dance in my living room.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Make my bed.

What would it look like in yours?

Do you have distractions that need to be minimized? Do you know what little actions contribute to who you just are?

When I quit smoking, I made a list of little things I could do instead of smoke. I printed that list out and posted it on my refrigerator so that it would be easily accessible when I needed it most. It sounds like a silly and unnecessary step, but it really helped me break a deeply ingrained habit. I think I’m going to do the same with this new list to help me make new habits that reinforce who I am in little ways.

I believe that doing things that support who and what you are is essential to living an authentic life.

I think, maybe, that’s what “Just Being” is all about.

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