Here’s how to get better at the art of simply being

Given that we are all breathing, it’s safe to say that we’re all pretty good at being. All day, every day, we exist—our hearts beat, our bodies function more or less—without us having to do too much to ensure these processes continue. Yet we suspect that there is some other level of existence we might operate on, another plane of being, where we’re living consciously and cultivating our best selves and maybe even feeling really good. So we exercise and aspire and try things, and that’s right and good. We can improve life with activities. We can also get better at existence by doing less, not making an effort and simply paying more attention to what is already happening. Here’s how to do, or not do, just that. The first step is to become aware of the notion of natural awareness, which is basically a state of effortless meditation where we’re not plagued by thoughts and worries and are fine with whatever’s happening, with “just this.” Next, cultivate practices that enhance it. Meditation may be one of those, but there are other ways of doing it like journaling or walking. The third and final step is embodying that awareness, getting in touch with this underlying sense of self with increasing frequency so that we get better at just being. Just so you know, this is a lifetime process, not something that simply happens. Knowing that takes the pressure off—you’ll never totally master existence and get to a point where you always feel chill. Still, you can actually become more relaxed by deciding to pay more attention and get in touch with the present. If this all sounds too abstract, take a look here for the full story on how to get better at just being.

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