There’s a word that separates Your and Self – a word that allows you to set your goals, commit to your workout, juice your greens, save your money, hit your target, meet your soulmate, meditate to keep calm and carry on in pursuit of your best self.
Whereas being yourself doesn’t require anything – not a dash, not a comma, not a space. Grammatically speaking, it is ill-fated. There is no room to add an adjective, spark it up or improve on the self – it is stuck to the preceding letters y-o-u-r – and keeps you stuck there with it.
And being stuck, sucks. As does being yourself.
Because being yourself may mean that you are a fixed being with a predisposition to certain behaviors, likes, aversions, attitudes, thoughts and reactions. It might mean that you say too much, or want too much, or think too much, or that you are not enough.
Mostly, it’s that you aren’t enough, which you can justify by not having enough or doing enough. (Gosh this doing and being thing has gotten so confused. Even in our language. We used to ask people ‘how are you?’ And now we ask ‘how are you doing?’ It’s no wonder we run from being towards doing – there’s just so little space to be.)
Doing is public. You engage with the world and move and create and contribute. Whereas being is sacred and private and quiet. It requires nothing of you but your attention or inquiry or curiosity in noticing what’s there.
It also gives you little in return – there’s no measurable result accessed from being. Or maybe there is – less stress, more joy, better relationships, more focus at work, etc – but being could care less about all that. It’s there, under all of the doing and having and measuring, whether you observe it or not.
It’s the quieter, kinder, calmer part of yourself that warmly embraces what is: your body, your work, your relationships, your challenges, your successes, your life. All accepted with a wide smile, a soft gaze and a gentle tone that’s says It’s OK, to whatever it is. Reminding you that who you are, in this very moment, is so good, that there’s not a thing you could improve on. That you are, already, your best self, without having to do a thing.