Years ago I was in a presentation run by philosopher, teacher, writer and practitioner Serge Benhayon, where he shared that ‘seriousness’ can become an intensity in life, where we often become absorbed in something, harden and then lose our joy and lightness. Even though I mentally understood what he was saying, how did that play out in my life?
I can be light and playful from time to time, which I deeply know is my natural essence, but this is not my everyday, every moment way I feel. And to be even more honest, I have forgotten how to laugh ‘from the stomach,’ especially about the silly things I do ‘wrong.’ Yes, sometimes I can really laugh like that, but in general it does not come easy to me.
The other thing I observe is that my body feels rather contracted and skinny, especially on the right side creating hammertoes in my feet, for example. I also have a condition called ‘Scoliosis,’ which basically is a body that has grown out of sync creating an S curve in my spine and hips, therefore I’m unable to stand up straight.
Could it be that I was not only living seriously, but also that this seriousness had ingrained itself deeply in my body? Just like people who live in constant sadness, where you can see this sadness in their face?
I had to admit that I had been living seriously for a very long time and that it had become a way that was normal to me: so normal that the way of living had ingrained itself in my body.
But what had happened that made me choose to live seriously? And what could I do to go back to my natural way of living, the way I vaguely remember from childhood, which is to live lightly, playfully and joyfully every single day?
For years, I knew this theme, but never really chose to work on it. The seriousness had become my normal and it really did not seem to bother me that much. As a result, my body, which is the reflection of how I am living, stayed contracted as it was.
The Point of Evolution Presented by People
I could have continued to live like I did, but life constantly offers us possibilities to evolve and the only thing we have to do it is see it and act on it.
People we meet reflect back to us exactly what we need to work on – on ourselves. For example, we meet people who we deem are unreliable and judge them for it… this most probably suggests that we have to work on where we are unreliable ourselves. Once we resolve the unreliability issue in ourselves, those people magically disappear from our lives, or our relationship with them changes completely. The lesson is learned.
So I met somebody who was, what I thought, really serious. And because my seriousness had become so normal, I met him not once, but three times, to understand what beautiful point of evolution he presented me with. The first two times, I still judged him for being so serious, so blind I was. I then realised I had come face to face with my own seriousness – a possible lesson to learn.
I acknowledged that I was living seriously and made a decision to stop living like that.
Our Soul is Not Serious
I decided to also do a little study on seriousness, and ran into an article about swag, the Australian slang word for stylish, playful and cool: in short, the opposite of seriousness.
Our Soul is Swag
So then I figured out it gets really simple. I don’t have to take on a role of being playful or humorous but I just have to connect to the deeper part of me, my Soul, and speak and act from here. And, of course, clear all the energies and beliefs that foster seriousness, that are not me but are still stored in my body, just like somebody stores sadness in their face.
On a practical level, I have taken up Connective Tissue sessions with Kate Greenaway (a Physiotherapist and Body awareness, Connective Tissue movement specialist), which is restoring the flexibility and yumminess in my body that I vaguely remember as child – the antidote for the contraction and therefore the seriousness. This takes quite some dedication as I have been doing these exercises at least two times a day for a couple of months and only recently began to feel the changes in my body.
One belief that made my body contracted – which resulted in my seriousness – was chasing and following big dreams, a strategy my father reflected to me so well. I can sometimes feel my body feeling the future, but I don’t try to make pictures of it that my head then executes, totally ignoring my body (I’m working on this). This striving has led to a consistent ignoring of the body with abuse and contraction – the embodiment of seriousness being the end result.
As I realised, not living seriously but living playfully, light, with swag and humour, is living from the Soul.
A way of living which is called The Way of The Livingness, and these insights about seriousness and how it has affected my life, just confirmed that. I just have to commit to that way of living, to myself, to my Soul, just a whole lot deeper.
Yes, I can do that. It is a loving discipline, but definitely not with ‘contracted’ seriousness and with a lot of fun!
By Willem Plandsoen, Msc, Sales/Marketing/Innovation professional, business owner & employee and dedicated student of The Way of The Livingness