From Serious to Swag

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

After that I could even feel that my Soul would also love to drive around in a vintage car, like Ray Karam, one of the guys featured in the swag article.

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

Further Reading:
I am at last learning to be playful (in my 70’s!)
Our Bodies Hold the Key to the Truth of Who We Are
Returning to our body – The wonder, beauty and science of our body

462 thoughts on “From Serious to Swag

  1. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine offers humanity a point of reflection and an offering to change how we live. So that as you say Willem we can either continue as we are or act upon the reflection. Those people that have felt the reflection and are changing their lives or have changed their lives can feel the grandness within themselves which is the reconnection to the one soul and feel the joy that brings back to our bodies.

  2. All the Joy that is available when we connect to our Essence, our Inner-most, our Soul, feels so natural and normal that wouldn’t we all feel the appreciation of life as a swag-full harmonious being?

  3. ‘People we meet reflect back to us exactly what we need to work on – on ourselves’. And as uncomfortable as this is to realise Willem, I definitely agree with you.

    1. Like the example Willem gave, ‘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.’

  4. I loved reading this blog and the connection of seriousness to how the body responds and definitely relate to it.

    The bit that I loved reading was about how ‘people we meet reflect back to us exactly what we need to work on – on ourselves’. It was a great reminder that there is more to work and resolve, without making it a mission.

    I love what life reflects to us, all for personal growth.

    1. Who are we to judge another, are we merely being shown an aspect of ourselves that needs some healing, ‘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.’

  5. When we finally allow ourselves to feel the discomfort of living what we are not, we can make it a big problem and trying and striving can come in to make it even more complicated, and even ‘surrender’ becomes an effort, ‘being who we are’ becomes the next ideal of some sort, but really, we are that already. I am enjoying that unfoldment too.

  6. Seriousness is all around but it’s not who we are. If we remember how we were once in our childhood we could see a clear difference betwen the sparkle of light and joy and the ‘adult’ serious person that we may become at times. Love having the reflection of people like Serge Benhayon who is not afraid to show the real qualities that comes from our Soul. There is a joy and playfulness without the need to entertain the audience or to being humouristic, there is a still presence and a lightness that is not common to see everywhere but yet it’s the future of how we all can be one day, by simply returning to who we already are.

    1. I was recently at a function where there was a very small baby and I understood at a deeper level how surrendered they were in their bodies. I also observed how everyone gravitated at some point during the day to say hello to the baby. It was as though the baby was the reflection to the group of what it is to be completely surrendered in the body with not an ounce of fight in its tiny body. This was a huge reflection to understand how much we fight life with all the injustices that we can feel because we have a deeper understanding that it is not the true way to live.

  7. Thanks Willem for remainding me how ingrained a behaviour can be in our life to the point that we don’t question it. There are certain ways that I’m observing these days that became my ‘normal’, like being uncaring in some areas of my life, or playing the game of insecurity and hidding when in fact I have so much to share from my essence. What I appreciate really from your blog is the honesty in sharing openly your process and the acceptance of where you are at this point in time. Very inspiring.

  8. Interesting isn’t it that when we get to the point where we realise something has to change about how we are living and we start looking for the answers on how to change and then it can be easy for the ‘find the solution’ mentality to kick in, or go on a search for something, in this case to try and find our swag or joy, so it is awesome that you came to the realisation in your blog Willem that all you had to do was connect to who you really are as a person and then the rest will take care of itself.

  9. ‘As I realised, not living seriously but living playfully, light, with swag and humour, is living from the Soul’ – is spot on. The Soul has no images or expectations, it is a pure drop of essence of love waiting for us to reconnect to what we strayed from.

  10. I resonate with this blog as I was a serious person and the hardness I carried on my body was awful. I feel I am at that transition point of dropping the seriousness and seeing the joy and beauty in everything. There is more to work on, but I certainly don’t regret working on my issues, it has been a beautiful unfolding journey of discovery back to my soul.

  11. When I get serious or hard my wife reckons she can visibly see the contraction in my body – she says I look thinner in my face and my body! And when I am light, playful, at ease in my body and naturally joyful my body and face appears fuller and bigger.

  12. Beautiful Willem, the Soul is naturally joyful and playful… why would we want to get all serious and miss out all the magic that the Soul offers.

  13. Today I noticed how I have a habit of laughing and making jokes about serious things. I think I’m lightening the mood and relating but actually I just cement that this false seriousness is true.

    1. Don’t be to hard on yourself Joseph, sometimes it is good to laugh about yourself, especially as it is about ourselves, because genuine laughter takes the seriousness away.

  14. Like watching a TV show we can become lost in the fictional story of our day – wrapped up and super carried away. We need to remember it’s an illusion. Dramas untrue – Love is what’s real.

    1. I love what you have shared here Joseph for when we get caught up in the drama and emotional stories of our day it does indeed feel very much the same as when we get lost in the world of emotional drama on TV. This is a very practical and wise analogy.

  15. I got all serious about something recently, that really wasn’t necessary, then I got a lovely reminder from nature to lighten up and be playful about it. A squirrel playfully bobbing along the wall in front of me, in that moment I changed, I got the message and felt fun again, the heaviness lifted. A great reminder to keep it light.

  16. I grew up as an only child of older parents and I have a feeling that there was much more seriousness in my life than joy. But I also know that underneath the seriousness there is a whole lot of silliness always waiting for an opportunity to burst out; and it does. In the last few months I have been working with children two days a week and I am loving observing them having fun, being silly and generally enjoying every moment. What wonderful teachers they have been to support me to dismantle what is left of my seriousness, and how very liberating that is.

  17. ‘Oh thank God, what a relief!’ this is what most people say when they remember that they can play. Yet again and again for long stretches of time we are dragged back in to the murky soup of seriousness again. This pattern shows so clearly how there is a part of us – our spirit, that willfully chooses less than truth. Thanks to you Willem we can see that this habit need not bog us down.

  18. I loved what you have shared Willem, how the universe brings to us a reflection of how we are living so that change can happen. While reading your blog this morning, I am reminded of my own seriousness or reserve as Serge called it, coming up in my life from time to time. Here is something for me to address so that the lightness and joy of my soul can be lived.

    1. This seriousness is just not you Jill. The more you connect and really feel your essence, your Soul, the more you will living playfully. No thought action needed, it just is there. The being inside you is just naturally playful.

    2. Jill Steiner I have noticed that when we open up to people they also open up, it just takes one person to make the first move to reflect to the world a different way to live. It’s amazing what a difference it makes.

    3. We are reflected parts of ourselves for us to observe, and then heal if we choose, ‘People we meet reflect back to us exactly what we need to work on – on ourselves.’

  19. “And to be even more honest, I have forgotten how to laugh ‘from the stomach,’ especially about the silly things I do ‘wrong.’” Until fairly recently I too had forgotten how to laugh like this. However in the last couple of years I have laughed more deeply over the most innocent of situations, and it has been absolutely wonderful to reconnect to this light playful part of me that never went away, but just lay hidden under a rather big pile of seriousness that is now at last dispersing.

  20. “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 know exactly what you mean Henrietta. The way we move, how we think, the energy with which we live, does shape the body to reveal the truth about how we’re living and the quality of life.

  21. Willem, I love the commitment you present to being more of yourself, letting go of ideals and beliefs putting practical elements in place to support your deeper re-connection. As a child, I was naturally light and playful so I know that for me this lightness of being is in there and that it is just a matter of choice in allowing it to be expressed. I am fortunate in that I have two rather gorgeous, playful children in my life who reflect these qualities back to me. Each day they always raise a laugh and a smile and they have the capacity to infuse joy into everyone around them! What a blessing!

  22. I really do catch myself sometimes getting really serious about stuff when lightness and joy is all that is needed, sometimes I put it down to age and temporal responsibility but realise these are not excuses. If we are able to be playful life becomes naturally more joyous.

  23. I know this lightness and playfullness and I know the seriousness too. I get serious when involved with family and thank you for mentioning it because I feel that I need to take this more seriously( pun intended), to look even more closely at how I get drawn in and cut these old ways of being. Connecting to the body more consistently and with more awareness feels like the way to go.

  24. “As I realised, not living seriously but living playfully, light, with swag and humour, is living from the Soul.” I have for so long lived with serious, life was serious, because I had to get it right. I am gradually letting go of this seriousness and when I am connected to my body I can feel a lightness and joy from within.

  25. I always took life very seriously, and was often told to lighten up. Only at the time I didn’t really know how, until I came across Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and through their presentations I realised the more I trusted myself through connecting to my body, the more freedom I felt within, and the tightness and hardness I felt within my body started to disappear.

  26. Brilliant blog Willem! Swag, I have observed, is the coming together of a number of elements – the love of the inner heart, the shedding of contractive and debilitating consciousnesses, the deep love and care for the body, the joy of life and understanding our purpose here. All of these and more contribute to the magical quality of swag.

    1. Lyndy Summerhaze what you have shared is huge … understanding our purpose here. This is a huge discovery that we are not here to indulge in the desires of life, but to reflect back to others a different way of life. One that is more joyful because of the reconnection back to our soul, the one soul we all come from and we will all return to.

  27. Now this is a truly stylish blog to read – living life with fun and light is not a momentary thing but a way of life. It can be. You show us all Willem that it doesn’t just happen coincidentally but it’s a quality that we can choose – from our cells and the way we move. Thank you xx

  28. Seriousness can be overrated and used in a way that is actually harming for the body, as you described it can put our body in a rigid state where there is a lack of fluidity in our joints and ligaments. We can see from our body posture this easily – as when we are serious our body posture changes, even our facial expression does as if we are partly on “freeze”, gorgeous reminder that we need to embrace more playfulness within our lives and within our daily interactions.

  29. Sharing our light is an expansion of our whole way of moving and it not only frees us from thinking how we are to be but the lightness on our movements offers a great freedom to share, connect and be willing to show who we really are and re-connect to the child within.

  30. ‘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 losing our joy and lightness’. So very true Willem – intensity inevitable contracts our beautiful body which is naturally in a spacious state. True humour and lightness can keep us spacious and very open.

  31. “I don’t have to take on a role of being playful” – I so love how you have said this, Willem, and how this exposes a very ingrained way of being we keep applying to anything and everything we get presented with, and we might think that we have changed, but not so in truth. As you say, it is as simple as allowing who we truly are to just be.

  32. Thanks for this reflection on seriousness. I have had a few friends let me know how serious I can be at times and I have been noticing this more and more now that I have some awareness… and I have been noticing how fun and playful it can be to be silly and make light of things rather than make it doom and gloom. It is a choice, on how we see and respond to the world. And it is only with awareness that we can change those old patterns of behaviour that we have lived with for so long that we think that they are us, when in fact, they are clearly not.

  33. The moment I start to find myself getting serious about something I feel my focus becomes really narrow and it is all about the point I am trying to make completely at the expense of my body and everyone around me. Sure things need to get done but the way and the quality in which we do them in makes a huge difference. After all what is the point on achieving some great feat when we have left everyone else around us in a wake of disaster not to mention ending up with an exhausted, fatigued and stressed out body!

  34. The relationship between the column shape of the spine and seriousness is something profound. What comes to me is how different it is to be centered, anchored, solid in you, and how much this allows the spinal column to bend in a truly flexible way compared to having an S shaped column where the lower part of the S relates to the sadness of not being able to be you and the other part of the S is the body telling you ‘come on’, yet you fighting it, so the S shape cements and the underlying tension remains high at all time!!!

      1. There’s a bit of wordplay in what you and Eduardo have written about scoliosis – which begins and ends with the letter ‘s’ that is shaping your spine into a ‘s’-shape, Willem. It’s your choosing to change from ‘s’erious and ‘s’adness of not being able to be you, to ‘s’oulful that is truly re-shaping your life, along with your spine. How joyful is that!

  35. It makes sense that being serious allows the body to stay in a certain tension that locks the body and stops the flow of playfulness. Amazing to recognise and then let go.

  36. Bringing myself back to a natural sense of joy of lightness helps me to open up again – if I get too bogged down in something it’s like I’ve put blinkers on that stop me seeing the whole picture clearly.

  37. How can we find ourselves in being serious, working hard and taking on burdens wherever we can ? It all serves the purpose of self identification as when we live from the soul, from the deep knowing of who we truly are, all big things become small and the space opens up for light and playful ways of being.

  38. Swag wells up from a place deep inside you. It is not only fun and cheeky but it is also full of grace – amazing grace.

  39. Gorgeous Willem. And it is so true that the more we live in connection to our Soul, the lighter, the freer and the more joyful we feel in our bodies. As our bodies do reflect every choice we make, as we live in surrender or in resistance to being impulsed by our Soul.

  40. I know seriousness! I grew up in a serious family and when I face them I can be very serious but every time I feel yuck as it is not me. But I appreciate my seriousness and its accompanying yuck as it is an honesty in my body that this is not a true way for me and without needing my seriousness to change I am taking over bit by bit of my life in playfulness and joy and it will certainly come back to its source and oh what fun.

    1. As we move on, when we evolve, I find our families can keep on offering us things to keep us in old behaviors. A trick to hold us back. If we can learn to observe this ‘offering’ and see it as something of the past, we can learn to say no.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s