The Art of Stress-Free Living: How to do what you want to do.

{Photo: Wikimedia Commons}

{Photo: Wikimedia Commons}

After marveling at the statue of David, the Pope asked the sculptor, “How do you know what to cut away?”

Michelangelo’s reply? “It’s simple. I just remove everything that doesn’t look like David.”

Inner beauty is revealed, not created…

When you think of being totally engrossed in your favorite activity, are you thinking of life’s problems and worries? Probably not, eh?

For me, being in the ocean, surfing its beautiful waves, is a time where life’s issues seem to be in a different universe. No matter what happened at work, or in my relationships, I am in a different world when I am surfing. A world where my whole being is in ‘the zone,’ perfectly aligned with my real, natural ‘me.’

If I had to define ‘me,’ it is that which would mostly match my preferences and values. Some find their ‘me’ in their expression of sex, dance, yoga, computer programming, being in the outdoors, you name it — whatever rocks your world. Whatever makes your essence dance, laugh, and shine.

And why is it, that in life, at times, we are so disconnected from this natural contentment and well-being?

I do not think we experience such innate joy simply because we are so engrossed in our favourite activity that we temporarily forget life’s challenges. I think there is more to it than that.

I think that there is happiness in the freedom of being you, and that when you are not radiating your natural essence, you experience a degree of discomfort. I also think the extent of your discomfort matches the extent of the mismatch between your natural preferences and your circumstances.

When, in your work role, you experience stress, you may find that something in this working environment, something that you are doing, is out of sync with your natural preferences. So, naturally we experience a level of stress to warn ourselves that we are out of sync.

Obviously, we may encounter circumstances in life that we do not prefer.


 {Motorcycle Surfing - Via}

{Motorcycle Surfing – Via}

The art of stress-free living is to know your natural preferences, and to make the most of what you are doing, subject to the boundaries of your circumstances.

Knowing your natural preferences, something I call your Natural Self, is a perfect tool to design your life roles to match what makes you tick.

Who you are, and what you do, are not the same. Express your doing from your being, and you will enjoy what you do. This equals happiness. Do this consistently, over a long enough period of time, and you will do what you want to do. This equals freedom. Your natural essence is your inner beauty. Let it shine. Your light is unique, and without it the world is a darker place.

Remove those cloaks of habitual identity and carve out your natural inner beauty.

Bring your ‘Statue of David’ into everything you do, because you are a masterpiece that the world loves to admire.


{Let your David out}

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Featured in international media, like The Saturday Times, and MSN Extras, Bartholomeus Nicolaas Engelbertus’s unique personal growth approach (subtraction of ‘the undesired’ — revealing a person's inner strengths) is the driving force of the anti-conventional Natural Self System. The Epiphanies found from his near-death surfing accident, and overcoming dark times resulting from undesired personal life change, are the source and inspiration for creating a way that makes a person emerge their own individual strengths and create ways to apply this to life, career, and relationships. Bartholomeus is the creator of The Natural Self System, and runs Life Changing Surf Life Coach Retreats in Cornwall, Portugal, and Mexico. His latest book — ‘Waves of Change’ — focuses on Thriving on Change, by Unleashing your Natural Self. You can connect with Bartholomeus via and Facebook.


  • Marcio Zenanovich commented on August 21, 2013 Reply
    Loved this article. I’m glad to have stumbled on Rebellesciety.
    • nicolaasengelbertus commented on August 21, 2013 Reply
      TNX :) Marcio, and yes Rebelle Society is a wonderful place indeed :) Bartholomeus N.E.
  • Elizabeth Norvell commented on August 21, 2013 Reply
    Your article brings to mind Zen Master Suzuki’s quote: “The true purpose of Zen is to see things as they are and to let things go as they go.” Brilliant. Loved it!
  • Tanya Lee Markul
    tanya lee markul commented on August 21, 2013 Reply
    Wow – is that your real name? ;-) Love it and loved this article. Thank you.
  • SR Atchley
    SR Atchley commented on August 22, 2013 Reply
    Thanks for revealing yourself. ;) Excellent writing, great piece.
    • nicolaasengelbertus commented on August 22, 2013 Reply
      :) thanks SR, life is more fun when people show up and are as they are, right?
  • Fin (@alfin_akhret) commented on August 22, 2013 Reply
    This is really awesome inspiring article. thank you. :)
    • nicolaasengelbertus commented on August 22, 2013 Reply
      Great! World watch out, and soak up the rays! Fin’s natural self is shining brighter :) Thank you for your kind words.

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