“I’m just so busy!”
“Oh, I’d love to but I can’t, I’m so busy”.
“I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off”.
“My to do list has a to do list”.
Sound familiar? I know I’ve certainly used all of the above sentences on more than one occasion.
In fact, I’ve been wearing my BUSY as a sign of pride. “I’m so busy all the time, but I love it, it’s a sign that I’m alive”.
But, is it?
Am I really alive with all of my busy, or am I just using my busy to distract myself from what truly matters in life?
I’m beginning to think that BUSY is one of the nastiest four letter words in our language.
“In a society that almost demands life at double time, speed and addictions numb us to our own experience. In such a society it is almost impossible to settle into our bodies or stay connected with our hearts, let alone connect with one another or the earth where we live”. – Jack Kornfield
It seems that society prides itself on filling up our calendars, the more we pile on the more successful we appear to be.
We frown upon “down time”. We look at it as lazy (another ugly four letter word), unmotivated, unproductive.
And so sunup to sundown we fill our days with activities, tasks, to dos. And we don’t stop. And we brag about how busy we are. Or we complain about it, but with a sense of pride behind our complaints.
“I’m busier than you are”. “Look at how full my plate is, yours isn’t nearly as full”.
It’s a competition to see who reaches sheer exhaustion first.
Then we wonder why we are all so frazzled, burnt out, cranky, and unpleasant.
Worse yet, so completely out of touch with our needs, our passions, and ourselves.
“Western laziness consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time at all to confront the real issues”. – Sogyal Rinpoche
We are so busy in our lives that we are completely missing out on living our lives.
We are scheduling ourselves into a complete disconnect with our true nature.
Perhaps it is time to literally stop and smell the roses.
I began to realize the importance of slowing down when I took up yoga. And here’s the thing, I resisted yoga for years, because it was “too slow” for me. BORING, I said.
After several years of practicing yoga, I can assure you it is neither too slow or boring. Yoga is challenging both physically and mentally. And it has become an essential part of my spiritual life.
Yoga forced me to slow down, to take time out of my frazzled state of “go, go, go” and breathe. To focus on my breath, on my movements, on the present moment.
And from there, I learned to stop being so damn busy all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, my life is filled with activity. I work a full time job, have a side business, run my household on my own, and have an incredibly blessed social life. There is always something going on.
The difference now is that I have added STILLNESS to my calendar. I have embraced “lazy” days, only I call them self-care days.
I make it a non-negotiable that every day I take time to sit and pray, meditate, journal, or just stare out at nature. I no longer begin my day by looking at my cellphone and checking emails and social media, instead, I listen to an inspiring audio book or tid bit while I get ready for work.
On weekends, I spend time with my coffee and a book and my journal on my balcony.
On weekdays, I step outside for my lunch hour and take a walk, or simply sit under the trees listening to the birds.
I’m a television junkie, and I don’t have anything against television watching, but I’ve cut back on the amount of time I’ll sit in front of the television.
I do yoga, I take power walks, I hit the weights at the gym.
I spend time with friends, just sitting and talking, for hours.
I SAY NO.
I say no A LOT.
I am blessed to have many amazing friends, from all walks of life, with all sorts of interests, so the invitations to do things are abundant, and welcome. But in the past, they felt a bit like obligations…how could I say no to a friend who wanted to spend time with me?
I have learned to listen to my inner voice. Saying no isn’t saying to no to a friend, it is saying YES to myself and my needs.
“Simplifying our lives does not mean sinking into idleness, but on the contrary, getting rid of the most subtle aspects of laziness: the one which makes us take on thousands of less important activities”. Matthiew Ricard
I am erasing BUSY from my vocabulary. I haven’t quite mastered that yet, but I’m working on it.
I no longer need to feel busy to feel alive.
In fact, I feel more alive in the stillness. In the moments when I’m present and living life.
Busy is an excuse we use to avoid being comfortable in our own company.
I’ll tell you a secret…I LOVE myself, I’m pretty fabulous company. And so are you…take some time to get to know yourself a little bit better, I promise, you won’t regret it.
Join me tonight at 9PM/Est in my Facebook Group Find Your Joy for a LIVE discussion on how to lose the word BUSY from your vocabulary and be more present in your every day life.