In these busy times it certainly seems we have to make a decision to not be busy all the time and to become actively mindful and create space in our lives – otherwise the madness continues. This slowing down is much more difficult that it sounds though.
For me this concept is always a problem, I get bored quite easily and excited by new ideas (as anyone who knows me knows!) So this year I am practicing mindfulness by making choices with even more care for the consequences than ever before. I have long had to accept that, as the eternal optimist, I expect I can get twice as much done than I actually can – which leads to that overwhelming situation of having way too much to do and no time to do it. Which I hate.
To maintain a balance I need to be aware that when I choose to take on something new I must accept that, as I am already quite busy, other things will go by the wayside no matter how much I wish they didn’t. While this seems obvious, how many of us put our hands up or accept more to do without taking time out to consider the reality of what we are being asked, or asking of, ourself.
It is true – busy people get more done. And I know I stay focused and get more done when I have a bit on the go. But I know when I have too much on my plate my sense of synchronicity and flow disappears and I start feeling stressed and rushed – and if I keep up the craziness it eventually aggravates old injuries and gives me an awful pain in the neck. How fitting.
For someone with an auto-immune condition it may mean a flare up of their physical condition, for others it may be a susceptibility to anything that is going around, digestive issues or a lack of libido. All sorts of 21st century challenges such as road rage or even just general irritability can be a product of too much going on. Stress will always show up in our chink to let us know it is time to slow down.
By being more accountable for how much I can actually do and recognising the impact it will have on me, my work, my loved ones and my life is a way to learn from these challenges and create more balanced and a happier life – instead of just adding more things to an impossible list! In the end the chink will very often fix itself once we accept the learning it offers. <hear that neck lol!>
Of course listening creates its own problems! Firstly we have to accept the challenge of being mindful and creating the space to listen. We often have so much banked up that it seems impossible to stop, let alone listen to an idea that we are doing too much. How many times two we say, “I’ll just get this done and then I will stop” …. but the reality is, if we needed to, just about anything would be dropped in an emergency. So the first step is decluttering our life (not just our homes).
Next, once we have the space we need to learn to relax in it. A busy person often craves space but when it is created just schedules in a pile of outstanding todo’s from the ‘should’ pile. Or creates a new project. And so they are busy-busy once again. Learning to relax and follow the flow is a great way to get your mojo back and re-discover what is important to you.
Did you know that once you take enough time really doing nothing you will reconnect with the deeper part of yourself. That will include the motivation to do some of those items that have been on the list for some time. And as for some of the other items – well you realise you really don’t care and can delete them.
This actually works for everyone, the challenge is stepping through the beliefs that keep us feeling that busy = productive = successful. We often believe that if we aren’t busy we aren’t worthwhile or that un-finished projects reflect a flawed personality. We may have to accept that our super power is in fact in learning to relax and stretch into time without anxiety instead of squeezing time into an impossible schedule.
So enjoy some quiet time – Easter is nearly upon us and what better space than that to stop. Allow those busy demons to tell you to get a move on and listen to the madness they are preaching – often the quieter you get the more things they think of to get you to do! But not reacting means they will eventually quiet down and you can take satisfaction from telling them to chill!
Gay Landeta is a busy coach, counsellor and kinesiologist in Brisbane, Australia who has chosen a part time tree change to learn all about slowing down, growing veggies and making art.
copyright 2017 Gay Landeta, Create The Life You Want To Live. All rights reserved.