Rethinking Busyness and Embracing Harmony
It seems so common (myself included) to be overbooked, to be constantly performing and to be in an ongoing state of doing. We live in a society that praises busyness and busy people in general.
When did we all get so busy? So very busy. So dreadfully, unhelpfully, exhaustingly busy.
When did we all get so busy doing things, with full schedules, booked in advance and very little time to be spontaneous and just relax? When did doing became glorified and relaxation became laziness? When did we move to the other side, to over-production, burnout and forgetting about our need for quietness?
Sadly, it seems that this current pace of society is marked by doing, performing and achieving. We barely have weekends off and with the possibility of instant messaging we can barely disconnect from what we do and have a few hours in full silence. It seems like there is always something or someone that needs us right now. We are becoming addicted to doing things/ working/ training and this is leading us to high levels of stress and lack of connection with the silent self that inhabits our body.
Let’s allow ourselves to rethink our busyness. Let’s imagine for a moment that we can have a healthy, balanced and harmonious life without collapsing, stressing, or even burning ourselves out. Let’s remember that doing is not the only purpose of this life and that we can add some simple habits that can make a huge difference in our life.
We can stop praising busyness and allow ourselves quietness, calmness and non-action. The monotony of this busy approach to life is opposed to the wonderful and challenging adventure of self-discovery. We simply cannot discover anything of depth or value if we’re exhausting ourselves with overdoing and distractions.
Important things to remind ourselves:
- Busyness is optional: Has life become a relentless trudge through a to-do list that never seems to end? Feeling constantly rushed, juggling time in your mind, shortening meetings, working in the car while eating? Being busy is an option and certainly a perception. Busyness could be a reflection of bad time management, lack of boundaries, not listening to our needs, need for external approval, and compensating with pleasing. Understanding the intention of our busyness without judging is a good first step to understand the purpose behind it and how to work on it.
- It is ok to say NO: Allow yourself to say no, to not go to that party, to skip that meeting, to take a day off, to not wake up to exercise at 6:00 am on that rainy day. Give yourself a break. It is totally and perfectly okay to say no without any further explanation. Give yourself that right. It is okay to have boundaries. We are only human and we only have 24 hours per day. As much as we want to do things, we need to recognize our limitations, the need to rest and learn how to pause. The more you set boundaries for yourself, at work, etc., the more people will understand and respect them and the more balanced you will feel.
- We need contraction and expansion as a flow: According to TCM’s (traditional Chinese medicine) laws of physics and biology we need, as the planet itself with its four seasons, to stop, to relax and to renew the energy. It is simply not possible to continue without a pause. The pause isn’t going out for a run of 20k, then shopping, and then getting drunk with friends. Even though that seems nice and you are probably doing it from joy (hopefully), contraction is simply doing nothing, without any movement or any action involved. It is quietness, silence, and non-activity.
- Doing from joy vs. doing from duty: This is a really important topic. Many of us live lives full of activities, some of those activities seem nice and cool, like doing exercise, yoga classes, cooking classes, running and even meditation. We wake up early to have enough time to do all the things we want, but, what is the energy motivating it? Do I go to the gym because I have to? Because I despise my body? Or is it because I cannot stand my thoughts and emotions and need to be distracted? It is important to rethink the intentions of the actions. Many of us have positive actions but the intentions behind them are full of scarcity, fear-based and duty-based. We need to go deeper and rethink our actions in the sense of understanding their purpose and make sure they’re coming from a loving and harmonious purpose. For example, I go to the gym because I want to take care of myself and nurture and care for my body. I am meditating because I want to commit to healthy habits and not because it is trendy and everyone is doing it. Let’s connect with actions that come from joy instead of duty.
- Small acts of joy: Laugh…laugh a lot, allow yourself the uncontrollable, ridiculous, real laugh. Breathe deeply, anchor yourself with the awareness of breathing as many times as you can during the day. Be surrounded by positive social interactions, gather to learn, to enjoy, to uplift each other instead of judging and getting frustrated. Hug and receive hugs, hug purposely and show care and affection to those important people in your life. Listen to your emotions and needs, be your priority. Remember life was designed to be a unique and awesome adventure that is happening right here, right now!
Take some time to reflect on these ideas, check your daily life and make the proper adjustments. You deserve to be happy now!