Busyness is a national epidemic, don’t you think? People dart about, caffeinated, from one to-do to the next, fuelled by Red Bulls and adrenalin and have to do mindsets. It’s only when we step outside of this frenzy that we stop to let life in; watching the sun absorb into the sea’s horizon at the beach, observing the faces of your children turn from scrunched wonder to open delight as they tear into their Christmas presents. Holding a loved-one in a lengthy embrace, content to let Time move on without you. This is it, you think: This is living.
I, too, often feel like a juggling clown, regretting that I chucked up too many balls in the air, hoping not to disappoint my audience. We’re all busy; occupied. So how do we handle our busy schedules and get the time to sip the delicious moments of life, such as mentioned above?
1) Take an inventory of your schedule. First off, is there anything clogging it up that doesn’t need to be there: That reality TV show that leaves you feeling packed with startling emotions before bed? Do your children need or want after school activities everyday? How many minutes do you really spend on Facebook? (my personal weakness:-) See what is not worth your effort and eradicate it. Prioritize what you have left, doing what’s most important to you earlier in the day, if possible. I find transmitting and committing a fresh schedule to paper, an iPhone app or a Google calendar really helps to take all the swimming to-do’s out of my head space and onto a clear, managed, organizing resource.
2) Be grateful for what you have left in your schedule. I’ve yet to meet someone who enjoys depositing laundry in the rightful drawers, or wedging onto a packed train for the work commute. But flip your perspective; I’m so grateful that I have a house to clean, a job to go to, children to pop to school, a dog to walk, a car to ride in. Yes they can eat into our cash flow-and time- but where would we be without them?
3) Wring as much joy as possible out of the daily to-do’s. As an act of kindness for yourself, see if you can fashion some ways to make the mundane and unpleasant must-do’s not only manageable but enjoyable: Treat yourself to a new audiobook to listen to whilst cleaning your home. Make a music CD for the car work commute, or a book for the train. Wear something special to work, just because, perk up your day with a bold lipstick or a silly tie. Take the scenic route, try a different gym class or supermarket. This helps to break up the stale monotony of the everyday, it opens us up to sample life in a different way.
4) Relaxation is not wasting time. There is a natural inhale and exhale that happens within our bodies to keep us alive and healthy. The same principle of inhale and exhale applies spiritually, too. If we just do do do -exhale- then our inner reservoirs dry out of strength, breathe, inspiration and energy. If we conversely only relax without seeking positive action, then we only inhale. We get saturated in information this way, self-absorbed, over- indulgent. We need that healthy balance of inhale and exhale; work and play, give and take, doing and being. Most busy folk tend to exhale for too long, and forget the importance of the inhale. Yoga, walking, being in the arms of nature, curling up in a sunny spot with a book, playing with our pets, watching a heart-lifting movie- all these things give us back to ourselves from the clutches of stress and tension.
5) Affirm “I have plenty of time.” Doesn’t matter if you think its a lie. Say it enough and you’ll accept it, you’ll start to see it manifest. Soak those words into your mind, feel your tight jaw drop, your furrowed brow unwrinkle and your shoulders, unconsciously hitched up by your ears, roll down and back. Feeling these words melts away the jerky constriction of zipping about, robotically, on autopilot. Consistently flitting about thinking and believing I’m so busy, I haven’t enough time seeps into your subconscious like a upturned sand timer until your perpetual state is stressed and tense, whatever your schedule looks like. That bustling anxiety spills into our nervous systems, which accepts it as our normal mode of operation. So even when we do find ourselves on a rare relaxing holiday, we still find ourselves fizzing with residual adrenalin, unable to switch off.
And, of course, the busier and more time deprived we feel internally the more external circumstances to equally reflect that back to us are attracted to us, like magnets. In short, we see the law of attraction in action; our outer world reflects our internal beliefs.
In the words of one of my favorite writing heroines, Jane Austen:-
“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”
Life sometimes requires us to say, ‘sod the house being a wreck, lets go out for the day anyway,’ or taking time off that we know our bank account might object to but our soul so needs. These are the moments that make up a life well lived in.
Namaste, have a bright and beautiful day!
Just a note: If you’ve not already signed up to register for Our New Bright Side Community then please do so. Bright Side is (hopefully:-) going to become a much more interactive space, but to do so we need your help. Can’t wait to see your participation in the new Bright Side Forum. See you over there!