I literally have had the concept for this post swirlin’ around in my crazy, non stop churnin’ noggin for the past week. A post that discusses our societal glorification of busy, how I wholeheartedly oppose it, and how flipping our perspective on how we view busyness can radically alter the way we go about our days. But, alas, the post has not yet been written because (cue bucket loads of ridiculousness and sheer embarrassment) … I was too busy. Go figure. I couldn’t find the time in my 24 hours of gifted time, each day of the past seven, to share my thoughts on how effed up busyness is and why I’m waging a war against it. Shame on you lifestyle and wellness blogger, shame on you …
The inspiration for this exploration first arose late last week, when I found myself rushing around, chasing my tail, feeling rather overwhelmed and terrified by the obligations and commitments that lay ahead of me. I muttered to myself something about having ‘too much on my plate‘ (I know right – ‘Um hello, table for one at the pity party please’, ugh) and scrambled along, with non present and frenetic energy a go go. You know those days where you rush from task to task, totally not in the moment and probably performing said tasks with half the dedication, love and enthusiasm that they deserve? Yeah – I was having one of those. Anyway, no sooner had a muttered these very self indulgent and ego-born words when a little, all knowing and ever-so-calming inner dialogue chimed in with ‘yeah, because you loaded up your plate at the bloody buffet. Idiot.‘. She is a bloody truth bomb talking inner guide, but she is also kind of sassy. And her words absolutely stopped me in my tracks.
How often do we fall into the trap of ‘busyness’, seduced by the illusion that a busy life is a successful one, and almost surrendering all our power and control in the process. I honestly think it all boils down to (my favourite concept and the sexiest goddam quality in the entire world) … accountability. I believe we would lose our shit (in a really good way), if we acknowledged and accepted how much power and control we have over any given situation. Every obligation, with only the very very very few exceptions, are actually in our lives by choice. Every commitment. Every stress. Every joy. Every task. Every little ‘to do’ on your list. They’re all a choice.
I’m not saying all choices are created equal by any means. Some are born of guilt, some are born of shame, of passion, of love, of hatred, of self sabotage … whatever. Let’s just say, you are feeling overwhelmed because you have a million and one things to do within your work day, and then you realise that it’s your turn to host the mother’s meeting at your house this evening. “I don’t want to but I have to“. But the truth is, oh darling one, that you actually don’t have to do anything. We do things, action things and make choices based on their perceived consequence of inaction or their possible reward of action. We host or participate within the mother’s group because we like the feeling of being included, we like that we have the opportunity to show off the new epic sofa that just got delivered [featured on Rebecca Judd loves only 2 weeks ago], we fear that if we don’t host or we cancel that the ringleader and gossip queen of the group will deem you a ‘fair weather member’ and your social ranking will plummet. Whatever the commitment, whatever the reason behind it, the moment that you realise how much power and autonomy you have over it – your relationship to these ‘overwhelming tasks’ will no longer appear burdensome and will instead feel a little more aligned.
That’s it. A mere perspective flip of ‘Hey! I’m busy because, at some point, I’ve said yes to all of these things.’, can change the game. Your challenge now, that you’re all super aware and in awe of your powers (right?), is to unpack and figure out the reason behind your original ‘yes‘. Was your ‘yes‘ born of joy, or of guilt? Thank your schedule for the sensation of ‘busy’ and instead welcome it as an opportunity to re-evaluate how and why these things are showin’ up in your life and why they’re bringing about undesired experiences of perceived stress and ‘busyness’.
Blessings and so much ‘intentional fullness’ x
PS – If you’re interested in this topic and want some further winter time (anyone else feeling like the Autumn mornings suddenly got cold AF?), have a looksie through these epic articles and fellow crusaders in the ‘War Against Busy’:
+ Life Hacker – What you should say instead of “I’m busy”.
+ BBC Capital – This is what you really mean when you say “I’m busy”.
+ Huffington Post – Let’s stop the glorification of busy.
+ Left Brain Buddah – Instead of saying ‘I’m busy’.
Image sourced here