20 Jan 2018
One thing most people can agree on these days is that life is busy. There are constant demands for our attention, whether it be from work, study, kids, partners, family, friends, pets, whatever. We live in a fast paced, go, go, go, keep striving, easily distracted and impatient world. We demand that information we want be available immediately, we don't like being held up by traffic and heaven forbid if someone pushes in the queue in front of us....grrrr.....I openly admit that I am someone who attempts to get more than 24 hours out of a day and patience is not exactly my strongest virtue. There is always "stuff" to do. There is this constant list in my head of things that need to be done - and immediately. It doesn't even help if I write a list. The list still repeats itself over and over again in my head and I constantly add to it. "I just gotta do this, just gotta do that", constantly chasing, constantly pushing, constantly striving, it's ridiculous really. And for what? Who am I trying to impress? Nobody actually notices nor does anyone care. I am all caught up in my own little world of being a matyr but to what end? The only thing I am heading towards is burnout.
The past couple of weeks in particular I have had a big wake up call. My body has felt as if it has been tied up in knots. I am physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted and it is showing. I have been telling myself for a long time now, "I'm all good, everything is fine" and keep chugging away, one step in front of the other thinking it will soon pass but in reality it won't. The reason it won't is because I haven't allowed it to. I have become addicted to being busy. It's a drug that I can't seem to get enough of. I mean who needs sleep or down time when I could use that time to do x-y-z? Um, hello Kristelle, how are you supposed to function?It has taken some time (plus a couple of kinesiology sessions) but I have finally come to the realisation that I constantly distract myself so that I don't stop. If I sit down, I feel guilty and think about all the stuff I "should" be doing. "I have got to finish this homework that is piling up. I must finish that neverending pile of washing. What about all that paperwork? Far out, I still haven't done my tax!" I then get up and keep going because I am caught up in the illusion of time and not having enough of it.
So where has this behaviour stemmed from? Well I could turn it around and say that it is due to wanting to keep up with my perception of what today's society expects (being the supermum that has and can do everything) but no, that is not the case. Yes society's conditioning may have played a part in it but the truth is that I fell for it. I have put a ridiculous and unachievable expectation on myself so that I can live up to an underlying belief system that I am not good enough. Having goals to improve oneself is one thing but my standards have been set so impossibly high that I set myself up to fail. Why? Not through fear of failure but through fear of success. If I actually succeed, then that means my whole belief system will be shattered. We can't have that now can we?Last week, the universe sent me a message which I am grateful for. A speeding fine. Amongst the stack of bills, came another - one which could have been avoided if I had been paying attention and not in such a rush to get from A-Z. Message received loud and clear "SLOW DOWN OR IT IS GOING TO COST YOU". Thank you Universe. In this instance I am lucky it was only a financial cost, it could have been so much more. If I take this message into the context of life, not slowing down could cost me my health, my relationships, job and who knows what else?
So, why am I telling you all this? To raise it within your own awareness. If any of this is resignating with you, I urge you to slow down. Give yourself permission to stop and recharge regularily. If you feel guilty or uncomfortable doing so, ask yourself why? Where has this come from? Am I addicted to being busy and what can I do to break this habit? Have I set myself unrealistic expectations? Do I need to put aside my pride and ask for help?You know that "To do list" you have written down (or in your head), add relaxation time to it and make it a priority. Don't push it down to the bottom of the list and stack more on top of it. If you have to, schedule in down time into your calender - just make sure you do it. Go to bed earlier and get that much needed sleep. Meditate, join a yoga class, get a massage, have a kinesiology balance, go outdoors, read a book, spend more time with loved ones - do whatever you enjoy doing to unwind. Yes the bills need to be paid and the neverending housework needs attention but at what cost to you in other areas of your life? You are allowed to relax and have down time. In fact it is absolutely vital for your health and well being on all levels. How do we expect to keep our energy levels up and our brains functioning if we allow for no time to recharge? (Coffee ain't the answer, I can assure you!) It's time to stop seeing relaxation and down time as a treat, a luxury, or even a weakness and start to see it for what it really is - an essential element to life, good health and sanity :-)
I will leave you with this quote I read somewhere which stuck with me and is so relevant to the way we live today "Let's stop the glorification of busy. Your busy-ness is not a measure of your worthiness." So true it is, so very, very true.