We are a culture of rushers. Of keep-busyers. Of don’t-stop-movingers. Of hustlers.
It’s this intense feeling of go-go-go, must-keep-moving, filling every second of the day with doing, because we must be productive. We must get through our to-do list. There’s so much to do, and so little time.
It’s an intense feeling of pressure. You can’t breathe. Your shoulders are tense. Must.Not.Stop.
We’ve all been completely sucked into the idea that being busy is good. Being stressed out, hustling and “crazy busy” is something we wear like a badge of honour.
We humans secretly love being stressed out, overwhelmed, rushed and the busiest most “productive” people ever. We feel important, special, normal, successful.
Our egos LOVE it. But our body’s don’t. Busyness, go-go-go, must.always.keep.moving energy puts us in SURVIVAL mode.
Survival mode means that all our energy goes towards running away and fighting – our muscles, our brain, our limbs. Our body isn’t focused on digestion, or making hormones or any of that not necessary to survive stuff when we’re in survival mode. Who cares about digesting food when your about to be eaten yourself?!
But survival mode isn’t supposed to last very long, it’s supposed to get us away from that bear, quickly.
But we’re now living in it 24/7 because it’s what we’ve been programmed to think is normal and acceptable. It’s hard to undo the programming. You have to literally retrain your brain!
Earlier this year, I almost destroyed my health when this energy took over. It was almost like I was possessed by this energy. I took on way too much and I just would not let myself stop. If I stopped, I felt like I was being lazy. There was so much to do!
I was working 46+ hours a week at a job that was making me miserable and stressed out. And then I’d fill every other waking second with doing stuff – nothing that was necessary, nothing that absolutely had to be done or somebody would die.
I was actually trying to find these things to do – although, I wouldn’t have admitted that to myself.
I was avoiding BIG TIME. My thoughts, my feelings, dealing with that stuff. I was avoiding. My life was shifting in huge, dramatic ways. People were leaving my life. I felt unstable, like I had nothing solid to hold onto. So I just kept avoiding, instead of actually dealing with it.
And then I crashed HARD. My health crumbled beneath my feet. I was a wreck, I was shattered. I spent the next few months trying to pick up the pieces and put myself back together.
As soon as I get a little bit of energy back – I start switching straight back into that go-go-go, must be “productive”, get-shit-done energy. And then I’m wiped again. It’s a vicious cycle.
Yet when I did visualisation exercises and wrote down my values and how I wanted to feel, the words ease, flow, peaceful and content were always in there. When I did visualisation, I was laughing, swaying, moving slowly, femininely, with ease.
But it wasn’t matching how I actually felt in real life.
I know it’s not just me – I see this playing out with people in my life, with clients that I coach. They all WANT to feel ease, flow, peaceful and content, but they’re stressed out, rushing, go-go-going and filling they plates up until they’re overflowing.
I REFUSE TO RUSH
Recently I’ve decided – that’s enough. I’m done with the whole thing.
I decided that I just refuse to rush anymore. I refuse to keep taking part in this mental delusion we’ve been brainwashed with.
So I started slowing down. At first I was forcing myself, but slowly it’s becoming natural.
When I do the laundry – I’m folding it meaningfully. When I’m cooking – I’m swaying my way around the kitchen. When I’m moving around the house or down the street, I’m moving with ease.
I’m purposeful, deliberate but soft, feminine, and flowing. That’s how I want to feel – so that’s how I move.
So when I’m rushing around, or when I’m trying to get myself to slow down and to be okay with it, I repeat in my head like a mantra – I refuse to rush.
YOU ARE CHOOSING YOUR STATE
How you move through your day is a choice. At the moment, it’s probably an unconscious choice. So make it a conscious one. Be deliberate about the way you’re moving through your day.
Once you’re aware of it, you can change it. And eventually, it becomes a habit and part of who you are.
HOW MUCH OF THAT BUSYNESS IS REALLY NECESSARY?
Are you doing things because they NEED to be done? Or are you doing them so that you FEEL productive and successful?
Just because you’re constantly busy and doing, doesn’t mean any of it’s important.
Cut the fat. If it’s not making you money, necessary to survival/healing or bringing you pure joy – LET IT GO.
Do this everywhere – with your emails, with your mail, with your work, with the books your reading, with people, with commitments you say yes to, social events – everything.
Busyness for busyness sake is a disease in our society – and it will kill you.
WHAT ARE YOU AVOIDING?
Most of the time, all that busyness is just a DISTRACTION.
So what are you really avoiding?
What don’t you want to face?
What are you struggling to let go of?
If you suddenly stopped moving, what would you smack right into?
Relaxing is so important for healing. When you’re relaxed, the body is healing. When you’re stressed out, it’s hurting you. It’s really that simple.
Relaxing means giving yourself SPACE. Mental space to process, to ponder and to connect with that bigger force. It’s letting yourself BREATHE again. DEEP BELLY BREATHS!
We need quite time to ourselves. Otherwise we’re going to feel stressed, imbalanced, ungrounded, off-kilter. Especially while we’re healing.
THE SECRET TO RELAXING: force yourself.
Because relaxing is actually HARD! Your mind is telling you that your being lazy, unproductive, that you have shit you need to get done, don’t waste time. The guilt starts creeping in and eventually you get up and go start doing things.
But that’s just old programming. So it starts with baby steps. At first, you’ll have to FORCE yourself to relax. It will be hard, you’ll keep making a mental list of all the things you SHOULD be doing. And then you just need to tell your brain to shut up!
The other day, I took the afternoon off (despite massive and growing to-do list). I spend the afternoon book shopping and then took a long, slow, completely purposeless walk along the beach.
Not for exercise, for fitness, or for any reason at all. I forced myself to do that. I scheduled a time, and I kept that commitment to myself.
The more I flex my relaxing muscle, the easier it’s getting. The guilt is fading, and my mind has stopped making mental to lists. But it takes practice!