When creating the services for LiveKaruna | Strength-Focused Counselling, one theme that screamed for attention in crafting therapeutic packages for optimal wellness, was to help people find life balance. Most of us are challenged with feeling overwhelmed, dragged down and incomplete in life. We may be excelling in work or school, but still have not achieved that inner fulfillment and happiness, that loving relationship, the personal health goals we aspire to….ultimately, we feel imbalanced or incomplete. If some of these resonate with you, you may also be familiar with the notion of ‘busyness’.
Ever bumped into someone who you haven’t seen in a while and when asked how you are doing, responded with the go to ‘busy’. Better yet, do you express to yourself and others close to you how busy you are? Are you someone who feels that you are living in an overwhelming state? Do you feel constantly bogged down and buried in tasks? I have no doubt a large percentage of you reading this post answered yes to one or more of these questions. If not, you are likely the remaining number who have to listen to friends or acquaintances complaining about how ‘busy’ they are!
This ‘default response’ is part result of the misperceptions in our society that busyness should be glorified. We are somehow under the assumption that it gives us the identity of being productive and important members of society. But does busy really make you feel good? At the end of your ‘busy’ day how do you feel? Is it possible in the western world that we are all speeding through life driven by this falsified justification that busyness is greatness, while in reality missing out on life itself? Is this crazy rat race part explanation to the mental health epidemic reaching the highest figures of reported stress, anxiety, depression, cellular inflammation and lack of self care?
When we express how busy we are, it may be an appeal for sympathy, a cry for help, a desirable identity one is trying to maintain, an avoidance to deeper roots in life or an authentic response to how life really feels. My own work with co-active coaching helped me come to the realization that I was struggling with just sitting and being with my emotions, I was so rudely burrying them out of site, busy-ness was the perfect distraction! One thing that cannot be denied in society, as annoying and somewhat narcissistic as the response may be, it is a socially acceptable response to avoid, excuse or identity oneself when claiming life is busy!
So why are we so busy, where did all our time go? More importantly, How is it serving you?
This century is like no other in terms of the advances in technology and crowded infrastructure we live amongst. For many people, it is really difficult to stop and do nothing for 10 minutes. What is going to happen when you can’t check your phone, watch TV, do work? What version of you would you find? ‘Good me, bad me and not me’.
It is quite excusable to want to stay occupied, we feel like we are being productive, confident, affirmed and more successful. We even place weight onto our busyness by using vocabulary such as…”should, have to, need to, must….”.
However, it may come as no surprise that although busyness can be perceived as success, it is not. You are not thriving in life when you are overwhelmed and overloaded, you are nothing more than you describe it, busy! So consider this, if I was to tell you that there are very few things in life you actually have to do. You don’t have to clean your house, you don’t have to go to school, you do not have to pay the cell phone bill. It is brilliant in fact that you get to have the choice to clean, educate yourself and have a cool piece of technology, all of which you choose to work and pay for. Reframing this way, we can start to look at things a little differently from this perspective, if we get to choose to do all of these wonderful things, we are truly empowering and in control of our own destiny.
We ask that you explore the the following questions and reflect on how you can truly find time, space, forgiveness and respect to take moments in your day to sit, observe and listen to what the ‘quiet you’ has to say…