Busy for the Sake of Busyness

Do you ever feel like you are doing something just to be busy? Is it hard to find time to be still? This is definitely something I struggle with. On a nice day I will plan to go spend time outside in the hammock or on the Adirondack chair. I will get myself ready with a cup of tea and maybe bring a book or journal and plan to spend some peaceful time just relaxing. After about 10 minutes (if I make it that long) I will no longer be able to ignore all of the things that need to be done, that are jumping around in my head. I will get up and get busy getting something done. Am I doing things just for the sake of doing something? Why do I feel there is no value in resting and being quiet?

This is one of the things I appreciate about my trips to the BWCA with my Adventure Sister Emy. There were times when it was raining and there was nothing that needed to be done. We would sit under our tarp, listening to the rain, drinking tea and chat. After a couple of hours of this, there would be nothing more to talk or even journal about. All that was left was to sit peacefully and just be. Even in this beautiful, remote area this was very hard for me. I would feel anxious but then typically have a  bout of anxiety, followed by some kind of emotional breakthrough. Almost as if my subconscious was trying to protect me from the pain. As if it was trying to keep it pushed down deep inside and hidden away. I would get anxious and feel the need to do something, anything, rather than just sit peacefully and rest. There were times this feeling of anxiousness was so strong I felt I wanted to leave the Boundary Waters all together. Once I got past the anxiety though, a rush of bare emotions would flood up in me. These were not fun emotions but, by allowing them to come up, I was able to process them and eventually move past them.

This begs the question; is the constant busyness of our time really just a manifestation of emotional disconnect. When I have free time at home I am seldom able to just be quiet and let time pass. I always feel the need to be multitasking. When I am on the plane or the bus to the rental car center, I seldom just sit peacefully. Typically I am scanning emails or playing silly games on my phone. I heard Deepak recently refer to it as the “illusion we are doing something”. Why do we feel guilty when we do nothing? How often does this really happen? Even when we relax, it is typically in front of the TV. Take a look at your life and see if (like me) you find that you are always doing something.

So all of this begs the other question; how do we change it? It is safe to sit peacefully and do nothing sometimes? Is it even honorable? How do we get there? Currently I am trying meditation. I feel it helps me see that it is healthy for me to spend sometime quietly, just feeling the rise and fall of my chest while I breathe. I hope that from meditation I can move to a place where I can sit in quiet contemplation. It was so powerful when it happened organically, as it did, in the BWCA. Even having the chance for a once a year retreat to allow for some quiet, seems like an excellent idea. I certainly do not have all the answers here. In many ways this question is as individualized as we all are. There is power and awe in those quiet moments. They are worth looking for and fighting to protect.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I love you! May you find many peaceful moments throughout your life, as if by magic.

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Control?

Have you heard that control is just an illusion? This is true. There is so much in this life that we cannot control but what do we really have control over? We only really have control over ourselves and how we react to things. 

The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it. ~ Chris Pine

We all have choices in life, this is true, but we cannot control the outcomes of those choices. However, we can work on our perspective about the things that happen around us. You can look for the disappointment and sorrow in a situation or you can look for the silver lining. This is the most powerful thing you can do to control your life. 

You cannot change others but you can change how you react to others. If you are trying to change something or someone you are probably feel very frustrated, because we really do not have that power. We can try and force others to change but in the end the change will likely not be sustainable. If they are just making changes because we are trying to force that upon them, eventually they are likely to slip back into being who they are. I am not saying people can’t change. People can and do change. I have changed a great deal over my lifetime. But none of the change was because someone else made me. All of the change started within myself. There was a time in my life when I was going through huge transformation. It started by a stirring deep down within me. It drove me forward and I started pushing to know more about this. I started studying, reading books, taking classes, and joining discussion groups. And I did change. I changed a great deal. I changed so much that the me, I was before this all started to happen, would not recognize who I am today. The point is, I changed but not because someone wanted me to, it was organic and it came from within me. 

I once had this one particular friend. We started working together and things quickly went bad. She started gossiping about me.  Because of this the way other people treated me changed and they would stop talking when I came around the corner. I couldn’t control her or her behavior, nor could I control the way others responded to her gossip. What I could control (and did) was how I reacted to it. I got another job within the company at a different location. It was actually a promotion for me, so her bad behavior was a blessing in disguise. Because we were still within the same company, those same people could see that I was being quite successful and doing a great job, so their opinion of me started to shift again to the positive. I took control of what I could control. ME! 

The Problem is not your problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem ~Captain Jack Sparrow

With a positive outlook, good attitude and remembering that situations (and people) will happen, but that you can only control your response to them, life will feel a little less out of control. 

Thank you fo reading my blog today. May life always help you move forward in positive ways. 

 

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