Ask most people how they are feeling and one of the more common responses will be, ‘Busy!’ Some people even roll out the word three times as in, ‘Busy! Busy! Busy!’ And generally speaking I am no different.
In fact, not too long ago I was keeping an insane schedule of work, writing, music, extensive daily knee rehabilitation sessions, trying to remain connected with family and friends and then trying to make some time for myself.
Would you like to know the secret to how I managed it?
Well, not in a manner that made me feel like I was thriving.
I was being torn in so many different directions and, as a consequence, I was literally falling apart. If I was coping things would have been fine. But I wasn’t. Anyone know that feeling?
I was doing what I thought I was meant to do, which is what most of us do and what we now encourage our kids to do. And that is to work relentlessly and ruthlessly to achieve that goal, or fulfil that destiny or reach that potential. Of course when we approach life this way it can be destructive to our health and emotional wellbeing.
Not to worry though as all will be ok when we achieve that goal, or fulfil that destiny or reach that potential. Only problem is, it isn’t. If your health is destroyed your health is destroyed. If your marriage breaks up, in all likelihood, your marriage is over. If you burn out and fall under the merciless spell of stress, anxiety and depression it is a very long haul back to your best – if you can get there at all.
Incredibly, many of us go through a lot of suffering while walking a path we are not even aligned with, or find any joy in following?
Why do we do this?
One key factor may be that we don’t take any time or space to be quiet and to work out what is really important to us and then begin to live a life that reflects this. Perhaps even more alarming is that even if we were given space to think, most people would prefer to fill this space with something else. In one study participants preferred to inflict a mild electric shock on themselves rather than sit quietly, alone. However, over time, if you stick to a habit of spending time quietly alone you will eventually feel much calmer. Studies have also indicated this.
In my situation I found myself on the brink! I had to do something! Something I felt sure would work! What did I do?
At least for a little while! I reintroduced my daily yoga asana practice, exercised regularly and resumed my meditation practice. And I’m winning. I still seem to have a lot on but I manage things in a much calmer and more peaceful manner. What used to be ‘business’ has simply become me being me, doing the things I love – mostly. After all, no one really loves the seemingly endless admin tasks we face today, do they? Taking space has become an integral part of my approach to managing the hectic lifestyle faced by many of us today.
I believe this to be so important that much of what I do today is about creating time and space for others to get some clarity on who they are and how best to express this in the world. After all, phusion living, if nothing else, is about the full expression of someone’s, hopefully your, life.
If you check out ‘The Key’ page of our website you will see just how important ‘taking space’ is for all of us, but especially for young people. Many adults manage their hectic lifestyle with a range of therapies, intense exercise, yoga and perhaps meditation.
We have gifted our children all of the pressures that come with a ridiculously busy lifestyle and sent them into the fire without the knowledge of, or access to, effective management strategies. Are we really surprised that obesity rates and the rates at which young people suffer from stress, depression and anxiety continue to soar?
If you feel it is time you made some changes in your life you may be wondering where to start?
Begin with yourself and your family. Remind yourself and teach your children that nothing is more important than maintaining your health and sense of calm – no matter what is going on! Be mindful of your reactions when situations in your life go a little haywire – the kids are watching. Remember, we will never be in control of all the things that happen to us in life but we can control how we react.
So take some time out and examine if your day-to-day behaviour is making your life more balanced or more chaotic! Sometimes even minor changes can have a positive effect on your life and the lives of those around you. Even squeezing in five minutes in the morning or five minutes before bed is better than nothing – but try and do it quietly and calmly. Remember this process is not about flipping out and making crazy decisions. It is the simple act of checking in with yourself to make sure everything is ok and, if it’s not, to start thinking about little changes you can introduce to be more you.
Stay tuned for the launch of another Phusion initiative that will address some of the the abovementioned issues.
Here’s to YOUR full expression!