Is 'busy' your excuse?

My hands wrapped around the red paper cup as I took a sip. What felt like soothing hands reaching down to my insides and warming my heart was a morning cup of tea. I savored the taste and feeling as it allowed me to stop for a moment. Most of the time I wouldn't consider myself a ‘hot drink’ kind of person. As my cousin explains in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine this makes sense. My dosha is Pitta, with one of the traits being that I'm warm by nature, so needing to feel warm isn't common, unless I'm not feeling in alignment.

Back to the tea and another soothing sip. This makes a lot of sense as I take time to feel the tea, smell the tea and really stop and become mindful when I'm drinking tea. I'm getting back into alignment. A lot of us have a ritual with tea or coffee but are we all taking this opportunity stop, slow down and become present?

This small act of mindfulness prompted my imagination on a self project I'd been working on for a few months now… ‘busy.’ I don't like to hate on things but this word and the way people use it makes me cringe.

Busy means to keep occupied or having a great deal to do. But it seems to me we make this word so much more. A few months ago I set out on a quest to bring awareness to how this word is used. After all we all have the same amount of time it's just how we prioritize it. Is ‘busy’ really just a mindset? Are we using busy as an excuse?

In my opinion, we use the word far too much. I asked myself how I perceive busy and the feelings that come to mind. This is what came up...

  • Having too much to do, more than you can handle,
  • Multiple tasks happening at the same time,
  • Association to stress and anxiety,
  • Feelings of rush and fast pace,
  • No time for yourself.

Can you relate? To me these points lead to unease, they don't make me feel good. So I wondered is this just an excuse for us to justify why we aren't taking control of these areas of our lives?

I take on a few remedial massage shifts where I work along side a popular chiropractor. His appointment books are full and you normally can't get into see him for 2-3 weeks. With massage therapists treating clients prior to their adjustment allows for up to 3 clients at anyone time. The clinic also has a handful of other health practitioners.

What prompted me to become curious around this topic was the clients that I was treating here. Just about every time I'd start treating a client, the opening line would be…’have you been busy.’ Or in response to my question of how are you…’I've just been so busy.’ When I dug a little deeper into what that really meant for them, there was common theme. The elements for the most part were all the same ...work, family, kids, social life and travel.

This mission became quite a challenge as I had to look at my ways from a different perspective. Am I really busy? When it came to clinic, the answer was no. Every since I began it had been a constant stream, I only ever had to treat one client at a time, and normally I didn't rushed, feel stressed and I could always take the time for the things I needed, water, food, bathroom.

I started looking at my life as a whole. Yes I must admit some days are very full, like yesterday starting at 6am with stretching, training, 2 kayaking classes, massage clients, a shift at the clinic then packing for a 4 day trip away for work. There was a spare hour there where I was able to work on a business project that I'm bringing to life. Or a typical Thursday stating at 6am 7-8hours of massage, 4hrs of travel and 3 hours of training arriving home around 11pm.

The only difference between you and me is how we choose to fill our days and the way we think and perceive it.

Going back to my point is ‘busy’ an excuse to justify why we're not taking control of the areas in our life? So many people at ‘too busy’ to stretch, eat good nutrition, exercise, meditative and even spend time with their kids. But all of these things are solutions to the pain points above. Most of us are not giving priority to the things that will stop us from feeling busy. Eventually this all compounds into a ‘busyness’ spiral.

Technology as it seems has also sped up the ways of the world. With more and more things happening ‘real time’ the pressure is on to keep up with the demand, responding promptly, answering requests immediately and putting others to do list as a priority over our own.

So what can we do about all this?

  • Take ownership of your choices and they way you spend your time.
  • Prioritize the important things in life...Friends and family, health and wellness and FUN!
  • Choose a mindfulness practice to help you slow down mentally, this in turn will slow down your external world.
  • Put yourself first. Without our own health we are no good to others, family, friends and even work.
  • Stop using the word busy to describe your life and your feelings.

Stop living a busy life and start consciously choosing your life on purpose.

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