It’s taken me 53 years but I’m finally OK with not being busy ALL the time. Don’t get me wrong. In my life, and in my head, I’m still plenty busy. I live by my agenda. In between clients, there’s always the next project to work on, the next load of laundry that needs to be thrown in, tonights dinner to prepare, the next blogpost to write!
I’ve been thinking this for years, but only able to articulate it very recently. Busy-ness is an “in thing” in our society. Some people speak as if they should get an award for how busy they are. We are brought up as kids to combine school and homework, with friends and sports, community service and family time. We never schedule in “time to be bored”. Think back to your childhood. Often, it’s when you were left alone to be bored, that creativity was born. As adults, I don’t have to make a list of each and every one of your responsibilities. They are numerous and many are unavoidable. However my question is “when you do have a few minutes free, how comfortable are you doing nothing?” Don’t tell me you don’t have 10 minutes or half an hour, because odds are, you were on social media today, or, you’re spending a few minutes reading this! Everyone has some free time, even if its scarce.
I repeat - in that time, how comfortable are you doing nothing?
For most of my adult life, I was very uncomfortable doing nothing. I felt lazy. Unproductive. Wasteful. Guilt-ridden. Nervous. There was so much that still needed doing. What am I doing, doing nothing?
My yoga has brought me a feeling of peace and of trusting. Trusting that all things, are exactly as they are meant to be. More than that, I find myself thinking that all of my “busy-ness” comes from a feeling of lack. Don’t ask me why, because I grew up with everything that I truly needed. Food, shelter, security and love. And then life took over. Personally, and as a society, we seem to need more, work more, have more, and yet we stress more. In the quietness of yoga, you ask yourself important questions. Why are we doing this? Why are we running so much, doing so much, for so many, and sacrificing ourselves in the process? How can we possibly enjoy any moment, when we are constantly jumping into the next moment?
Coming back to my original question above – my answer (to my own question) is that if I come at life from a mindset of abundance, where I remind myself that I have enough, and more that that, that even if I had less, I’d still have “enough”- well then I am perfectly at ease with doing nothing when I have a few moments. It’s OK if I am bored for a few minutes … that’s where a creative idea will come up. It’s OK if I am unproductive for a few moments … maybe this is where I am meant to breathe, and allow my nervous system to decompress. That feeling of not being enough, of not having enough, of not pleasing others enough is what kept me running for years … it’s as if I was lacking something or deficient in some way, and had to keep running to attain it, or to prove myself.
Today – I am enough. I don’t apologize to myself or anyone else, for doing nothing sometimes.
Ask me how my weekend was, and these days I will proudly point to the moments where I did nothing. I now celebrate my moments of UNbusy-ness.