"Why is it that I find it so hard to take time for myself? Time to be, rather than time to do. And often what is urgent elbows its way to the forefront of my day and the important gets trampled in the rush." -author unknown
When you're busy, one of the hardest things to get yourself to do is stop a minute and ask yourself if you like being so busy -- and if not -- then why you keep yourself so busy in the first place?
When life is naturally busy, that's one thing. When we purposely choose to be busy though we could be giving attention to what we most care about and yearn for, that's another.
If the latter description fits you, ask yourself now -- Why do I keep busy?
Is it that you're not satisfied with what you have now? Not satisfied with the speed at which life is giving you what you want?
Do you feel you have to step in and force life to give you what you want, when you want, by constantly staying active, trying hard, keeping the ball rolling?
Or could it be that you're distracting yourself from something you don't want to feel or face? An emotion like pain or fear?
It goes without saying that people aren't wired to want to feel negative feelings and emotions. What we can so easily overlook is that a lot of what we do in our lives, a lot of our supposed busy-ness -- is the result of things we've put there to mask an underlying emotion that we just can't or won't face.
Have you investigated to see if your busy-ness is the result of trying to avoid a difficult feeling?
You might ask, "Why does this matter? Maybe I'm running from a difficult emotion, but what of it? I'd rather run than feel it."
Fair enough, and the answer to that question really all depends on you. Are you okay with your hurried pace of life? Are you willing to risk whatever health, relationship or other consequences may result from your intense lifestyle?
If pain is what you're running from, then the eventual pain from these consequences is likely to catch up with you further down the road anyway.
Would it be so bad to just let yourself face and deal with the pain by slowing down your pace and tackling it in bite sized pieces?
That's not the most popular approach to pain, but it actually works. You do work your way through it eventually. And you're left free to live you life how you choose to, rather than how you have to just to numb out the stuff you don't want to feel.
Your Perfect Destiny
By dropping mind content
and coming into the full sensory
awareness of the moment,
you open up to Self in more of its
fullness than the mind
can possibly know.
This is to know your Self.
Drop the mind and let in the
moment in its entirety, in
its full felt, lived expression.
Your perfect destiny is
always unfolding in this moment.
Poem from Notes to Self: Meditations on Being
“But how,” you ask, “Can I stop thinking?”
You can’t actually. But you can stop putting so much emphasis on your thoughts.
You can also regularly ask yourself who you really are, which puts you in touch with your essential self and minimizes your mind’s stranglehold over you.
If all else fails, meditate. No fancy bells and whistles required. All you have to do is just sit there and be.
Most of us assume we feel life as it's happening. But actually, the majority of us don't. Not really. At least, not fully.
That's because most of us are living life almost completely from the lens of our minds. And when we're living from mind, there's not a whole lot of feeling going on.
We may not realize this, since we often mistake thinking for feeling. But thinking--even thinking about a feeling--is actually very different from feeling.
In fact, more often than not the reason we're so full of thoughts is precisely because we don't want to feel. Thoughts are the ultimate distraction from having to feel all of our unwanted feelings.
You might argue that if you're thinking about something you must be feeling the emotions that accompany the thought as well, but that's not actually true. Thinking is a mind thing, while feeling is a heart thing.
Feeling keeps us grounded in the now, while thinking keeps us out of this moment, hashing and rehashing a past and future that don't even exist right now.
It's not that we do this consciously. And it's certainly not that we don't want to feel the happy and joyful parts of life. But when we make the unconscious decision not to feel the unpleasant parts of life, we don't usually realize that we're also cutting ourselves off from feeling the pleasant parts of life too. Because once we've wired ourselves not to feel, the good, the bad and the ugly all get filtered out together.
What that ultimately translates into is the rather miserable condition of being lost in the mind, living life at an arm's length away. When we spend our lives almost completely in mind, we're living in a bubble world. And when we're living in a bubble world, we're cut off from our real, authentic self, and from the sense of life's natural rhythm, flow and oneness.
Everything we haven't been willing to feel our whole lives doesn't just magically evaporate just because we refused and continue to refuse to feel it. It gets uncomfortably log-jammed inside of us, just waiting for its chance to rise to the surface and have its day in the light.
This is the stuff that eventually starts to feel like the weight of the world on our shoulders, as it continues to compress and compact in upon itself.
When we open up to feeling after years or decades of living in the mind, there's usually a stockpile of previously unfelt "gunk" waiting for most of us to acknowledge and make peace with. It can seem overwhelming--but it's not.
Unpleasant, painful and difficult as it might be to finally face and feel it, being able to feel this "gunk" is actually a blessing. It's the doorway back to our true self, and to an authentic life that is a direct expression of this self.
When we come out of the mind and reclaim that feeling-ness of being again, only then can we see what we've been missing out on by confining ourselves to the small bordered territory of the mind. And what we often find is a gratitude, a joy, just to be feeling something, anything at all. Even the gunk is appreciated--and that's just the gunk.
Just a gal experimenting with what it means to live outside of mind.
Read more about Notes to Self, the "manual" on living beyond mind.