Presently all of my life experiences are telling me to slow down/ de-busy-ify/stop and smell the roses, etc. But as long as I can remember I’ve kept myself busy, moving. It’s a tough life lesson to learn, and I’ve been resisting it.
For example, it was a “slow” day at work today — The perfect opportunity to practice slowing down, right? — and I couldn’t handle it. Instead of letting off the accelerator and coasting through my activities, I kept myself busy. I picked up a broom and swept. Multiple times. I wiped counters; I grabbed carts that could wait; I rushed crammed in as many carts as I could at the end of the day. Why so frenetic, Teri? What’s the rush?
Yesterday I was late for almost every appointment I had. I was incredibly stressed about the first one, and yet I proceeded to be late for each proceeding event. Strangely, I felt I had no control over it. It was like I was on auto-pilot, disconnected from myself and watching in amazement and horror as I re-lived the same mistake again and again. What was going on? I figure I was squeezing too much in. And it was compounding to the point that I had lost control.
Now I’ve finally noticed that I’m so accustomed to rushing around, that I’ve unconsciously been visualizing rushing around. Before I go to sleep, as I’m planning out my morning, I actually see myself rushing around the house, flying from room to room and sweeping my lunch bag, book, water bottle, and study materials into the whirlwind that is me, as I put Bowser away in his crate and fly out the door.
I cram every minute of every day with something. I take classes, I add tutoring students, I do homework, I go to events. While driving I listen to my intuitive reports, practice with the holiday concert recording, and do metaphysics exercises. I find myself contemplating what to squeeze in while I’m waiting to punch in to work, waiting for my next tutoring appointment, or waiting for my food to be ready.
What would it be like to be bored? I sometimes wonder if that’s what I am afraid of. Or maybe it’s something deeper? A memory pops into my mind: I’m a kid, and I hear a friend talking about how bored she was the past weekend, and I remember thinking “Oh, not me. Never me. I’m never bored.” So is that it? Am I afraid of being some kind of bored loser? Does being busy make me feel important? Or is it more of a metaphysical issue, that I am afraid of quiet . . . of simplicity . . . of nothingness. . . (of everything-ness?) What would happen if I were just . . . still? What would it be like to have nothing to do, nothing on the agenda, nothing in the works? What would it be like to let it be and not fill in the blanks with work/projects/visits/chores/homework/Facebook/e-mail, etc?
How about you, out there? Are you a void-filler, too?
Here’s my plan for this week:
- First, notice the needs to squeeze. When I have those extra minutes, am I using it as a nice traffic buffer for my commute? Or do I feel the need to squeeze in one more metaphysics exercise or check my mail?
- Second, take those 15 minutes to just be. Instead of pulling out my phone to make a phonecall while sitting at that red light, how about I just sit there at that red light? Instead of trying to read my lesson while standing at the time clock, what if I just stand there at the time clock? I can relax. Breathe. Notice my surroundings. Feel what it’s like to be inside my body, and feel what it’s like to still my mind.
- Third, take a good look at those big events and commitments. (Proper perspective!) No more tight back-to-back scheduling. Or, in positive form: leave lots and lots of space! Allow myself to just relax, linger. Maybe I chit-chat a little with one my tutoring parents or a random stranger. Maybe I sit outside for a bit, if it’s warm Maybe I read or journal a bit. . . or maybe not. Maybe I just sit. There’s no rush. There is time. I have an abundance of time. (Affirmation alert!)
This lesson is a big one. (I think I’ve been working on this one since fourth grade!) What have you been learning this week?