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Breaking Up With Busyness Is a Radical Act

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Is “busy” your default mode? To find greater freedom, escape the trap of busyness.


Have you ever noticed that, when you ask people how they’re doing, they often reply, “Busy. Crazy busy?”

“Busy” is not actually a feeling. Yet when we have a lot on our calendars, we tend to feel more important. This is more than a little backward. Bringing awareness to this flawed equivalency between busyness and worthiness is a start. Many of us feel powerless to change our situations. At work, the busyness trap has us constantly striving to keep an unsustainable pace. At home, it leaves our children dizzy from the frantic clip and leaves us depleted, resentful, and disconnected from loved ones.

Because our society does not implicitly value caregiving, but it does value being busy, we cram our days full of activities to show that we, too, deserve credit for a job well done. But this busyness doesn’t actually help us feel better.

Here’s the real issue: We are all caving into this broader narrative without realizing we create the narrative.

This hamster wheel of hustle is ultimately unfulfilling. If your sense of worth is contingent on outside validation and being “busy,” you can never stop. You never win.

If being busy is the end goal, there is no end.

Think about that for a moment.

If your value is based on your level of busyness, you always have to be busy to maintain your value. If, on the other hand, your sense of value comes from deep inside, from being present and sharing your gifts and essence with the world, you get to enjoy your life.

But how do we get there? What’s the secret to creating more sustainable, soul-centric success?

What if the opposite of busyness isn’t laziness but deep stillness and inner quiet? Slowing down and cultivating quiet will help you begin to unwind the busy trap. These are necessary traits if we’re to live a life true to our core self.

Quick Soul Tip

 

Read these two sentences and notice how you feel in your body after each one:

I am busy.

(Check in with your body, how do you feel? Is your body tightening up? Is your mind spinning or still?)

I am relaxed.

(Check in with your body, how do you feel? Do you feel your body soften? Does your mind begin to quiet?)

The words we tell ourselves about ourselves matter. The words we use to describe ourselves privately and publicly matter. Mind your language and your reality will follow. One very simple yet effective action you can take is to stop saying, “I am busy.” Whatever you put after the words “I am” is an affirmation that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy over time. Saying “I am busy” will keep you running in circles instead of finding your path.

Instead, say to yourself:

I have plenty of time for everything I want and need to do today.
There is always time for what is most important to me.
I am enough, just as I am.
I am exactly where I need to be.

Try these out for yourself and notice how you feel.

• • •
  • by Vanessa Loder

 

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