If you’re like a lot of people in 21st-Century Western culture, you may have noticed this habit we have of over-booking our time and chronically under-resting.
What’s underneath our busyness? And how can we be a part of shifting or lives to a space that honors the need for rest? Read on to learn more.
To our uptime and our downtime,
If you could give up being busy, would you?
We hear a lot these days about the relentless busyness of Western life.
Work. Kids and their activities. Volunteering. Trying to find time and energy to take care of ourselves somehow. Trying to fit in coffee or happy hour with a friend every now and then. (Isn’t it weird that it sometimes feels like meeting with someone we genuinely care about is like checking just another item off a list?) The everyday slow grind of the tasks that accumulate in a week, like paying and errand running and house cleaning.
Indeed, some people have pointed out that this habit can even be viewed through the lens of illness — one that definitely takes its toll on our bodies, minds, and spirits.
Add to that the very real and unplanned stresses like illness or intergenerational caretaking, and it’s easy to see why we are so depleted. It can all equal days and weeks that fly by in a blur of schedules, obligations, and missed opportunities. Our relationships — with our partners, our kids, our loved ones, ourselves — often suffer as a result of our frenzied running and exhausted disconnection.
But what’s behind our tendency to overschedule ourselves? Apart from the genuine emergencies, what is it that really drives our habit of filling in every moment with something to do and somewhere to be?
Danielle LaPorte reminds readers that being busy if often just a choice, just a collection of things we’ve decided to say “yes” to. She’s never one to shrink from sharing her opinion, and you can get a taste how she feels about it all in her Daily Love article titled, “We Know You’re Busy, Now Shut Up About It.”
Tim Kreider wrote a beautiful, borderline-heartbreaking New York Times op-ed piece in 2012 called “The Busy Trap.” It was one of the NYT’s most-viewed op-eds; it obviously struck a chord with people, as it reflected both the deep longing people have for more “down time,” but also the insidious way that busyness can become addicting in a couple of big ways.
First, we keep busy (and talk about it a lot) as almost a form of bragging, because being busy makes us feel needed and important. This is an offshoot of corporate workplace cultural models: the more you cram your calendar, and the more you’re willing to say yes to longer hours, the more you’re proving that you’re useful to a company. Research shows that our current work model is actually massively inefficient, but change is slow.
Second – and this is a tough one to look at – we keep busy to avoid thinking too much about the things in our lives that would profoundly trouble us if we faced them. Essentially, we overbook our lives as a way to avoid experiencing them fully. Staying busy is a way to numb ourselves to the grief or anger or deep dissatisfaction we’re feeling – and the underlying fear we have of taking the risk to change.
In addition to the this wreaks on our personal lives, there is another serious downside to relentlessly pursuing busyness: our brains desperately need rest in order to function. Kreider writes:
Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.
The stress of having a life jam-packed with things we don’t really love and that wear us out sends our Lower Brain into overdrive. We need relaxation, rest, and peace in order to ignite the passion and wisdom of the Higher Brain — to grow and heal, innovate and risk, take on big things, imagine big things, create big things.
We often mistake being busy with making progress. Maybe it’s time to try moving forward by just being still for a moment.
If you’re interested in how you can break the busyness addiction – but maybe aren’t sure how to get there – I’d love to talk with you about what Higher Brain Living® can do for you. There are effective and proven ways to shift our perception of our time in a way that values rest and that invites real peace and necessary stillness into our lives.
NEWS + EVENTS + HAPPENINGS
Check out this recent webinar recording (https://nnr86389.isrefer.com/go/SPREC/tallyhayden) with Dr. Cotton and I explaining Higher Brain Living and how to become trained and certified in Higher Brain Living®.
Higher Brain Living is a one-of-a-kind experience that frees your fear-based lower brain, you will have the chance to create an extraordinary new life, to thrive, to let go of stress and overwhelm, to experience joy, confidence, and passion and to grow and evolve every day.
You will know that you are good enough, worthy enough, deserving, connected and part of a new story.
Your brain literally becomes the change you seek–part of an acceleration of humanity, free of limitation.
Contact me if you have any questions. I am a Mastery trained Higher Brain Living Facilitators and it simply changed my world from depression to thriving and has changed clients from unworthiness to making a contribution to humanity.
Don’t delay watching it…we need change agents who want to shift humanity!