Being Too Busy

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
― Socrates

Busy – So damned busy!  It seems like everyone I speak to  recently is saying the same thing. Too damned busy. Argggghhh! The way it manifests for me is that I feel chaos in my brain.  I feel like there isn’t enough room in my brain for everything that I need to keep track of. I keep telling people that I wish I had that little tool that Dumbledore used in Harry Potter, the pensieve. Well not the pensieve itself, which is the shallow stone or metal basin used to review memories; but instead the tool, the little crochet hook thing itself that Dumbledore uses to take the thoughts and memories out of his head. He explains:

I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links.

I’m not as concerned with the patterns and links, but mostly just to extract the excess chaos out of my head!

With this in mind, I was touched by the latest article in Daily Good: The Disease of Being Busy.

How did we get so busy that we no longer have time for each other? What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.

I love the way the writer, Omid Safi,  explains about haal

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?

What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

I want to remember this the next time someone asks me how I am doing. I do not want to go into a litany about how insanely busy I am these days. I will try to remember to answer from a place of how my heart is doing at that very moment. And when I ask people about how they are, I will hope they can tell me something about their own heart and soul.

But is there anything that we can do to avoid this avalance of busyness?  In this short video –  I feel too busy! How can we get out of this busyness trap? Oliver Burkeman gives us some ideas.  The one that resonated with me is to make sure that we choose what’s important, and to schedule time for the stuff that fills us up instead of continuing to do what depletes us.

It will never all get done, so until I find that elusive pensieve tool, I shall endeavor to make time for the things I love and choose what’s important!

 

 

I’d love to hear how you avoid the busyness trap. And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

 

Living Life to the Fullest . . . Now!

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”

– James Dean


James Dean instructs us to live as if you’ll die today.  Wonderful sentiment, but how many of us really do live life to the fullest NOW?  A lot of us say, I’ll live life to the fullest when I (fill in the blank) – when I win lotto, when I get that new job, when I find my soul mate . . .

I’ve been reading a memoire by a friend of mine (check out her inspirational blog,  Lois McCullough)  This memoire, and her blog to some extent, chronicle the journey of a woman who nurses her dying husband, and then has to deal with the grief but continute to stay present and be there for her young sons.  It’s a brave and honest account of one woman’s experience dealing with the death of a loved one.

Lois’s memoire But You Cope So Well has been a great reminder to me to stay present and to live as if I might die today, and to cherish those I love because they might die today as well.  It’s not easy staying in that place, so many little things get in the way.  But in my opinion if we don’t do it now, it easily could be too late.

While contemplating all of this – death, living life to the fullest, appreciating my own life and the lives of those I love – I did some research and found this remarkable woman, Candy Chang.  She mirrors my sentiments when she says: “Thinking about death clarifies your life.”

Please take the time to watch this short TED Talk.  Her talk, Before I Die I Want To is moving and inspirational.

 

 

Please let me know how you fill in your own blank:  Before I Die, I Want To . . . .  And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

A Fine Balance

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.”

– Yogi Berra


I am honored to have been invited to contribute a post to a blog that I follow.  The League of Champions is a wonderful blog and well worth your time to explore.  In their blog, Kevin and Leanna help people reach their optimum creativity through finding inner peace and loving themselves.  Leanna and I have been discussing trying to live in the moment and at the same time keep one’s goals in mind.

There is a fine balance between going with the flow and directing your own life.  There is a certain peace in acceptance of what is, but there is empowerment in knowing what you want and being willing to go after it.  And then there is the all important need to Pay Attention and Be Present in the moment.

But does being present preclude goal-setting and focusing on what one wants in the future?  I don’t think so.  I think that we can have both, but I believe we have to practice a fine balancing act.

In my 7 Tools,  I discuss Heart-Centered Goal Setting.  And I believe that this is one of the keys to the balancing act.  In order to really focus on true goals, you have to find out the deepest WHY of the goal, the emotion behind it. Work to discover WHY you want that particular goal, journal about it, question it. When you understand the deeper emotion of why your want that particular goal, the emotional need behind it, then you have hit the WHY.  You can FEEL the why in heart-centered goal setting.  And in order to feel it, you have to be paying attention and be present to the moment.  That ability to stay present actually helps to define a direction for the future.  But indeed, it is a fine balancing act.

Zig Ziglar is one of the greats – an iconic motivational speaker.  In the clip below, Ziglar talks about setting goals.

 

I hope you enjoy listening to Zig Ziglar.  I always find him inspirational. I’d love to hear about how you balance staying present and setting goals for your future.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.