Lately, I have been extremely busy with work, and life has felt more than a little hectic.
Have you been busy too?
I imagine the answer is 'yes' because busyness seems part and parcel of modern life; so often when we ask people how they are, the response is 'busy' or even 'super busy'.
This is how I've felt a lot of the time lately and I'm very keen to not wear busyness as a badge of honour or to talk about it as a point of pride, so the busyness that I've been experiencing lately has inspired this blog post!
So, when we're busy, what do we crave more of?
We often crave its opposite - desiring peace and ease, and calm and tranquility.
But how do we find this when our schedules are jam-packed from dawn 'til dusk?
How do we seek peace when we're busy or stressed?
When we are busy, it can feel like life is happening all around us and we are missing it.
We may wish that we were anywhere else but here - and it is only when we wish ourselves elsewhere that we start to miss our own life, to miss its fallow periods and its fullness, to miss the see-saw between ups and downs, between busyness and the inevitable quieter periods.
Sometimes busyness is good.
Sometimes it is passion and action and courage and confidence and just going for it.
Sometimes it's about ploughing our energy into something amazing and creative, or worthwhile and meaningful.
It's okay to have busy periods but we need balance.
We need to find that subtle equilibrium between busyness and the necessary balm of rest, rejuvenation, and replenishment.
It may not always be possible to change our external circumstances and, at these times, simply finding peace amidst the chaos is what we have to do.
When we're busy and up against it, when the dog's barking and our deadline's drawing closer, when we have to do a hundred things before lunch, when we feel most unable to find peace, this is the moment when we need to seek it within ourselves.
This is the time to stop.
When you notice yourself start to rush,
either mentally or physically,
For a moment, just place your hand on your heart and remember what's real and what's truly important.
Take a breath, and feel into the silence, spaciousness, and stillness that lives within you, and meditate on it.
When you return to whatever it is that you were doing, try to bring some of this peace with you.
We may not be able to immediately change what we are doing or how busy we are, but we can change the energy which we bring to it and softly carry some tranquility into our day.
We do not live inside a computer screen or a mobile phone, yet for so many of us, we work exclusively on them and our senses are acutely focused on a screen for many hours each day.
Our digital world has so many wonderful benefits, from instant connectivity to information at the touch of a button and the ability to work from home and thus improve our work-life balance - but the speed with which modern technology works (with the exception of my ancient laptop!) can make us feel as if we have to speed up to match their relentless computerised pace.
We may live in a digital world
but we are not digital people -
we don't work so well with a million tabs open!
So what can we do?
We can go old school and get out a piece of paper and a pen and make a list.
We can chunk it down, prioritise and satisfyingly tick things off.
We can stop multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.
What if we have lots of equally important things that all need to be done now?
Just pick one thing and do that!
We can choose to enjoy our lunch break, to seek out food and activities that nourish our soul (like a baked potato and a moment of meditation rather than the hastily wolfed down packet noodles and cheese slice combo that I gulped down the other week!).
We can enjoy the time we spend communicating with our friends, family, and colleagues, relishing the human connection.
We can go for a walk in nature or simply look outside of our window to remind ourselves that we are not born with a monitor and a mouse attached to us!
One thing I like to do when I am very busy
is to light a candle.
There's something innately soothing and peaceful
about this small ritualistic act
that slows us down and brings us light, comfort, and warmth.
We never want to be too busy to dream, or too busy to tune into our feelings, needs, and desires.
When you're busy, stop and ask yourself, how am I feeling? What do I need? What do I desire?
When we are truly seen, we feel safe, supported, and held.
We feel peaceful - and it is good to remember that we can offer ourselves, too, this same gift.
Peace is not about the absence of stress.
Yes, if we can change things, then we should - but often, it is about the little things.
It is about handling our busyness with as much gentleness and inner peace as we can muster.