For decades I’ve been ‘that guy’ who answers, “BUSY” when someone asks how I am doing. “BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!” What an outright deflection of the truth! Alice in Wonderland, anyone?
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get. – The White Rabbit, Lewis Carrol
The lockdowns of 2020 and virtual shutdown of my business three times in less than a year has shown me that being BUSY as my default mode was slowly killing me. It was eroding my sense of reality and inner peace. Destroying my connections to community, nature and place. Skewing my understanding of wants versus needs.
Would I have preferred to not have a global pandemic teach me these lessons? Absolutely. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given the option as to what particular brand of ass-whooping I’d prefer! Ego-death by a group of friends creating an intervention would have been better than this current self-induced critical self-enquiry.
Did I try to change earlier than 2020 to shift these patterns of addiction to work, production, and even money? Yep! I even made some progress, but my default mode of harried, overcommitted and stressed seemed to be my twisted ‘comfort’ zone. It was like a default programme that I kept resetting to over and over again – a blueprint fixed in time. I needed a radical shift to create a permanent shift.
If we hover one thousand miles above the gut-wrenching grief of this global moment, we will see with clarity that we knew this or something like this was coming. A virus? I definitely could not have singled that out but, something needed to happen: something needed to give, right? Absolutely. You know it and I know it. Globally and personally, we have all been brewing this moment for quite some time. We are all complicit in one way or another. And we all get to participate in the positive transformation. We all get to pull us back from the tipping point.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. – William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Creating My Shift
It’s taken close to the full year of all this chaos to bring me to my knees and plunge my face into cold sobering water. I was, and I am, in need of an inner and outer revolution in respect to how I, firstly, respect myself. I speak to self-love and self-care all the time and yet, I get to remember that I am a perpetual student of life. I am therefore always learning on the spiral. Coming back to the same flavor in order to taste it over and over. Just to make sure I squeeze every bit of gold out of that lesson.
To be clear, what I’m saying is that I’ve been utterly humbled by my own stumbling blocks in this last year. They have become glaringly obvious against the backdrop of this global peril. Plus, I’ve had seven months of no work and lots of time to sit in my own presence and contemplate my life choices!
Am I ashamed that I find myself “back to square one?” A little. But not much. Mostly I am just relieved. The ‘busy’ train finally slowed down enough that I could jump off without getting thoroughly mangled! I could say that I got a good thrashing though. But that’s only from one perspective – just one angle of view.
The other and sweeter view is deep gratitude that our Creator loves me enough to create the exact conditions I needed to face this inner Goliath. Your lives, as they appear, are the perfect cauldron to witness your own stance towards all of life’s events as they happen for you in the guise of happening to you!
I believe that Humans are built to be creators themselves and are full of creative energy to further inner and outer evolution. In service to what though? That’s where we can get into the weeds. I know I did.
I forgot that Divine Service isn’t always about production and being able to point to tangible creations in the outer world. It’s certainly an aspect, but not the whole. Creation is an alchemical process that begins inside. A spark, an idea, a feeling, a nudge: a voice.
If the chase for tangible and visible results gets louder than that original spark inside you, that’s a good indication that you have become deceived by an impostor whispering seductive nothings into your ear. You stop hearing your Soul’s voice and when that happens, my friends, you’ll find you have been had by a Smooth Criminal!
Always in the Sight of ‘God’
Keep your faith and your hope alive. We are actually never truly lost. It’s just not possible to be eternally lost, falling and falling away from the love of our creator. Even as we are tripping over our own desires to become someone or something – we are always in the sight of God.
We are powerful when we realize we have trekked into the dark forest and we can call upon the power of Love through Gratitude to guide us back out of the illusion and back home again. We have got to be the ones to ask for help, to reach out to Life and say, “I need you!” To ask to be shown how to find our authentic path again. To lift that veil to realize it’s right under our feet and all it takes is a perspective shift.
Yes, it takes energy to make this shift. It takes vigilance and commitment. If you don’t have the energy to resist the seductive pull of your wounds, they are all you will feel, all you will see. Trust me, I’ve spent years cozying up to my wounds as if they were my allies. In a way, they are for a while. They are certainly familiar and known. They even contain dark gems that reveal their gifts to you. But you have to go through the wounds and come out on the other side remembering that there is a place inside you that is perpetually whole – unwounded.
The seductive voices of “not good enough” and “stay busy” can get really loud. Through the practices of contemplation, meditation, sound-healing, gratitude, breath, sunshine, actions of simplicity, and the ideas around minimalism, I am gaining myself back, piece by ‘peace’.
My peace and calm are now my number one priority and I am keenly aware of the body/mind connection in regards to stress and anxiety. I am loving myself and my life even more than I thought possible. By making time for what’s important there seems to be an abundance of time and the business of busyness has been replaced by the flow of right action and the tending to tasks and ‘doing’ in a graceful way.
You can too.
In response to your question, “What is worth doing and what is worth having?” I would like to say simply this. It is worth doing nothing and having a rest; in spite of all the difficulty it may cause, you must rest – otherwise, you will become RESTLESS! – Mr. Curly, Michael Leunig
What have these tumultuous times been teaching you? Have you been a good student or just too busy to attend class? How is your work, rest and play? How well are you taking care of your wellness?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Much love and grace to do all the things we need to do in order to rest.