Reflections + New Year's Intentions

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Intentionally Doing Less has been my practice for the past two years. While I can't say that I've achieved this as often as I'd like, it is regularly in my consciousness, which is the first step to making something a reality. I still endeavor to have time to just sit and look out the window even if I discover that I don't really want to do that with my time.

I remember as a teenager watching a friend's mom rush around with her busy schedule, talking about friends she was seeing and various events she had to attend along with a million other things she was doing. To my teenaged mind, this looked like a worthy aspiration. She was admired, important, in-demand, and loved. I promptly decided that's what I wanted to be when I grew up; I just didn't realize it was called BUSY.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about The Busy Trap and why, and how, we have become addicted to being busy. Upon contemplation, it seems like there are a handful of very good reasons. Do any of these ring true for you? They sure do for me!

  • We make ourselves feel busy to embolden us to say no. It's so much easier to say, "Oh I wish I could, but my schedule is full that day." than it is to say, "Ya know, I really have no interest in that whatsoever; I'm glad you're passionate about it though. Good luck!"
  • Creating space in our schedules can generate feelings of fear that someone else may try to make us busy by foisting upon us his/her agenda with the western culture's addiction to doing over being.
  • Being busy helps us avoid feeling guilty. With everyone walking around bemoaning their busy-ness, admitting that we're not busy would put us in a position of being unusual and perhaps looked down upon. Why?
    • When we say that we're busy, it's proof of our worth/that we matter; that we are in demand, and we may even get sympathy and respect.
    • If we're busy, that means we're not lazy. If there's one thing most people don't want to be, it's lazy.

So with all this in mind, my desire for this year is to feel more relaxed. I'm letting go of grandiosity in preference of progress, which is why I say "more relaxed" rather than "relaxed." Here are some ways I intend to do this:

  • Arrive 5 minutes early for my appointments. This will give me enough breathing space to feel more relaxed and not so much that I become anxious, which can sometimes happen if I'm too early (my mind can get a little busy when I have too much space!). Ironic, huh?
  • At stop signs/lights, pause for a beat to take a full inhale and exhale. It's quick, easy, and I'll do it when I remember.
  • Take time for my afternoon meditation. Even though it's just 20 minutes, it makes a big difference in my well-being. AND, it's only 20 minutes.
  • Share more hugs.
  • Dance, dance, dance. Joyful movement is good medicine.

Do you desire more relaxation in your life? If so, what are your ideas and intentions to create that? I'd love to learn your tips!

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