Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid
Do you yearn to sit outside and read a book and just “be” for one day?
I do. It seems as if I always have too much to do and too little time to do it in.
Will our lives implode if we stop “doing” constantly?
During my morning meditation today I had a few revelations as to why I’ve become a “human doing” and how I lost my connection to just “being.”
I’m overwhelmed from driving myself too hard. I realize that my overwhelm stems from my not having scheduled any leisure time into my jam-packed schedule. I’m the one responsible for putting myself under so much pressure.
I allowed myself to become a “human doing.”
I kept telling myself that as soon as I got everything done on my list I would relax. I’d take some time off and maybe go away for a week when my book was finished.
The problem though is that the list never ends. I keep adding things to it that must be done in conjunction with the projects I’m working on.
We will always have a to-do list
I realized I’ll never be free of my list – ever – and neither will you. The only way to free yourself is to carve out the time and allocate it to just “being.”
Give yourself permission to just “be”
You may need to work on reprogramming the messages received from parents in early childhood. Many children were praised only when they were productive and accomplished something.
Now that you’re an adult it’s time to reexamine those scripts and see if you’re still operating like the student who fears bringing home an A-.
I realized that by putting myself under so much pressure I’d turned on this old “script” again.
Allowing this script to run our lives means we’ve succumbed to the belief that we’re worth only what we produce. This devalues us as a human beings. It also deprives us of accepting and loving ourselves unconditionally – just for being.
Time to check in and see if this script is running your life – if so – chuck it out now.
Schedule time for leisure
Add leisure activities to your to-do list. Add things like: Take the afternoon off, go out for dinner and a movie tonight, take a digital break or, spend the morning at the park. If you’re going to relax you’ll have to become as disciplined about crossing these activities off your list as you are about everything else.
Setting unrealistic goals is a trap
Don’t push yourself so hard. Avoid making long to do lists that you can’t possibly accomplish in one day. Break up all the projects into more manageable chunks with longer time frames for completion of the overall project. Then add only the things that can be accomplished that day to your list.
When I go overboard on a daily to do list it means I have not left any time in the day for fun. I’m constantly working on the whittling down the list. Just seeing the lengthy list makes me more anxious.
Make your daily list “just right”
Remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Take a lesson from Goldilocks and make your list “just right.” Not so short that you’re not making healthy progress toward accomplishing your goals and not so long that you feel you can’t come up for air.
Pare down on activities that add unnecessary stress
Another insight I had during my meditation was that I was feeling besieged by keeping up with social media. How many networks is enough? I’m on overload with it.
Additionally, I realized I’m getting more email each day than I can handle. I subscribe to hundreds of blogs – so each day my in-box is burgeoning with new posts. The pressure to keep up is tremendous.
I’m going to explore changing over my subscription from email to Google reader subscriptions to reduce the number of emails I get. Seeing so much mail in my box is almost paralyzing at times.
Giving your brain a break
I’ve been lax about meditating twice per day recently. I used to meditate twice per day but as I got busier I scaled back to once per day. The time to meditate is when we’re stressed.
Meditating and focusing on breathing are great ways to reduce stress levels.
Meditating brings us back into the present moment too.
I found I was stressed out by the length of my list because reading it was projecting my thoughts into the future. I wasn’t focused on what I was doing but, on what I had yet to complete.
When we’re too busy and we stop meditating we also don’t hear our intuition as easily. This is another unwelcome side effect of becoming a “human doing.” Racing thoughts will overshadow intuitive flashes each and every time.
My prescription to myself and to you to become a “human being” again:
1. Meditate – or just “be” by relaxing for 20 minutes or longer each day. Two times a day is even better. Breath deeply and decompress. Put on some soothing music in the background and blow out all the tension in your body with each exhalation.
2. Get away from the computer/email/internet. Turn off your phone and all communication devices including the television and radio. Enjoy the silence and being in the present without all the distractions.
3. Take frequent breaks and if at all possible take them outside in the garden. Spending time in lush green surroundings is restorative to the soul. Green is the color of the heart chakra – so if the heart chakra is love – than all of nature’s greenery is vibrating to that same energy of love too. Soak up some love outdoors in nature!
4. Make shorter more realistic lists. Don’t add to the stress in your life with long lists.
5. Schedule time for rest, relaxation, socializing, fun and vacations. Put these things on your list and make it a point to cross them off as you do them. You’ll feel great afterward.
Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
Welcome back human beings.
Do you measure your life by what you’ve accomplished? Have you lost touch with just ‘being?’ Could you see yourself “being” more by doing less?
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