How often has someone asked how you are and you've replied that you are busy. What? Is that even a state of mind or an emotion?
Or rather is it a phrase we use to excuse ourselves from having to take on anything else in our day, to prevent anyone else asking more of us including our own self?
I used to be that person, and trust me, if anyone was emboding "busy" it was me. Four kids just 6 years apart from oldest to youngest, a hubby working big hours and often out of town for days, running a successful boutique studio, coaching the kids sports teams, taxi driver, cook, bottle washer... you get the drift.
Was I happy? Well I was feeling like I was doing well, I felt useful and my days were jam packed, I was the queen of juggling and I had become used to that pace of life.
But... I wasn't taking care of myself, I never had time to do the things I enjoyed. I gave so much to others that there was just nothing left at the end of the day. I missed out on weekends away because I was tired and didn't feel like I could step away from the family and all that needed doing, I didn't see my friends as often as I wanted and I was constantly frazzled and rushing.
One day a beautiful friend called me over as I rushed past her at work and she said "CJ if you don't slow down the universe will force you to stop".
Finally the penny dropped and I realised that this was not only unsustainable and I was going to burn out but also that I just didn't want to live like this.
So I stopped, dead in my tracks (with a good nudge from the NZ lockdown!)
I shut the doors to the studio and swung the classes online. I decided to slow the pace down at home, working smarter not harder. I limited the kids to less after school activities (cause really do they need all those extra curricular activities?) and bit by bit I made time for me.
And now I"m able to lead from the front because I've been there and I've learnt how to say no, how to recognise that I'm doing too much and most importantly how to ask for help.
Try this ....
One of the tools I used to help me slow down to was set up a good morning routine, rather than hitting the ground running I make time every morning to take the dog to the beach - greeting the sun as it rises connects me to nature, it gives me a moment to wake up properly, to set my intention for the day and to prioritise what I want to achieve both professionally and personally.
The other great way to find a quieter, calmer pace is to practice yoga, even just sitting still connecting to breath will slow you down and help you find that inner peace you need to move well through the day. It doesn't have to be a full on hour practice, just five or ten minutes will help so much. If you find it hard just pop some lovely gentle music on and sit listening to that. Find beauty in stillness and then you'll see it everywhere.
So I'm off to sit quitely, to take a few breaths - why don't you do the same and let me know how you go.
Much love, CJ x