By Traci Clarida
Somewhere along the way, society stopped defining fulfillment and success by the simple things that make us happy, such as family time at the dinner table or watching cloud shapes in the sky. Instead, success has become measured by our busyness.
We brag to our friends about our 50-hour work weeks, our side gig we do at night, and how many extracurricular activities our children do. We think we're successful because we do what society tells us equates happiness, but are we really happy?
Or are we simply stressing ourselves out? Validating ourselves by our busyness becomes a habit very easily. This is especially true when we are concerned with measuring up against the busyness of our super-hero women friends who are doing the same thing. Eventually, even super-heroes reach a breaking point when the realization dawns that there is no contentment or happiness to be found in ultra-busyness.
There comes a moment of clarity when we recognize that we cannot keep on doing what we are doing. We know we need to change but we wonder what we could possibly do different because everything still needs to get done.
The key comes in acknowledging that we are not our busyness, but that we simply Are.
Eckhart Tolle (2016) counsels, "The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am" (p. 57). His wisdom impels us to accept the simplicity of our existence and forego the egoic need for external validation - the need to be busy to feel worthy.
When we say to ourselves "I Am" without adding any qualifiers to it, we become aware of the stillness of our undefined selves. We are not busy or bored, we are not happy or sad, we simply are. We are experiencing our Beingness in its simplest form (Tolle, 2016).
To find our authentic selves, we must discover that which truly validates us, that which gives us happiness, content, and peace. We must stop defining our worth by how busy we are and instead recognize and impart value to our Beingness as that which truly makes us happy.
How do we do that, especially when there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done?
Here's how: Instead of resting your brain by popping open social media and getting lost for 10 minutes, take 30 seconds to do this simple practice.
Close your eyes (or not) and for 5 breaths repeat aloud or in your mind, "I Am", then fight the impulse to add qualifiers (i.e., successful, worn out, a mom, etc.). By focusing on your breathing, you take away the urge to think and instead create space where you can feel the essence of your Being (Tolle, 2016).
Thirty seconds of breathing and Being will provide monumental moments of clarity. The true importance of your activities will become apparent and ways to reduce your busyness will appear. The courage comes in being willing to let go of the things you know are not essential, the things that validate you because they keep you busy.
The philosopher Nietzsche wrote (as cited in Tolle, 2016), "For happiness, how little suffices for happiness! ... the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a wisk, an eye glance - little maketh up the best happiness. Be still" (p. 235).
In the simple state of stillness, there is happiness. Take 30 seconds right now to feel it. Take 30 seconds tomorrow to feel it. Take 30 seconds every day to make Beingness, not busyness, your habit.
ReferencesTolle, E. (2016). A new earth: Awakening to your life's purpose. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
Traci Clarida is an author, speaker, and coach whose vibrant energy spreads positivity, love, and compassion to the world. She inspires women to get "stuff" done through authentic living and embracing "perfect imperfection". She teaches clients how to find freedom from self-judgment and provides proven strategies to guide them to overcome obstacles, complete goals and execute solid plans for success. Follow Traci on FB and Instagram. For more information visit www.letsgetstuffdone.com Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.