Are you ‘busy’? Is everyone you know ‘busy’? Is that the answer you hear most to the question, ‘How’s it going?’
Well, I got tired of it being my answer to that question, so I changed it a few years ago. But, I still hear how everyone is ‘busy’ ALL OF THE TIME. So, I say it’s time to call bullshit on being ‘too busy’ and start to heal our relationship with time.
It’s especially important to bring up this topic now, at the tipping point of pre-holiday season, when most of us are preparing to ramp up for more activity in our lives. Picture more peace, more ease and feeling like you actually have some locus of control over your time and your calendar . . . . and so you can make more time to nourish YOU (which is always my ultimate wish if I could personally devise an agenda for you).
Here is the deal. I know that many of us are in continuous overwhelm mode, hustling here, there, and everywhere. We feel over-worked, over-whelmed and stressed to the max. Some of us are barely scraping by. Making ourselves a priority, so we can maintain some sense of inner peace, can seem utterly absurd. But, it is necessary now, and always. So, let’s talk about this.
It doesn’t matter what you do as a woman in this life. You may be working a corporate job, digging in the trenches building a business, single-parenting, staying at home with your kids or running a multi-million-dollar business. The absolute #1 reason I hear for why my women aren’t making themselves and their self-care a priority is because they are ‘too busy’ or they just ‘do not have the time’. It’s as if we all subscribed to a certain ‘busy’ story like a badge of courage and she who is the most rundown, depleted and exhausted wins the prize. Why did we sign up for this? It’s time for a different way to navigate our lives.
When is the last time you sat for a moment and reflected on what you really, really want and how you would really, really like things to be so you can actually take care of yourself? For most of us, this is not a regular thing. We feel we don’t have time to do that or maybe we feel guilty if we do take some time. Or, perhaps we are too stuck in crazy town to even notice that we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Why? Why don’t we do this for ourselves?
One of the biggest challenges for most of us is that even if we do give ourselves permission to stop and sit and think, the answer to what do you want is I DON’T KNOW. Seriously, I don’t know. Honestly, that was often my answer in the past too. We can get so strung out that we can’t think of a single thing we truly want. And that’s just sad, isn’t it? We have gotten ourselves swimming in such ‘busy-ness’ for so long that we honestly DO NOT KNOW what we really, really want anymore. We don’t know how we would want to make ourselves a priority even if given the chance. Even something as simple as a hug or a cup of tea. Often this is due to the fact that fear is actually running the show or perhaps we haven’t yet begun to own our real worth.
These are heavy topics, but let’s begin to change the momentum here. We’ve got to start somewhere or we are going to stay stuck in ‘busy-ness’ and ultimately I know you don’t WANT to be there. Here are a few tools to get you started.
Drop the B-Word.
First and foremost, commit to eliminating the word ‘busy’ from your vocabulary. It’s energized with negativity and needs to go bye-bye. If you feel compelled to use that word, stop and pick a different word or phrase. Perhaps you could say, I have a full schedule or I have a very productive day ahead or maybe I’m pumped about all of the exciting things I have coming up. Be creative.
What Do You Want? Hold the Excuses Please.
Schedule some time into your life ASAP to STOP EVERYTHING and sit still for long as it takes to answer this question – WHAT DO I WANT? In that answer, consider what actions you would take to make your self-care a priority if you could do anything. Free write your answers in a journal or on a special piece of paper you set out just to do this work. Make this time sacred and do not let anyone interfere with this special time with your own thoughts. Give yourself permission to open up your mind to all possibilities, no matter how ‘crazy’ it might seem. Whatever you do, do NOT focus on what you DON’T want. This exercise is about what you DO want.
If excuses or reasons why you can’t actually have what you want start popping up, and they will, that’s fear showing up to play. Fear likes to tell us why we can’t have what we want. A really cool trick to deal with fear thing is to thank if for trying to protect you and simply say, guess what, I’ve got this. Do that. Write it down. I’ve got this. It can immediately diffuse fear.
And here my friends is a special does of TRUTH . . . when those excuses and reasons why you can’t have it the way you want continue to show up, that actually means that you are not yet willing or ready to create the life you desire. So, there’s that. And sometimes that is the case. If so, be okay with it for now and come back to this when you are ready to kick fear’s ass.
Be Ruthless and Take Action!
Be ruthless with your excuses and reasons why you can’t. Remember, it’s fear. And we don’t have time for fear. Life is short. Why are we spending time doing and being things that we don’t actually truly connect with? Let’s take a stand and make new choices about how this is going to go. Also know this – when you feel extreme resistance in your life, that is when you know that change needs to happen. Take note and begin a new type of courage to challenge yourself to create new experiences. Most importantly in this work, once you figure out something that you want, is to take action on it. It can be anything; any simple action that moves you in the direction of your desires. It could be something as simple as taking a bath or a nap, or maybe it’s something bigger like having a courageous conversation to break through old stories. You decide. Then, take action. Then, keep taking action until you get closer and closer to truly making yourself a priority. You are worth it and you deserve it!
Now, it’s time to dismount from my high horse and make time to think about what I really, really want right now.
What inspired you the most in this story? What AHA’s did you experience? Please reply in the comments.
Let’s support each other in this process. Share your stories. Give each other some love.
Shelley Hunter Hillesheim
Self-Care Coach, Author, Sisterhood Builder
As a revolutionary in the art of self-care, Shelley Hunter Hillesheim founded A Nourished Life where she rescues depleted high achievers from overwhelm and helps them create the spaciousness and simplicity needed to nourish themselves with sustainable self-care habits.
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