What do you say when people ask, “How are you?”
I find a lot of folks say some version of,”I am so busy.”
I recently ran into a friend, and she said, “Busy, busy busy.” Three busys! Oh my!
People are addicted to being busy, and they are addicted to telling others how busy they are.
They fill up their calendars with endless meetings, lunches, weekends trips and 8 million activities for their children, for one reason: so they do not have to take a hard look at what is really going on their lives.
They don’t want to think about their marriage, their weight, their health or how much they hate their job.
These same people who won’t pause also fill up every space in their home and office with stuff.
They do this because empty space leads to opportunities. And their ego (that terrible voice in their head) does not like change or want to move forward out of the terrible job or loveless marriage. So the ego says, “Don’t leave an inch of space anywhere in your home or office. We are afraid of change and what that could bring — like success, new love or a healthy body.”
And all this calendar filling and all this space filling leaves us angry, anxious and stressed out. Not to mention, we can’t do anything well when we are this buys, which leads to more stress because the kids and the boss notice.
I am reading “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron, and in chapter six, she addresses this phenomenon: “It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up space. By waiting we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness,” she writes.
She continues: “If we immediately entertain ourselves by talking, by acting, by thinking — if there’s never any pause — we will never be able to relax. We will always be speeding through our lives. We’ll always be stuck with what my grandfather called ‘a good case of the jitters.’
“Refraining is a way of making friends with ourselves at the most profound level possible. We can begin to relate with what’s underneath all the bubbles and burps and farts, all the stuff that comes out and expresses itself as uptight, controlling, manipulative behavior, or whatever it is. Underneath all that there’s something very soft, very tender, that we experience as fear or edginess.”
I learned a few years ago our purpose here on Earth is to release, relax, and repeat and abundance will flow in. And I learned I am here to teach people how to do that.
But to get there, you have to pause. You have to clear the calendar and create downtime. You have to clear the kitchen counter to create space. And you have to lean into what happens next.