Busyness Can Be Addictive
Being busy, in some circles, has become the badge of honor to show how important we are. Author Tim Kreider shares that busyness is usually self-imposed:
“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
Many of us are even too busy to think about or practice self-care. Being over-scheduled simply leads to burnout. And this is not news.
Comfort is An Illusion Too
The notion that when we achieve success, we will not only be eternally happy but comfortable as well, is an illusion. Unless we’re willing to sustain this feeling, it will only be fleeting when we finally get there! So, what then? A beneficial mindset and a skill to develop is learning how to be in the flow and constantly remain present.
The healthiest teacher is not always in the classroom, nor at the office, the workshop, the conference center, or on Zoom. The most amazing teacher we can have is around us every day: nature and our own personal relationship with her. Nature is all-encompassing and requires our respect.
If we live in a place that is susceptible to earthquakes or tornados, then it’s wise to be prepared and adapt to living in that environment with emergency supplies and an evacuation plan in place. Rather than living in fear of an earthquake every day, we can continue to live our lives knowing we have a strategy and an infrastructure set up. As we have seen throughout 2020, life can change in a second, and panic and fear can spread like wildfire very quickly. Our comfortable lives can be disrupted in a flash by outside forces.
It’s easy to lose pieces of ourselves in a sea of busyness. So how is it possible to feel disengaged when we are so connected and busy? We are taught that to be successful, it’s necessary to be active 24/7 to fill our days and nights with activities. You may have been teased for staying in on a Friday or Saturday night, and made to feel unworthy if you are not busy doing something—but in March 2020, you may have found yourself in lockdown at home, and, depending on where you were in the world, you may have experienced a curfew or martial law a few months later.
Because it may have stopped you from freely achieving your goals, you may have felt like a caged animal who was failing at life. But the real opportunity we had was to slow down.
Being One with Nature Allows Us to Observe Our Busyness
Ask yourself, “How do I spend quality time with myself? When was the last time I simply enjoyed my own company and went with the flow of the moment?” I’m not talking about a vacation or a retreat. Sit and observe a body of water, like a lake or an ocean. Watch how it flows. Notice the ripples and current. Consider how the tiniest of movements carry the plankton or fish. It is simple, beautiful, and peaceful. There is no pursuit, there is no goal—only peace and harmony with our surroundings.
There is so much natural beauty in the world to learn from. One of the fallacies of modern living is that we must keep going, and we can forget to stop and take care of ourselves. It’s time to remember that to be fully human, we have to take breaks and recharge.
The underground network of plants and fungi beneath our feet is always connected and intelligent. Mycologist Paul Stamets reminds us that
“We need to have a paradigm shift in our consciousness. If we don’t get our act together and come in commonality and understanding with the organisms that sustain us today, not only will we destroy those organisms, but we will destroy ourselves.”
One can only imagine that we will be able to be interconnected as below, so above. So many feel lonely but are unaware of the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and fierceness of our natural surroundings. We are never truly alone. What is Nature teaching us about letting go and flowing?