In an effort to protect my health and improve my relationships, I have been battling the overwhelmed schedule for some time now. Some days it is easier than others. And often, I make great progress only to fall back into that place of rush, with a need to course-correct. But the more I come back to balance, the easier it gets. I don't go "off the path" nearly as far and I am quicker to notice.
I had personally allowed myself to live from a place of rush for far too long! For many years, my life was calling to be “unrushed” in a variety of ways. But somehow it was never a priority. Society pointed in the direction that I could and should be able to do it all with a smile on my face. Not being able to handle the schedule felt like failure…weakness. What was it that caused me to take action? Well, it should have been my anxious (code for irritable!) spirit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that perceptive, and “pushing through” manifested in physical symptoms. (Our bodies are a brilliant bio-computers!) The more I ignored the symptoms, the louder they screamed. I've shared that in the summer of 2016, the wake up call came. Mine came through the voice of a doctor, who informed me that my cortisol was not only out of range, but off the paper. I was in “hormonal chaos” and steps needed to be taken to get my stress levels under control or disease was inevitable.
It was then that I got the first lecture: “your nervous system doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a lion or rushing from place to place. In either case, it needs to increase adrenaline to meet the demands.”
I was living in the nervous system “red zone”. For decades! Guilty as charged.
Enter mindfulness. Enter self-care. Enter an intention to do less, learning to cut out even some things I liked. Am I perfect? Not even close! Am I putting my soul as a higher priority than achievement? For sure. Most days.
Let’s just call me a “recovering type A”.
Unrushing doesn’t come naturally to me. There are performance demands, and we live among people who glorify busyness. Time can become a tyrant that controls our lives. But the world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold.
There are a ton of different steps we can take to unrush ourselves, and I have taken many of them in just about every area of my life. But there is no one list of “how tos”; they will be personal to each person. They involve tough decisions to cut things out... and awareness of what really is important to us and to our families. It can be done, but it takes awareness.
One cost-free step you can take? To remain healthy, our souls need solitude with no agenda, no distractions, no noise. Even moms! So try it; take some time for yourself. Contemplate what truly is important to you and if where you spend your time is in alignment . That's a good place to start. Or maybe you start even simpler than that, with doing “nothing” - and with no guilt, because doing nothing does wonders for the soul.
Mark 6:31 “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
By the way, if this resonates with you and you are seeking personal, practical solutions, this is where health coaching comes in. Armed with strategy, I speak from the voice of experience and much compassion. I am always happy to serve my struggling sisters…