Sunday, July 7, 2013

Stop



"What made any of us think that the place we are trying to reach is far, far ahead of us somewhere and that the only way to get there is to run until we drop?"
-  Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor

Meetings. Memos. Mail.

This is our life as Managers, Mothers - Mortals.

My husband is aMazed (ok, enough with the M's) when I share my work calendar with him.

"How exactly do you take a meeting and a call at the same time?" 

I'm so used to being over scheduled that I don't recognize the silliness of it all.

Don't get me wrong.  I like being busy.  Work, especially work you love, can feed your soul.  And like most women who work inside and outside the house, I excel at multi-tasking.  Sort of.

The problem occurs when DOING causes real exhaustion and isn't moving the ball forward. When all my activity starts making me feel worse.

At times like these it's important to STOP and reflect (or nap!) and answer Taylor's question above.

Who says being chronically busy is the path to living a good life?  

Pema Chodron, a Buddhist Nun, and one of my favorite "coaches" talks about busyness as a defense against living a wholehearted life.  

While we often complain about the chaos of our lives and how much we crave down time, stopping is scary.  It takes practice to be still and settle down.  DOING is a buffer against unpleasant feelings.

According to Taylor, "Anyone who practices Sabbath for even an afternoon usually suffers a little spell of Sabbath sickness.  Once you have finished the paper and a second pot of tea, you can start feeling a little jumpy...You can find yourself crying buckets of uncried tears over things you thought you handled years ago."

Still, compulsive activity is not the answer. Be brave. Take heart. If you center yourself in the present moment (even for one moment) you may experience unpleasant emotions.  However, you may also surprise and delight yourself!

I hope you make and take time to rest this summer. To play. To be with your family and friends. Or to simply sit quietly with yourself. 

Stopping is as important as moving if you want to live a good life.

Jocelyn

4 comments:

Cappy Harmon said...

I must admit I got nervous just reading your post:-) Even as a recently retired person, I'm often/always feeling like I should be busy doing something!!! Thanks for your post.

Mr. L's mom said...

All of this is so true! Thanks for the reminder.

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