There’s a lot of busy in the business of working for yourself. “How have you been?” My friends ask. “Busy! Good busy,” I hear myself say proudly. I love that I keep getting asked to work on cool video projects. I love that my son wants me to come to his school’s pancake breakfast. I love that my social circle has expanded to include more great adventures than there’s time for.
But as I work on two new videos, another blog and two new books I am shocked by the dark circles under my eyes, the constant knot in my right shoulder and the neglected housework that’s now glaring apparent. I may just have to admit it: my current pace in untenable.
I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head telling me to find a space and get still. When I was little she taught me to sit by myself, focus solely on my breathing and just let go of all thoughts. When I was eight it was easy. Presence was my natural state—no one relied on me for anything. Now, I wish I could explain to her that I have to invest time in building my career, that Kai is only little once and I don’t want to miss anything. That in order to maintain friendships I have to make time to see them. Surely if I explained all that, she’d see how impossible it is to get still and think of nothing. What a luxury!
But if I’m honest with myself—despite my own objections—I know she’s right. Not to mention she’d never fall for my excuses. She wouldn’t even have to say anything. She’d just look at me until I eventually cracked and admitted they were feeble and I knew it.
When things are craziest we need the luxury of stillness most. The word stillness is deceiving. It sounds passive, but it’s not. It is entirely active. Nothing in our busy worlds will carve out time or space for stillness, but without it we will drown in a sea of our own chaos.
In cultivating stillness we listen to our minds and bodies in unison, through the breath. We release old tension and breathe in fresh air. We connect to the present and feel gratitude for being. And when our minds begin to wander, we gently bring them back. Or at least try. All we need is a few mindful minutes to transform busy-ness into awesomeness.
So excuse me while I go cultivate awesomeness. I hope you’ll do the same.