Being busy is a great way to avoid things.
One of my 52 Ways to Free my Mojo from my book is to "Stop Glorifying Busy-ness". It may seem odd to realize that we often rush around because not only do we have too much to do, but we are also avoiding dealing with some inner clutter. We don't really know when to say NO, because we are afraid we will miss something. We don't always say YES to ourselves as a result. In cultures that reward "the hustle" we are really encouraged to achieve more than we are to be aware. Our lives are full and there is a lot of noise. Not just physical noise but also mental clutter and emotional debris. By keeping busy we manage our emotions remotely. We just dial in on things because we don't have time for real intimacy. For most of us, it often works because the truth is that repeating tasks over and over with urgency is easier than rethinking our lives.
I love water. I love lakes, rivers, oceans, seas, swimming pools and even baths. There is something about it that is soothing to me. Even when the tides are rough and wild, I get an energy from water that I treasure. Our energy is also bouncing off us and hitting other people. When we get busy and get anxious, the people around us feel it and respond. None of us can help it as our neurology is programmed to mirror the behaviors of living beings around us. It's probably a survival technique that goes back thousands of years so it's hard wired. Predators have us all on our guard because that's how we survive. Years and years later, our primal drives are still activated all day long because fear is still a trigger to be on alert.
We are so complicated. There is so much going on within us at all times. As the ancient Poet Rumi once said "You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop..." We have our own tides ebbing and flowing. We are a natural marvel whether we appreciate ourselves or not. It is interesting that nature has shifts in energy, tides go in and out. The moon waxes and wanes. But do we allow ourselves to have these energy shifts too? Exquisite self care is the only way to be strong enough to do meaningful work in this world. Exhausted is not an ongoing state to indulge without the onset of illness or accidents. We need to reflect more and do less.
For many years I ran in fifth gear all the time. I pushed through in overdrive because of painful PTSD I felt I could overcome with achievement. I could not. But I was too busy to know that at the time. I tried very hard to push it further and further from me. I engaged the external and used accomplishment to keep the wolf from the door only to find she had given birth to pups in my kitchen.
Like the wolf, I could never be tamed but I denied my own natural needs and cycles to contribute in the world of man made victories. I wanted to win. I needed to feel like I was needed. I kept busy to try to be safe.
In writing this I encourage you to look at the parts of your life you are rushing through. Look at the parts of you that you may ignore or push too far. Look at your natural existence and fully embrace your own nature.
What would that look like for you? Who would you be if you were not so busy?