A Culture of Busy (A call for simplicity)
Life gets full.
And as it gets more full we simultaneously lose simplicity. f you're anything like me then the moment a window of time opens up in your schedule you magically find something to fill it with. A new volunteer gig. A new project. A new momentary obsession (often health-related). Or perhaps others notice your leisure time and take the opportunity to fill it for you. New requests. New favours. You see where I'm going with this, right?
Here's the challenge: in the mix of all of the filling - all of the more of something - we begin to lose our footing. We risk losing our sense of feeling firmly rooted. We strip away the moments of rest and, perhaps, boredom, which are often mislabeled as moments of laziness. In fact, these are the restorative cocoons of feeling grounded and the birthplace of creative inspiration. Those moments of pause - the moments of "in between" that we often don't pay attention to, are fuelled with the sustenance for regenerating our deepest energy.
It is this refuelling of deep energy that started to steer me away from stuffing my life with to-dos, should-dos, need-to-dos, and want-to-dos. We live in a culture of busy - a culture that romanticizes the glory of doing and minimizes the value of slowing down. At some point many of us will stand in stillness, watching the flurry of responsibilities and expectations set by ourselves and others swirl around us, and wonder, "what is this all for?".
What is it all for? Truly.
Yes, some of "it" is useful, such as earning enough income to live comfortably, living a healthy lifestyle, giving back to our community, and nurturing our relationships. But I challenge much of the rest. It's not to say that none of it is useful, or valuable. Rather, I challenge the rest because it's important to question whether the pieces of our life add to or subtract from our wellness.
Simplicity Looks Different For Everyone
I re-framed my definition of success from being something solely based on finances to a more holistic view that includes pieces such as my health, relationships, spiritual practice, and personal growth. This has helped me re-prioritize what I focus on, which has meant stepping away from chasing status - letters after my name, rank in my career, financial worth, influence, and more. It's not to say that these are "bad" things; they're not in and of themselves. However, when they come with disregard to my true passions and at the expense of my health I feel the urge to step back and review whether the pursuit of them is leading me astray from my values. The flip side: I'm nurturing my sense of value through me, the core of who I am as a human being, stripped of all of the labels I used to cling on to so tight.
In the comments below, let me know what you have consciously re-framed or removed from your life. How do you plan on bringing simplicity into your day-to-day?