Do you see yourself as a “busy” person? Are there so many things happening in your life, that you just don’t have time for anything? How about feeling like an “auto-pilot”?
As a working mom of two little ones, I certainly feel this way. Having my own time seems to be a rare luxury. You go through a busy, hectic day only to find out that it will start all over again tomorrow morning. Well, you don’t even have to be a mom. We live in a society where so many things are happening and they happen very quickly (just think about how many social networks there are!)– It’s not surprising to be too busy.
On one usual morning, I was dropping off my son to school and was walking back home to get ready to work. Normally, I am always in a hurry (I had to be at work by a certain time and had quite a long commute at the time). However, that day, for some reason, as I was walking, I looked up. And when I did, I noticed how beautiful the sky was – it had just the right amount of blueness filled with cotton-candy-like clouds, which looked so peaceful. At that moment, I realized that I was missing out– missing out on peace of mind.
When you lose your peace of mind, you may lose control in your life. It is no longer you running your life, but rather other things (job, material things, money, etc.) controlling you. When you are too busy, you are preoccupied with too many things, and you tend to forget to take care of your mind. It was that very moment, when I looked up the sky, I became aware that “busyness” was controlling my life.
“Busyness” was an excuse for everything. Because I was busy, I handed iPad to my kids in the evening so I can rest. Because I was busy, I made foods to-go and ate unhealthy. Because I was busy, I just had no time to exercise. And because I was busy, it was okay for my house to be messy.
The truth of the matter is, it wasn’t the “busyness” that made my life so tiring. It was me who allowed “busyness” to be on the pilot seat. I knew something had to change. So how did I make the change? Or, more importantly, how should you make the change?
I can only speak for my experience but I can share with you three simple steps that tremendously helped me to find my inner peace. Would you want to give it a try?
#1 KNOWING WHY AND LOOKING INTO NEW PERSPECTIVE
There are good reasons why one wants to change. So, whatever the reasons are, it should be coming from you (not because someone else thinks it’s a good idea). First, understand why you want the change. What is it that is bugging you? For me, it was being tired of everything. Didn’t matter how many hours I worked, what I did (whether it was spending time with my family or simply staying at home), I was just exhausted.
Once you have a strong will to change, this is the time to do your research. For me, I knew I wanted a change but wasn’t quite sure what and how. So, I started from the internet – I “googled” a lot. I’ve read numerous stories about how others have made the change and watched many inspiring videos over YouTube. The point is, answer might be out there. You are not alone! – there are others out there who is going through similar experiences as you and have found a way to make the change.
Here are few websites I came across that affected me the most:
#2 UNDERSTAND YOUR HABITS
Now why is understanding your habits important? Because when you make changes in your life, you have to change your habits. And, we all, to a certain degree, resist changes. It makes sense – it took us good amount of time to build those habits in the first place. So before you adopt any changes, first identify your habits and set realistic expectations. For me, one of the changes I wanted to make was eating healthier and stop eating junk food. When I felt tired, last thing I wanted to do was preparing a healthy meal. But what I didn’t know, I was actually creating a vicious cycle – Being tired triggered me to eat fast food and when I ate fast food, I felt crappy the following day and felt more tired. If you don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed, start out with listing out three things you want to change. Then, identify the associated habits for each of those things you want to change and set goals that are doable.
#3 CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
You have a reason to change – check.
You have a plan to change – check.
Now, the last, and the most important element into this formula is to move yourself away from your old environment and enter into your new environment. Environment can mean lots of things. It can mean the people you are surrounded with, your job, the place you live in, or your community. The point is, you have to move away from what is causing you to be so busy. For me, the main thing was working long hours, having too much stress at work, and commuting for more than 2 hours a day. So, I quit and found a job where I work reasonable hours with less stress and located close to my home (10 minutes commute the most!). Another thing was my messy home. The messy environment with lots of clutter only made my mind dizzy. So, I started a journey to adopt a minimalism lifestyle – to declutter my house and minimize my possession to what is truly important in my life. Being separated from your old environment that is only causing you stress and mind overload will help you find your path to inner calmness.
An awakening moment for me was when I saw that beautiful sky. I was so busy chasing for other things (paycheck, material stuff, job title), I didn’t have a chance to appreciate the little things and moments of joy that was right there in front of my eyes. As mentioned, I switched my job, but now I’m thinking about totally changing the direction of where I want to be in the near future. And, once again, I’m in a journey of following the three steps above in hopes of finding the answer.
So, do you feel like you are so busy you just don’t have time for anything? Then, perhaps this is the best time to have a “comma” in your life and slow down. 🙂