Why has saying “I’m too busy” become so dramatic? I’ve lost track of the texts or emails which declare several different ways of saying it (I counted 30 so far but I’m sure there are more). We now have a succession of phrases such as; running around like a headless chicken, head full of steam, I’m buried, too much on my plate, don’t know if I’m coming or going and; I’m up to my eyes. Indeed, the word ‘busy’ comes with its own portable stage.
The Dalai Lama calls it the paradox of our age where we have more conveniences but less time. Even when we’re not being busy, we find it hard to relax, and spend more time with our phones or iPads than with our own families. And although there’s been a rise in people wanting to try meditation and mindfulness (living in the moment), there is still the problem of being still (no, we are too busy for that). Hence why we now have books with titles such as; Hurry Up and Meditate and, Buddhism for Busy People – just so we can have our meditation on the go.
Being busy seems to be our badge of honour where even people can be heard debating over who is the busiest. It’s as if our whole being is wrapped up in our busy schedules and daily to-do lists which are actually swamping us and making us lose perspective of the bigger picture. So perhaps a better idea is ‘clear the mind’ lists to bring a different focus to tasks. To-do lists can be so overwhelming, just like the phrase ‘too busy’, which implies we’re not in charge of our time and that in-turn causes stress.
But being ‘too busy’ (just like stress), actually comes from what is happening in our heads, and not necessarily what is happening in the moment. And when you look at ‘busy’ from that perspective, then you realise, there is no need for that stage, the badge or statement t-shirt. We just need to remember to simply slow down…but then again, perhaps that’s something we need to add to that list.
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