Today I am happy to welcome the lovely Isabella McBride to The 21st Century Housewife. Isabella is a prolific author with a wonderful outlook on life. I’m so pleased that she has shared this guest post with us. Over to you, Isabella!
You wake up in the morning to the sound of chirping birds. You almost feel excited to face another beautiful day of life. Then it hits you like a brick in your gut. You have a mountain of things that need to get done today. But there is no way you can do it all. There is not enough time.
If only you could slow time down. Then you could get it all done. But since you haven’t figured out how to apply the theory of relativity to your daily life yet, you stumble out of bed and turn on your “high power” switch as if you were a human blender. Then you start spinning as fast as you can.
What you really need is a fairy godmother.
Well, it’s your lucky day.
Today you will learn four tricks to slow down time.
But first, let’s think about what it means to be “busy.”
Why am I so busy, anyway?
The word “busy” only originated in the 14th century from English and German. The word “busy” meant “anxious, careful” and later evolved to “continually working or occupied (www.etymonline.com).” I guess before the Middle Ages, no one was busy! Wouldn’t it be fun to time-travel back to a time before “busy-ness,” which then morphed into “business”?
How do you avoid the trap of being busy?
Time planning experts have realized there is a difference between being busy and getting things done.
Being busy causes stress.
Getting things done creates peace.
How can you tell the difference between being busy and getting things done?
1. Check your values.
This requires shutting your eyes for a moment to all of the pressing things that you think have to get done.
Take a deep breath and go deep into yourself. What matters most to you? Does your schedule reflect YOUR values or someone else’s?
For example, let’s look at Betty. Betty got involved in a parent/school organization a few years ago and she really enjoyed the camaraderie of the other women to plan events for the school. But lately she has gotten so busy with these responsibilities, that she has started to neglect her own family. Every time she gets an email or phone call, she feels stressed. She also feels guilty because she is not cooking for her family and her house is a mess. She feels trapped but obligated because people are depending on her. Betty is the perfect example of being out of alignment with her own personal values. Betty has to make a decision about what is more important to her: meeting the needs of her family or meeting the needs of her child’s school. If she thinks about it rationally, she will realize her family takes priority and it will give her strength to say “no” to requests that prevent her from acting according to her deepest values. When her schedule reflects her values then she will feel peace.
2. Get into the present moment.
Do a self-check: do you spend too much time thinking about the past or future? If you are stuck in the past, you are blaming yourself or someone else for something that happened that you believe is holding you back now. Cut the cord with the past and let it go. If you are too focused on the future, you are worrying about what will come, or making too many plans to control where you are going. This can also steal your peace of mind. To have peace, you must have a right relationship to the past and future and be able to relax into the moment. Here is a tip: take a deep breath into your abdomen. Push your breath up to your lungs and down into your abdomen three times. Then breathe through your abdomen, aware of the warmth and the expansion with your breath. This will center you into the moment.
3. Connect with yourself.
There is a peaceful energy that the ancients would connect with. It is represented by the fire at the hearth. The Greeks referred to this archetypal energy as Hestia, and it represents the peaceful energy of our home as an oasis. The energy is graceful, quiet, and inward, like a meditation. The focus is on being rather than doing, and the results are not as important as putting your mind into the action. Whether you are scrubbing your toilet or making a soufflé, you can enjoy every moment, as if you were performing a tea ceremony. When you do things with this type of mindfulness, you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
Laughing is one of the best stress-relievers and immediately gets you into the moment. Look for funny things in the moment that make you smile. Connecting with your heart energy in love and gratititude will immediately put a smile on your face. Laughter also connects you with others.. Laughter knows no boundaries. It crosses the language barrier, the culture barrier, the age barrier (as any infant will prove) and even the stress barrier. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Need help finding the funny in your daily life? Click here: Finding the Funny in Daily Life.