It is not enough if you are busy.
The question is, what are you busy about?~Henry David Thoreau
Do you find that there is just not enough time to get everything done?
How many times a day do you usually use the word busy? I often catch myself busy working, cleaning dishes, cooking meals, doing laundry, catching up on the email, running errands and so on.
Our modern lifestyle creates time famine that we are forced to live with; there seems to be never enough time for anything. Even if we manage to get most of our tasks and responsibilities done, our personal time and time with our loved ones suffer.
Just the other day I was doing my house chores in the evening. One of my three-year-old daughters came up to me and wanted to play. By habit I told her that “mama was busy” and this is when it hit me.
I recently discovered a simple technique for problem solving that I thought you guys would love. But before diving in to this effective problem solving process, let me tell you the background story.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with this feeling of unproductive frustration. Maybe you can relate: feeling like you should be doing something, but you feel stuck, somehow unable to take productive action towards some end goal.
My problem is that I feel like I have a million things to do; yet I am finding it difficult to make any real progress with any of my projects. As a result, a whole day can go by without me making any progress forward.
Each day, when I look up to see that it’s already 3pm, I’ll start to feel frustrated at myself. I’ll feel annoyed that I had allowed another fruitless day to pass. I’d kick myself mentally for having “wasted” another precious day, which doesn’t help to inspire me to productivity or happiness.
The day I got the news that I had won the good mood blogger contest, felt like winning the lottery. Two months of built-up excitement, anxiety, and hard-earned daily marketing efforts had finally come to an end.
I remember the moment it happened, I felt a sense of relief and elation wash over my body, and I finally took a deep breath—for the first time in a few months, it seemed.
That same day, just a few hours later, I was running around doing last minute preparations for Ryan’s birthday party, and dealing with other personal drama. Suffice it to say that I was no longer in this bubble of joy and elation.
Even with over two months of built up anticipation and hard work, in a matter of hours, my mind was already racing for the next moment, seeking some other problem to hold on to.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of things you want to focus on? Yet, you find it hard to make real progress forward? Perhaps, it’s time to slim down your list and focus on just one or two larger goals. I too didn’t know how to focus until an unexpected conversation with my husband exposed my problem. This is that story.
For New Year’s Eve last year, Jeremy and I were looking for something to do—a traditional party with an actual countdown, mingling with strangers, getting dressed up in swanky outfits, holding champagne, kissing at midnight, etc.
I felt so relieved when we were invited to such a party. “Finally, we’re not going to be orphans this year,” I thought. However, the Universe had other plans for us; something sweeter, something better.
To me, writing is not work. Writing is like dancing with Existence, with Spirit, with God. It’s beautiful and precious. I get more satisfaction and energy from writing than I do from a few extra hours of sleep. Seriously.
Some days, when absorbed in the moment of writing down a stream of thoughts, I lose track of time, and I skip sleep altogether. And I function fine the next day–only with a bigger smile.
Sometimes a string of words will hit me so strongly that I will sit in front of the computer bawling. I cry, not because I am sad, but because I’ve experienced such intense joy that it moved me to tears.
Writing is just one form of creative outlet. I am no more qualified to write than you. And usually, as I relax and flow with my stream of consciousness, and write down whatever comes to mind, the result is surprising to me too. I am just a messenger after all.
I never understood why some people would work late into the night and sleep most of their mornings away, but now that I am sitting here, at 1am, listening to the same song on repeat, I get it.
When the rest of the world is asleep, there are very few distractions. There are no phone calls and no urgent tasks that need to be done at this time of the morning. I can completely focus myself on my work and let my creativity glow.
You may have read The Power of Now, or studied the Sedona method. Both these resources focus on teaching you how to get your mind in the present to forget about your worries and to really live in the moment.
When I graduated from fashion school last spring, I, like many other new graduates and job seekers, felt ready to take on the world. I had devoted 4 years to studying the thing that I had hoped would lead to a bright, shining career in the fashion industry, a dream I had held since I was 7 years old.
It didn’t happen like that. After graduation, I applied to over 20 jobs – in the first few months, the only reply I ever got was from a start-up company who insisted that their employees be Japanese and sold t-shirts with crude drawings on them.
Needless to say, my job search didn’t go too well. After a while, there was one position that I applied to when I had just started to give up that seemed to be the light at the end of the tunnel. I fought for the position, and almost got it.
It was a very unhappy and stressful time for me. At the time, I was being overworked at my full-time job in the wedding industry, however, I wanted very much to get my feet wet in fashion – my passion.
I never know what I’m going to write until I actually sit down to write it. Actually, the less I think about it, and just allow myself to relax into the flow, the better the writing usually takes shape.
My state of mind has everything to do with the quality of the final result. Thus, the lack of writing produced in the first 10 months of 2010 – as I was recovering and overcoming post-partum depression.
The biggest gift I received from the Good Mood Blogger contest was, that in entering it, a mental shift took place in me that pushed me over the edge of the mental blockage I was “stuck” in. And for that, I felt like a winner from the very beginning.
The mental blocks (aka. Limiting beliefs) we experience in life – not just in writing, but with taking action toward goals we want to accomplish – can have a detrimental effect which dramatically change the stories of our lives.
We live in a society where our worth seems to be validated by how large our network is; how often our Blackberry goes off; how worldly we are from our travels; or how many awesome Facebook pictures there are of us, proving to our friends we live the good life. Not to mention, as we grow older and wiser, there is a constant learning curve on how to gracefully handle evolving responsibility.
So, we resort to multi-tasking. A term I’m all too familiar with:
For the past three years, I’ve adopted wearing several outfits: the Corporate Banker, the weekend Real Estate Agent, the closet writer, the Board Member, the six days a week fitness guru, the overly helpful sister/mentor, the “wherever there was time” Nutrition Coach, the social planner… The exhausting list can be rattled on, but these were my staple outfits.
Siddhartha Gautama was a great spiritual leader from a kingdom that is now called Nepal. He founded Buddhism. In most Buddhist traditions, he is considered the Supreme Buddha. “Buddha” is interpreted to mean “awakened one” or “the enlightened one.”
Siddhartha is the primary figure in Buddhism, and the accounts of his life, teachings, and monastic rules were recapitulated after his death and memorized by his followers.
Today I want to discuss some very important life lessons which I’ve derived from the teachings of Buddha.