Busy, busy, busy, always on the go – always working, always hustling. Isn’t this what we’re meant to do? Except the older I get, the more I realise that release is really the new hustle.
This year I have lived in the moment, more than ever before. I appreciate what is around me, who I am with, and when I am with someone I am really with someone. I don’t constantly check my phone or zone out. I try to give them as much of my undivided attention as I can. I’m not perfect – I’m as prone to distractions as the next person but by adopting a more easygoing attitude with myself and others, it matters less to be ‘perfect’ – who wants to live life at that unrealistic standard anyway?
A big part of this outlook is down to my meditation practise. It can be quite hard to adopt a regular practise if you are not used to including meditation in your routine but the benefits are so worth it. It’s one of those conundrums… Meditation doesn’t look very difficult – it is basically sitting on your arse with your eyes closed and being quiet! But really it is much more than that. It is learning to quiet the mind, to switch off the distracting thoughts and that is a lot harder than it sounds. Inevitably I will waiver and drift off in my mind, to my days’ tasks or replaying a situation that happened, but then I catch myself and bring myself back to my breath.
So what are the benefits of doing this on a consistent basis? Firstly I don’t get caught up in other people’s drama. You know the sort – someone moans about something on Facebook for example, about something that irritates them about life or another person and then all the commenters jump in and agree or disagree. I’m all for connection and blowing off steam, but I find it much more fulfilling to do this in real life with my friends over a cup of tea. This isn’t a judgement though, merely an observation. If people want to share/ rant/ moan on Facebook it’s a free country! They are completely within their rights to do so, but the point is that I don’t feel it necessary to hop in unless I want to (and usually I don’t unless it’s about something positive!) There is so much negativity in the world without even trying so I prefer to use my efforts to spread the good – not the evil!
Another benefit that meditation has brought me is an extra few seconds reaction time. This is more useful than it sounds. When I’m driving, I feel so much calmer – less inclined to react to being cut up, but because of the pace at which I drive now, I haven’t had to slam on the brakes for as long as I can remember. Yes – I think I am officially a ‘Sunday driver’! Sunday drivers used to irritate me when I lived my life at 100mph – you think ‘don’t they have anywhere to go?’ but really this attitude is more to do with being hurried within oneself and not aimed at the other driver. Calm is a much better state all round – less accidents, less stress, happier disposition.
Have you ever heard people talking about ‘being in flow’? This is where I feel I am most of the time and the great news is that it is achievable for anyone! If you sometimes feel that life is tough, you have too much to do and too little time, nothing ever seems to work out for you, other people’s lives look so much easier than yours, you can’t ‘win’ – I’m here to tell you – you CAN. But I should also say something that you may not like to hear – you CAN, but rather than fixing everyone else, making all the others realise the wrongs they have done to you and apologise, wishing that for once your nearest and dearest would just know what to do to make your life easier, actually this ease has to start with YOU.
In fact, this is the best part about it because you can actually control YOU. You can choose how to react to someone who presses your buttons, or not to react as the case may be! If you have too much to do and too little time then guess what? You can do the things that are important to you and ditch the rest – without guilt! If it doesn’t matter to you, don’t do it! If you feel you are letting others down, then consider – are you letting them down at the expense of letting yourself down? It is important to care about other people and the things that are important to them but you can care in such a way that doesn’t drain you.
It is impossible to give something we don’t have, so to be of better service to those around you – those who depend on you, isn’t it worth filling your own tank first, so you can show up more ready, willing and able for others? Thanks for reading and head over to my Facebook page and ‘LIKE’ for more from JuggleMum!