Sometimes ‘Busy’ is Just Plain Bullshit

Sometimes Busy is Just Plain Bullshit

 

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It’s been more than a week since I’ve popped in here for a post. I’ve been busy writing elsewhere and haven’t made the time for this sacred space. That makes me sad because this blog is a my breathing room, a much-needed tool for my own self-expression. Why do I let life slip in and erect walls between me and the things that matter to my soul? Sometimes my deepest needs get shoved aside while the day-to-day frenzy ensues.

I was reminded of this recently when I had a conversation with a woman I don’t really know. Her son has some of the same medical issues my own son has (diagnosed depression, ADHD, and a few other labels I don’t like to say aloud). I told her that we (my son and I) do yoga together and run daily, and that those self-care habits have been integral to wellness. The conversation went as follows:

Woman: My son is a runner. I would love to run and do yoga with him, but I’m fat and busy as hell.

Me: Yoga is a come-as-you-are activity. Just hop on a mat and get started. A few minutes a day beats nothing at all.

Woman: I’m too busy.

Me: I get it…really.  I also know that when we don’t make time for self-care, everything suffers.

Woman: BLAH BLAH BLAH

Okay, so she didn’t actually say Blah Blah Blah, but that’s what I heard. What I could see in the hollow of her words were excuses, misplaced priorities, and even a bit of self-loathing. I don’t judge her for having reasons, because I’ve already told you that I too am guilty of allowing life to swoop in and take over, making space between me and my goals, dreams, passions, and so on. I’ll bet most of us are guilty of this, to varying degrees and at different times in our lives.

Let’s stop letting “busy” take the blame. We’re all busy, of that we can be sure.

When Busy Becomes a Roadblock

Some time ago, I was a busy mom. Two boys in diapers and a full-time job meant chaos and a whirlwind of constant chores. Some days I heard a whisper, a soft stop and listen from within. But there was no time for soul conversations. Buried beneath diapers and dishes, there were marital issues I wasn’t addressing. I allowed the guise of busyness to become my roadblock to a better life — free from the unhealthy relationship with my adulterous spouse.

There were things I couldn’t face — truths I kept concealed for the sake of continuity. Who has time for courage? Just keep going. Things will work out, I told myself. But things got worse instead. And one day, it all fell apart.

So there I was, divorced, depressed, sleep-deprived, suffering with stress-induced migraines and battling old anorexic tendencies that arose when my self-esteem plummeted and life spun out of control. I was busier than ever as a single mom. But this time my ears were attuned to my inner voice. Life made me listen — it does that sometimes.

What happens when we ignore our soul’s cries? They eventually become screams, billboards, even bombs.  But I have learned the hard way while traversing life: There’s a shortcut to healing and happiness, and it starts on the path inward.

By now I should be so adept at soul conversations. I should understand the language of my inner guide, have her voice playing like Pandora in the background of each day. But I don’t. I’m a stubborn yogi, and I often place knowledge over wisdom, thinking with my head alone and leaving my soul on standby.  I’m still navigating the path to my purpose. I have years of life habits to unlearn, a closet full of fears to clean out, and a room full of naysayers to remove. But here’s what I know:

Sometimes busy is just plain bullshit. 

Mantra: You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes daily — unless you’re too busy…then you should sit for an hour. ~ Ancient Zen Adage

46 Comments
  • Emily
    February 1, 2016

    YES I LOVE this brutally honest post!!!

  • Talk Less, Say More
    February 2, 2016

    Preach it, girl! I’m definitely thinking on the idea that when we ignore things that are bothering us, they become bombs. Ain’t that the truth!

  • Barbara Schnell
    February 2, 2016

    I agree that people use ‘busy’ as an excuse. And then I got to wondering why. So I remembered when I claimed to be too busy. It was just an excuse to get out of something, of course (see your comments) but sometimes it was a defense against negative judgments about how I manage my time. You know the person that says, “Oh, you’re not doing anything important; you might as well….”–you get the drift. And then that person invites themselves to your house because ‘you’re not busy’, and offers to take your car, and tells you they only eat three times a day, and….I think there’s another blog here.

    • Rica Lewis
      February 2, 2016

      Ha ha, that is indeed a whole other blog! Thanks for reading, Barbara.

  • Tamuria
    February 2, 2016

    I love this post! You are so right, we are ALL busy. It’s a matter of priorities and finding a balance that works for you.

    • Rica Lewis
      February 2, 2016

      Thank you, Tamuria! Glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping in here.

  • Kim M
    February 2, 2016

    Now this is the kick in the butt I needed to hear. I had a someone tell me that their house was a mess because they were to busy. But she is a stay at home mom and her son is in school… I have found that I use my illness as an excuse. Sometimes its not, but I automatically let it be. If that makes sense. Thanks for telling it like it is!

    • Rica Lewis
      February 2, 2016

      Always a pleasure to kick someone in the pants. I’m glad you were motivated by what you read, Kim! Thanks for stopping by!

  • GiGi Eats
    February 2, 2016

    OHHHHHH MAN! I have a bone to pick with the word BUSY! My sister pulls the “BUSY” card ALL THE DAMN TIME ——- And she lives in the middle of NO WHERE and has no friends. LOL! Sad truth. I feel like now that she had a kid, she has MORE TIME – but prior to that kid, OH MAN every five seconds, “Im so busy” -BS~ Oh btw, I love my sister – ha ha ha!

    • Rica Lewis
      February 2, 2016

      Ha! Your sister sounds like sooo many people I know! Thanks for reading and commenting, GiGi!

  • Peggy Nolan, Let Go Move Forward
    February 4, 2016

    Found you through Blogging on Your Own Terms. YUP. Right there with you sister. Busy is bs, an excuse, a facade for fear to hide behind. I don’t often ask people to be on my podcast, but I would LOVE your voice, insight, and wisdom on an upcoming episode. You can check out my podcast, Let Go Move Forward, on iTunes. If you’re interested, you can submit your guest form at http://peggynolan.com/podcast-guests/

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Rica Lewis
      February 4, 2016

      Very cool, Peggy! Glad you found me and I look forward to the podcast. Thanks for invite 🙂

  • femy
    February 4, 2016

    I hear you. Busy is an excuse a lot of friends use. Its all a matter of priority.
    good post.

  • Haley
    February 4, 2016

    This is so true!!! Great Post!!!

  • salman
    February 4, 2016

    Great articles.. keep writing

  • Nicole
    February 5, 2016

    Love this! Great post. We always have time for the things that are important to us.

  • Carrie
    February 5, 2016

    I absolutely love this post! I hate the “busy excuse” too.

  • Karen
    February 5, 2016

    For me is is prayer. When I am busy I know I need it ever more. Thanks for sharing your deep thoughts. Also, if you haven’t read “Why is My Brain Not Working,” By Dr. Datis Kharrizian you may want to check it out.

  • Alyssa | Adjust Your Focus®
    February 5, 2016

    Glad you found me through the FB blog group, following along now! Love your honesty! As you know in my last post, listening to your soul and shifting your perspective is exactly what I’m doing right now. Great post, thank you for sharing.

    • Rica Lewis
      February 5, 2016

      Awesome, Alyssa! Thanks for reading and commenting 😀

  • Kayla
    February 5, 2016

    Oh my, this is just too awesome for words, so I will just repeat that mantra until I come up with some. Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda
    April 12, 2016

    Here you are Rica!!! What a timely post. This bit ‘ I allowed the guise of busyness to become my roadblock to a better life’ is so pertinent I think. I have done that too in the past.

    I have that same quote about meditation on my site…. now I just need to follow my own advice!

    Your tagline ‘Be flexible. Be fierce’…. LOVE it!!!

    Linda. xox

    • Rica Lewis
      April 12, 2016

      Thanks, Linda. I’ll have to hop over to your site and check it out. I swear, I’m not too busy! 🙂

  • Shari Eberts
    April 12, 2016

    Yes! The irony is that making time for self-care creates more time down the road! This is such an important investment in yourself, but unfortunately it is sometimes hard to take that first step and add it to the routine.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 12, 2016

      Very true, Shari! It reminds me of that popular yoga quote: I bend so I don’t break. Self-care is an investment, but it’s also an essential! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  • Rosemond
    April 12, 2016

    Oh how I hear you! I’ve been that divorced, depressed, piece of mess myself. And the only thing you can do, have to do, is take care of yourself. You don’t have time. You make time. OK, off to make time to meditate for 20 minutes. You’ve inspired me!

    • Rica Lewis
      April 12, 2016

      Awesome, Rosemond! Glad I could help. You’ve inspired me as well. Off to write a new post…

  • Lizzi
    April 12, 2016

    Hehehe I’ve seen that quote about meditation before.

    I’m not too busy, I’m just too lazy 🙂

    • Rica Lewis
      April 12, 2016

      That’s hilarious, Lizzi! At least you’re honest 🙂

  • Peggy
    June 22, 2016

    What I’ve learned: We make time for what we value. What we value becomes a priority. If we don’t value ourselves, we say, “I don’t have time to run, practice yoga, go for a walk, time a time out…etc.” What we’re really saying is “I’m not a priority to myself.”

    Ugh.

    • Rica Lewis
      June 22, 2016

      That is an amazing perspective, and so insightful, Peggy. It really does go back to what we feel we deserve in our lives. That statement has just made me think: how have I self-sabotaged in other areas because I was afraid of change or didn’t feel deserving of some ultimate goal or achievement. Thanks for leading me down this path inward. You’re such a blessing.

  • Charlotte
    June 22, 2016

    OMG, that quote at the end is brilliant 🙂 I agree completely with everything in this post, and often, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve used this excuse myself. It’s just too easy sometimes not to, right? But it not only puts a guard up, it justifies us not listening to our inner voice, the one that needs to slow down, to listen, to stay in the present moment and all the rest.

    Why is that so difficult? Why do we make it sound as though we have a marathon of things to do? Who DOESN’T HAVE FIVE MINUTES?!

    Anyway, thank you for this–I needed the reminder myself. I don’t want to be this woman.

    • Rica Lewis
      June 22, 2016

      I know what you mean, Charlotte! I don’t want to be that woman either, which is why I needed to write this post just as much as you needed to read it. I guess we are all “that woman” sometimes. Thanks so much for reading and connecting. All the best to you, my dear.

  • Ref J
    June 22, 2016

    I loved this! Yes, it is true we tend to busy ourselves and ignore those bigger issues or discussions and say it is because we are too “busy”. However, I love that you remind us to make time to address our inner soul cries before our world implodes. http://www.thebusinessref.com

    • Rica Lewis
      June 23, 2016

      I am reminding myself, to Ref! I need constant reminders. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. 🙂

  • Hilary
    June 22, 2016

    What an amazing post! I love that yoga is an exercise that anyone can do! It is helping me to make my health a priority! I love your honesty in this post!

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