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