Who isn’t in a hurry today? Have you noticed lately “adults & hurry” seem to be synonymous.
If you’re like most, you find yourself hurrying to the next project, goal, or event…only to do it all over again the next day. We find ourselves controlled by electronic notifications, ring tones, and an over-committed schedule with a jam-packed agenda.
We rush to eat, to get somewhere, or to check off our to-do list. Yet, we wonder why we’re so stressed. Even when we’re doing something we enjoy, it’s as if we’re in too big of a hurry to experience it. When we live in our heads, we never experience the end or the achievement because when we get there, we’re in our head already thinking about how to rush to the next one.
It’s important to know that when this hurried pace becomes the norm, it will never lead us to a life of inner peace or joy. This urgency is unrealistic and unnecessary pressure to hurry along…in order to meet the world’s standards for life.
Instead, let’s learn how to make plans that matter to us, so we don’t feel forced into hurrying or taking on someone else’s expectations that aren’t even doable.
In last month’s blog, I discussed the difference between beliefs & truth. So, this month I want to begin with a reminder that we often take on beliefs of others that aren’t meant for us. In this case, too often we take on deadlines and time-pressure that are about someone else’s priorities or their path in life.
Let’s first investigate what hurry means. Then we’ll apply what we learn, so we can avoid turning our life into a race to a finish line…that doesn’t even exist.
What does hurrying mean to you? When was the last time someone told you to “hurry up”, or a time when you felt rushed? One of the online definitions says that hurry means to move or act with urgent haste or to move quickly.
When I googled “hurry sickness” it said it’s a mix of anxiety and restlessness. The uneasiness we feel is often accompanied by a continual feeling of urgency. The symptoms include high stress, declining quality of results, tiredness, and eventually, serious health issues.
So, what about you? Are you feeling the stress of a hurried life? Do you often feel deprived of the space and time you need because of the incessant demand to go-go-go, achieve more, stay busy, meet all the expectations, please everyone, complete a task and more?
Take a minute to answer a few questions for inner clarity:
- Do you live a life in a hurry to meet endless deadlines and feel like you’re always chasing after something?
- Are you driven by your to-do lists, shoulds & musts, as if you’re running out of time with a drill sergeant in your head telling you to speed up?
- Do you feel like you must be checking something off a list, staring at a screen, or rushing off to the next destination?
- Are your thoughts and actions controlled by electronics and a ridiculous schedule?
- And does it feel like no matter how many ways you divide your time and attention, no matter how many duties you try and multi-task, there’s never enough time in a day to ever catch up?
If you said yes to any one of these questions, consider if you’ve noticed that this scenario repeats itself every day. It’s true. We get caught up in the ego’s temptation that keeps us so busy we don’t notice how miserable, pressured, and stressed we are.
Yes, most of us are living a distracted life where it seems like every minute must be accounted for.
We spend our day on the go, trying to “get ahead” by meeting deadlines only to start all over again the next day, and for what?
What really matters, in the scheme of things? At the end of the day…don’t we just want peace? So, why are we rushing around in a hurry to…do, have, and become more?
Let’s take a moment to consider why we should question how we’re living life and if the hurried life is giving us the results we really want in life.
Notice, when we hurry, we experience stress, tension, discomfort, anxiety, unease, and lack of personal authority. When we live this way, obviously, we feel like we don’t have time to live, right? For me, living life in a rush feels like an inner push to the next urgent thing on the list. And at times, it feels almost like panic.
Know this for sure, the ego’s unrealistic schedule can take an unhealthy toll on our life if we don’t put a halt to it now. Yes, the ego is greedy for more no matter how much is gained. It’s never enough. It seeks better and greater moments, wanting us to live in a state of rush, to have it all. Isn’t that what we feel, even when we’ve achieved one of our goals? It’s off to the next best thing without much…if any satisfaction. And of course, it eventually turns into dissatisfaction.
More often than not, hurry is the means to an end and a method the ego uses to seek a happier experience than where we happen to be now. Yet, the “end goal” never satisfies the craving for more happier moments. Thus, we never arrive at the happy place we’re seeking.
So, consider this: “when is it ever enough to come to a rest in the moment and enjoy being”? If you’re not sure if you have an extra minute in your day, don’t you think it’s time for a change? Isn’t it time to find what we’re seeking?
Consider for a moment the noticeable difference between how children and adults live life.
Have you ever paused to watch a child at play or simply watch them washing their hands? They have no sense of hurry. They tend to live life in…what adults would call “slow motion”. Yet isn’t this “hurry sickness” an example of what we see so much of today?
As parents, we feel the pressure to rush our children through an over-scheduled life by pushing them to achieve more and expect them to behave as if they’re “mini adults”. Yet, they’re not. Maybe our youth can teach us a thing or two about how to enjoy life. We could heed their example, for sure.
Now let’s apply what we’ve just learned.
When was the last time you stood in line? What did it feel like? Were you anxious or maybe annoyed at the sense of urgency or the pain of boredom? Can you look back on that experience to reflect in hindsight? If you’re willing to look back, you’ll discover that your thoughts were creating the trouble you experienced in line…and not the waiting. Afterall, standing there in a nice comfortable building is only a threat to the ego.
Know that the problems we face come from our thoughts about the situation and not the situation itself. Life situations are always neutral. It’s our thoughts that turn situations into something good or bad. Just as when we wake up in the middle of the night and our thoughts disturb us; the problems are always created in the mind. We’re perfectly fine in our bed, without the troubling thoughts, right?
Instead, try observing what’s going on in your mind. The truth is, we have the ability to enjoy any moment we find ourselves in, regardless of the circumstances. We’re the only one who can discover this authority and regain what we’ve lost. Inner peace is available to all of us, if we want it.
So…when was the last time you experienced anger, upset or the stress of “hurry” while driving and gotten irritated with a slow driver in front of you? Can you relate to this experience? We’ve all been there.
Mother Teresa once said, “There is no love in hurry.”
Have you also considered what you might be missing when you’re in such a hurry? “Slowing down” is the thoughtful decision we can make, repeatedly throughout our day, to actively resist the temptation to hurry. When we move fast, we get stressed and miss out on opportunity for joy in the present moment.
While we’ve all heard the sayings “take one day at a time” or pause to “smell the roses”, do we really know what they mean? The intended message is to be here now…i.e., to be connected & aware of our 5 senses to experience life outside of the busy mind. This is how we can overcome the dis-ease of hurry, so we don’t miss out on living life in the process.
When we find ourselves saying “I don’t have time for this”, aren’t we basically saying, “I don’t have time for life”? We need to remind ourselves that we’re human beings not human doings. We can learn to “be” first, then add “doing” to what’s needed…if anything.
Now let’s practice how to overcome the hurried life…
Next time you feel the urge to rush for more and to indulge in this unconsciousness, redirect your attention to be available in the present moment. Connect to your physical senses, then re-open your heart…to yourself & others.
Allow yourself to be generous with just 5 minutes of your time. Experience how fulfilling this moment is now that there’s no clock ticking or deadline to meet.
Remember, rushing is only a habit of the mind, and we can change our mind. We don’t have to wait to be happy. Thinking about achievements or happiness in the future will never get you true happiness. Happiness isn’t in the future; it’s right here now. It’s found inside you, beyond the mind and thinking thoughts about it.
Allow space for the quality of time to nourish your spirit by pausing to experience the sunset, a hike in nature, or a breath of fresh air. Yes…stop to smell the roses. Rest in the moment with the sounds, sights, tastes, smells, sensations, feelings, & even your thoughts.
Our troubling thoughts will dissolve when we can learn to ignore them, not engage and only observe. Treat yourself with loving kindness and understanding. Be available for a kind word or smile towards someone you meet.
Take time to walk a dog or play ball with a child. Pet an animal or help someone in need. Pause to chat with a check-out clerk, notice the beautiful clouds or the brilliant moon at night. Notice things in nature such as the wildflowers, the sky, music in the distance, trees swaying, birds singing, and more.
Give yourself permission to follow your inner intuition and not push ahead without the inner peace or the wisdom that’s available to you right now, in this moment. Create a space of pause to take notice of your breath and how your body is feeling. Be curious about what matters the most to you, in the moment.
The next time you feel rushed, ask yourself why the chase matters to you. You may find that you’re getting caught up in the cycle of thoughts and beliefs that are compromising your ability to enjoy life. Don’t let your ego thoughts and beliefs run or ruin your life.
Instead, ask yourself…“what’s the worst thing that could happen if I don’t rush”? Challenge the egoic thoughts with a “time out” by using your inner boundaries to say, “not now”.
Remember, mindfulness is about noticing what’s going on in our mind and taking the authority to direct our own path or calling.
Be patient with your progress…because you’re worth it!
Don’t forget to come back next month for my next blog. Until then, consider reading my book for further insight. Chapter 9 about the Busy Mind would be a good place to start: “Breaking Free from the Ego: A Course in Finding and Freeing Yourself”. https://amzn.to/3mC7vO9
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Please share it with someone else. It may be exactly what they need to hear to be free too. Be sure to check out the helpful links below for my monthly newsletter, book, website, earlier blogs, and other opportunities.
About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and greater fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from living in a higher dimension of spiritual consciousness.
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