Let’s talk about the difference between busyness stemming from purpose, and busyness as a distraction to “feel” purposeful.
I am a goal-oriented woman. Like many people, I live for setting goals, achieving them, and then moving on to the next. It makes me feel like I’m doing something. It makes me feel accomplished and worthy, and like I’m living a life full of purpose.
Once I started meditating consistently, I realized something that I instinctively knew for a very long time, but refused to see. I realized that purpose does not come from busyness. Achieving a bunch of “goals” and immediately running onto the next is simply a distraction designed by the ego. It feels like I am alert and aware and present, but really I am none of the above. I am on autopilot, and I’m responding and reacting to things with the same conditioned responses I always have. So how could I possibly be aware? I’m not even present.
So why do we do this? Well in large part it’s because our society is so collectively plugged in all the time with our phones, and other devices that we are too busy to notice anything else. We are running from jobs to schools, to meetings, and on and on it goes. The list is infinite. We take very little time for self care, and virtually no time for checking in with ourselves. Our body and our emotions try to communicate to us, but we’re not allowing ourselves to receive the communication. The phone is ringing off the hook, but no one is home.
So what can we do? Well first, we should be real with ourselves and determine what on our to-do lists is necessary and essential, and what is just a distraction. Second, we can take time each day to unplug, practice self care, and check in with ourselves and our loved ones. Are our needs being met? Are theirs? If not, what steps can we take to course correct?
For me, my daily self care routine includes meditation and journaling. Occasionally my meditations are as short as 7 or 8 minutes twice a day. On good days I get 30 minutes in when I wake up, and another 30 minutes before going to sleep. I would love to tell you all that as a meditation teacher, I meditate each day for several hours and levitate and have visions each time, but that would be a lie. My meditations show up for me when I show up for them. Sometimes they are difficult to get through, and my mind is turbulent throughout. Other times I’m in such a blissful state, I feel like I’m floating through my day. But here’s the truth: If you meditate consistently you will see a difference in how you respond to life. You will find solutions to problems that you’ve been wrestling with for weeks. You’ll be present instead of coasting on cruise control. And I personally have found that you will start cutting loose all the extra distractions in your life, and you’ll start truly living a life of purpose.
So if you’d like to, feel free to join me in a short 5 minute meditation right now.