I spent a lot of my life in “getting somewhere” mode. Focusing on what needed to be done in order to arrive at some place, space or time that would allow me to relax and be at peace, be at ease and simply then ENJOY what I’d created.
Because I’m a naturally super organised “make it happen” person, for most of my life this “getting somewhere” syndrome became even more of a problem, because I thrive on having projects (personally or professionally), so always having something occupying me, something to build, something to work towards, lights me up. Unfortunately, that serves me but also limits me in that I can get lost in that sense of needing to complete those things before I’ll feel completely at ease.
It always sounds so funny to me when I speak my realisations aloud like this, and see from the outside looking in how absurd my misperceptions have been. Even while I was positively creating major life changes that served me and lit up my soul, eg switching career lanes, moving to Waiheke Island, then Thailand, then Hawaii, writing and travelling, all the while I think I was subconsciously still seeing my life as a journey to arrive somewhere where I would finally have MORE of something (clarity, networks, resources, soul-alignment, stability, income, inner peace and the list goes on). That “more of something” represented a point in time when I could breathe more easily and just chill out… just be… just live without anything to create or anywhere to get to. Then, of course I finally realised that there is literally nothing to create before you can rest easy, nowhere to literally and physically be before you can just simply enjoy the days of your life, and things will NEVER be “perfect”. There is NEVER a point when everything is ideally lined up and there is nothing to do, to resolve, no challenges to overcome, no creative inspirations to be acted upon, no growth to embrace, no opportunity to step into.
This realisation was brought back to me this week when I spoke with several people who all echoed the same trap… such as needing to take care of demands and as a result having to sideline wellbeing, rest and personal rituals, or, having to cope with the negativity of others and feeling like you’re in survival mode fighting off artillery, just keeping your head above water – ready to be happier or more at peace somewhere down the track, ready to regain some physical, mental and emotional balance at some future point when life eases up.
But here is the thing…
Life doesn’t ever ease up. This is life.
The days of our lives will always be filled with many colors…
Some colors are things unresolved, some colors are projects underway, some colors are goals/dreams, some colors are dark and mysterious and have us feeling slightly uneasy about something, some colors are exciting experiences and outcomes, some colors are the loved ones we have around us always, some colors are the quiet moments when we relish just being. The colors are ALL THERE, always.
We must come to accept the full spectrum of color in our life, that it is always present, and realise that inner peace, enjoying the small moments, resting, laughing and being present are NOT experiences reserved for some future moment when “life is easier”. We must allow ourselves permission to not rush, to not race, to not try to get to the end of anything before we can care for our bodies, care for our souls, care for this planet, care for each other, and to be 100% present in the moment listening, loving and embracing life.
For if we do not, we may reach our final day alive on this planet and realise we spent most of our life trying to get further ahead, only to have raced onward to the end of our days while missing out on the entire journey of thousands of small moments where the real meaning lay.
But Isn’t Action Key to Getting Results?!
Our civilization is progressive by nature. We are evolutionary beings. Most of us have been conditioned to associate ACTION with progress. We have not been taught to value stillness, down-time, rituals, joy and slower pace as actually being KEY to not only our overall inner state of personal satisfaction but perhaps more importantly as being key to our overall performance and productivity in being the best we can be personally and professionally. Everything is pointing this way… leading edge personal growth teachings are calling for people to remember that we can thrive externally when we care for ourselves in balance and stay present in the small moments. Spiritual teachings are reminding us that how we are being is more important than what we are doing, particularly through this current period of energy shifts in consciousness and on the planet when your energy vibration (beliefs, thoughts, feelings) is more profoundly creating and attracting outcomes in your life than ever before.
Doing, pushing, keeping busy, and not stopping until you get what you want are no longer effective ways of generating your outcomes. Action is still key and always will be, but now more than ever it is clear intention, positive energy, balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states, plus heart-led choices that are the true powerhouse behind sustainable inner peace, freedom and all forms of success.
But I Simply Don’t Have Time for Slowing Down
If you think you can’t afford to slow down, you need to realise you can’t afford NOT to slow down. And in fact if the idea of “not having enough time” rises up from within you, then you needed to read this blog more than anyone else. And I understand that, because I was just like you only a few years ago… always stuck in the notion “there isn’t enough time”.
And just recently, the Universe delivered me another example of what people are currently struggling with and what consciousness messages need to be shared in order to quell the unease people have, to share an idea to shift perspective, perhaps to jolt people into new ownership of how they can perceive and choose to live…
I was doing yoga and meditation at a hotel. And later that day I got chatting to man who had seen me doing that. He told me he has 2 small children, a busy job, financial pressures and he was smoking heavily as we chatted. He had a look of sadness in his eyes as he spoke to me. I could tell he had been processing the idea of yoga and meditation, processing the fact some people take time to balance themselves, to practise rituals for inner peace, to find a small space of quiet to access the most important part of themselves. And he said to me, “That is good for some people. But that’s only possible when you don’t have other things you must do. Me… I’m too busy with my job, kids and I have too much to worry about for sitting down doing meditation and yoga. Maybe one day when I have less things to do and less worries, less stress and more money and the children are grown up, then I can start to do those things too”.
What I saw from this conversation, and what is MOST IMPORTANT to realise, is that every person on this planet can choose their own inner peace and to practise simple tools to help themselves, or they can choose to say it is not possible for them. It is not easy for every person, based on their commitments, resources, daily demands, but it is always available in some form. It is a choice, a perspective, a way of looking at life, a way of being. I share my ideas with as many people as possible, including this man, to help them see that you don’t have to wait for some day in the future. Practising your inner peace can be 5 minutes of eyes-closed stillness and breathing, instead of 5 minutes worrying. Energising yourself and bringing positivity to your emotional state of being can be 5 minutes of conscious gratitude for the small things, instead of 5 minutes looking at what doesn’t work in your life. Living a balanced life can be 5 minutes engaged in a meaningful or spiritual ritual, instead of 5 minutes defaulting into a negative habit. Again, it is not easy for every person, based on how they have been conditioned, their situation and their access to information. However, the more we stay within the notion that inner peace is not possible for XYZ reasons, or that balance and reduction of stress are reserved for some future time when circumstances are different, is the moment we give away our personal power and victimize ourselves. Granted some circumstances make it challenging to be “happy”, but inner peace is possible always, even in the most demanding, challenging and direst of situations, because inner peace is a perspective of allowing, of faith, of choosing to find a space of stillness amid external chaos.
So I’m Practising What I Preach
I say to myself regularly, “Slow down B, smell the roses, go with the flow.” I stick consistently to my daily rituals (my “Life Anchors”) and they consistently serve me loyally to keep perspective and balance.
And, I’ve made a commitment to not be working every day, because the trap when you’re self-employed and work from home, and you love what you do, is that you can easily end up working every day and all hours of the day and night. It’s not necessarily that I never take breaks as I have a wonderful schedule of flexibility, but if you even do a little bit of work every morning and every afternoon 7 days a week and never have a total break from it, then it starts to consume you. You can end up trying to fit your life around your commitments, instead of your commitments around your life!
So my focus is on having entire days with no work of any nature, and using my days off to explore, to do something different, to get up and away from my work environment, to relax, to embrace being alive, to be with nature, to do things that bring me joy or to be fully present with people I love to be around.
A day-trip last weekend with Aaron to a small town called Altea on the Mediterranean coastline in Southern Spain is an example of my commitment for taking the time to embrace life around me. We meandered the quaint little streets, let the sun warm our skin, breathed in the salty fresh air, and ate a slow lunch while musing, laughing and loving the moment. For me, my personality is such that I must always remind myself to slow down and make days like this a priority. Even with all the consciousness messages I relay to others about what creates balance, inner peace, sense of freedom and success, I have to stay very present to my own choices, as we all do, to avoid going on auto-pilot mode and to ensure I translate my knowledge into practise in daily life NOW, not in the future.
Bernadette Logue (known to everyone as “B”) is the Leader of The Daily Positive, a Transformation Life Coach and the author of 3 personal growth books – guiding you on how to master your mind, to live consciously and soul-aligned. To receive regular coaching resources and support, join B in EvolveHQ, The Daily Positive’s private personal growth membership and community. To find out more about B click here.