A common 21st century complaint that we all have is that it just feels like time has shrunk. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things we need to. We all seem to be rushing from one place to another, from one task to another or sometimes even trying to multi-task. In this endless rush of doing and more doing we compromise many things that are invaluable to us.
Firstly, reflect on the quality of relationships. In this incessant rush we tend to live past each other. Our relationships simply have become resources to fulfil various tasks, duties or responsibilities. And in that we stop listening to each other, build high expectations of each other and enter a rollercoaster of emotions of wants being met or not met. Love and care has become commodified, we buy things to show love. We tend to spend time texting messages to each other rather than spending time together. Human connections are about presence not only about information sharing. Once on a retreat, I asked the participants to make a list of the 10 most significant qualities in the 8 most important relationships in your life. One woman was in tears as she realised that her relationship with her son was reduced to just a duty to fulfil and that she didn’t really know him. How many of us see our relationships just as duties or responsibilities to fulfil rather than a deeper connection of love, sharing and growing together.
Secondly, in this rush we lose any sense of fulfilment and contentment. Our joy is purely based on outcomes – outcomes measured on physical achievements. And we all know that joy based on physical outcomes is very short-lived. Its like eating a chocolate bar – having a sugar high and then it drops again. A deeper more long lasting happiness comes when we are more present. Life is full of gifts – when was the last time you watched the morning sunrise, or the laughter of a child. Life is about connections with life around us. In our business we live in the isolated world of our own continuous stream of thoughts rather than being present and connecting with the world around us.
Being so busy is a business in the mind. If we slow down our thinking and more importantly declutter our thinking we will have more space to be present and make more meaningfull connections. However to do so requires attention. It is a paradox, one discovered during a silence retreat recently – that the more focused I keep my mind on that which offers deeper meaning – the more space I will feel within.
We have all had that experience, times when we have been walking perhaps on pathways in nature, or sitting at the shores of the ocean or lake – that sense of openness, space and peace. It is about creating that space within us by being attentive to not clutter the mind with over thinking and rushing. Breathe, take time to still the mind and create space within. Be present and you will connect. Life is not about existing … it is about living. To live you have to be present and make deeper connections.