Last week Pete (son #1) sent me an article he really wanted me to read. I was too busy to read it until today. Turns out the article is titled "The 'Busy' Trap" and in it Tim Kreider writes, "Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren't either working or doing something to promote their work. … The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it's something we've chosen … Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day."
Even as I am happily engaged writing this bulletin I notice busyness setting in. Nick (son #2) Skype chats in from Ghana with a request for both Colin and me. I interrupt my writing to go find Colin. I feel some tension. I notice itís time to call my mother in California. The tension builds. Now Nick is not responding. I return to my desk and try Nick again. Colin has to leave for the dentist and I stop to talk with him. I call Mum and have a long talk. Nick returns and we resume Skype chat. Clearly I am crazy busy! Or am I?
My experience this morning will no doubt appear trivial to those of you managing an organization, teaching a classroom, healing the sick, leading a global team, or saving the world. What if such comparisons are rather meaningless? What if content is only as clear and valuable as the container it comes in and through? Mother Theresa said it best, "It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing." Perhaps what matters is choosing to be there with love — with Colin as he leaves, with Mum as we talk, with Nick as we Skype chat, and with my writing as I return to it some three hours later. ☺
It seems to me virtually impossible to tell — by observing a personís words, work, actions, or level of activity — whether they are operating from a generosity of fullness, or from a defense against lack or danger. While we may sense the distinction, the fact is their choices are their business, just as our choices are ours. If we recognize that everyday life itself is the source, the ground, the channel through which we are constantly receiving, then the only questions that truly matter and that we need to remember to ask ourselves are these —
And you are the only one who can tell, so ♥ trust yourself ♥
"The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration. It is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done." — Tim Kreider
So when you donít hear from me for a while, know that I am practicing the hardest work I have ever done Ė happily resting in idleness Ė or as Pete would call it "just chillin'." And give yourself a break too. ☺
Enjoy other recent Bulletins from CoCreating Clarity
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