I Promise You: I Am Never Busy

I Promise You: I Am Never Busy

chipmunk peering from amid boulders

I promise you: I am never busy. Like this chipmunk, I am alert and graceful and strong, using what look like rocky pressures to others as supports I balance on. Image by pocaagua.

I Am Never Busy

I was in a meeting recently where one person said, compassionately, “I know we’re all busy people,” and there were a whole unspoken list of things this meant about what we had accomplished on the topic, what we could expect to accomplish, and what we could hold ourselves accountable to doing. (Nothing, on all counts.)

I promise you: I am never busy, ever.

I had not accomplished anything, did not plan to accomplish anything, and was not accountable to doing anything because I had chosen to bide my time and listen to the others before contributing. (That was my role.)

It was perfectly appropriate for me to have accomplished nothing. I had no guilt. It had nothing to do with my being busy.

Speaking Up

I did not speak up in the meeting. I did not want to be rude by saying, “I am never busy. I make it a rule not to be busy.” I did not feel the others would understand.

But I do feel you will, and that you will take inspiration and understand yourself better from this post.

Speaking Out Against Busyness

Not being busy is my brand.Is it yours? Or to quote one of our posts on branding:

Is your brand “crisis”? Is it centered in that culturally approved busy-ness we mistakenly associate with being important? Or is your brand centered in calm self-confidence that reassures others?

Speaking out against culturally engrained, reinforced, and assumed busyness is part of RAISING CLARITY. Here are some posts where we have spoken out previously:

I Refuse to Be “Busy” (But I May Be a Pain in the Butt)

I may be stressed-out, confused, angry, and moving too fast. But that doesn’t make me “busy!” It just makes me feel awful and be awful to deal with. It just makes me: stressed-out, confused, angry, or moving too fast.

There’s nothing that makes me more important because I do this. (And there’s nothing that makes other people important when they do it. So there. You can quote me.)

Busy? Here’s What’s Really Going On

When I feel “busy” what I’m really feeling is…

  • Scared
  • Anxious
  • Angry
  • Spaced Out
  • Indifferent
  • Uncertain
  • Uninterested
  • Ugly
  • Unpleasant
  • Unhappy
  • Focused Elsewhere
  • Wishing Someone Else Would Say “No” For Me

It’s important for me (for you) to take care of those feelings. To pay attention to them. To address them, to ‘fess up to them, to think about what they mean about the choices I am making. And make other choices.

So much is covered up and covered over when we say we are busy.

When I Refuse to Be Busy, Here’s What I Am Refusing

I promise you: I am never busy, because I refuse:

  • My ego’s needs to be perceived as important
  • My ego’s thirst to BE important (the inner self who has bought into the culture of busyness)
  • The culture of busyness that says when we are busy we are important
  • The relentless monetizing of everything–turning everything into what it costs, or what it pays, even things like reducing deaths from air pollution (note this is an automatic PDF download) and dumping toxic waste
  • Capitalism’s hold on me personally
  • The mindlessness assumption that:
    • busy is good
    • busy is better
    • we are all very busy
    • we have to rush around being busy instead of thinking carefully
    • action is better than reflection
    • doing is better than
      • caring
      • sitting
      • enjoying
      • contemplating, and
      • thought-experimenting with action in a way that saves you time, money, agony and can also be very enjoyable.

Join me if you feel as I do!

11 Comments
  • Laurie Harrington
    Posted at 11:29h, 25 July Reply

    Yes! This is the essence of the contemplative life. It is the refusal to surrender one’s true nature.

    • Beth
      Posted at 15:36h, 25 July Reply

      Laurie, how lovely and so well put. I used to think it was a privileged state, something to do with having enough money and/or getting older. Now I see it is not, though many of us are modeling refusal to surrender our true nature as we age. :))))

  • Joe Campanella
    Posted at 12:35h, 25 July Reply

    Beth I appreciate this post on busyness. Offering a course that is a long term practice I often hear, “I am too busy ” as an objection and reason why they can’t start the practice now. I have been looking for ways to meet this objection and you have given me some great ideas here. Thanks for being the original thinker that you are! Big hugs! Joe 2

    • Beth
      Posted at 15:41h, 25 July Reply

      Joe, this is amazing news–I gave you a great idea?! I’d love to hear more. What will you say to meet the objections and grow Peerpods?

  • Cat Ransom
    Posted at 13:43h, 25 July Reply

    Years ago, I saw a wonderful quote, “Don’t just do something, sit there.” Sadly, unattributed.

  • Tina Pirrone
    Posted at 11:21h, 26 July Reply

    Beth, Nice way to start my day, reading your post on busyness! I think I get really frantically busy because I am trying to hold my life together, thinking if I am not constantly doing something, making plans, it will all fall apart. Of course, some days I hope it does! Living in two worlds….
    Love

    • Beth
      Posted at 18:34h, 27 July Reply

      Tina, thank you! It can be shockingly enjoyable to allow it to “fall apart.” It allows us to see what and Who is really holding it together.
      Whaddya think?
      Namaste.
      B

  • Linda Viderman
    Posted at 23:01h, 26 July Reply

    I am not busy. I am diligent, industrious, active, occupied, and involved. Call me engaged, concerned, absorbed, engrossed, immersed, but not busy. I put forth active earnest effort to accomplish what I set out to do and I maintain a habitual attitude of such earnestness. I am actively employed — not busy.

    • Beth
      Posted at 18:31h, 27 July Reply

      Linda:
      Ooooh, what a lot of gorgeous adjectives. Thank you!

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