Busy is a state of mind

Via Maureen Miller
on Feb 24, 2011
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My yoga practice has taught me so much about slowing down, not being reactive and paying attention to my life.  I am currently leading a 6-week Yoga & Wellness session focusing on practicing on and off the mat.  In the weekly sessions participants reflect on core values and beliefs, consider if they want to make changes to live in alignment with their values and beliefs, and contemplate what it means to live life on purpose.   When I lead workshops it is not uncommon for me to become a student as well – and this past week I saw an opportunity to think about what is important to me, related to how I spend my time, as I was evaluating if I am living on purpose.

Early this week Way sent an email to ele contributors who have not posted recently.  I replied that it was my intention to post more often and in a few weeks life would slow down for me, allowing time for more frequent postings.  Way suggested I write about being busy.  In the very instant I read his response, I had a moment of clarity:  I am not so busy that I cannot write a blog, I am choosing to do other things with my time. I constantly say how busy I am and how things will slow down and, by golly, they never really do.  (PS… I realize that continuing to say how busy I am is creating more of THAT  —  I’m working on catching myself and reframing!)

We constantly make choices about how we spend our time.  Think about it – when we really want to make room for something in our life, we find the time… don’t we?  I’m not stating I did not want to blog, but I realized perhaps the hours I spend watching American Idol, or trolling Facebook, may be better served writing.  Writing is important to me and so, what is the problem?  The problem is sometimes my priorities are screwed up.  OK, I may not give up American Idol, but I can explore how I am spending my time, shuffle priorities, let some things go, and make time for writing and other things that feed my soul.

We are all busy.  Busy with families.  Busy with work.  Busy serving the community.   Busy, busy, busy.  We must make a conscious choice to slow down and reflect on how we want to spend our time.  By really paying attention perhaps we change it up a bit so we are doing things that really matter most to us and over time, perhaps we make a commitment to be less busy, and just be.  Right now, it may seem like an overwhelming prospect.  We may feel there are things we need to do, that we cannot let go of even if we want to.  It’s a process.  Over time we can make small changes that are more closely aligned with what we want for our life….. moving in the direction of how we want spend our time.  We can also recognize that spending time doing things we really do not want to do is an opportunity to examine whether or not it is a lesson presenting itself and, perhaps, either make a change or change the way we are looking at the situation.

Wayne Dyer says “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”

In a recent interview President Obama said he does his best to wake up early every day to shoot hoops, or some other physical activity, and that every evening he plans to have dinner with his family.  We can all agree he is a busy man, right?  We can understand that some days he may not work out and some days he may miss dinner with his girls, but it is his priority to make those things happen as frequently as possible.

I am not knocking being busy – busy can be good, busy can be productive and the result of busyness can often create all kinds of good outcomes.  What I believe can be helpful is for us to periodically evaluate how we spend our time, noticing if we are in alignment with our core values and beliefs and to how we want to be in the world.


About Maureen Miller

Maureen is a yoga teacher, life/health coach and an aspiring writer. She teaches yoga and leads a yoga teacher training/develop your yoga practice program for students who want to learn more about integrating the body, mind and spirit. Maureen believes when we find balance in all areas of our lives, we live in alignment with our core values and we can live a life filled with intention and purpose.  As a yoga teacher and life/health coach, it is her intention to be with students/coaches on their journey as they investigate decisions that brought them to where they are today, examine options toward change and make choices to break through current challenges.  You can find Maureen on Facebook, Twitter and at her website: Living Life, Making Choices.


6 Responses to “Busy is a state of mind”

  1. […] not that my family and my yoga are at odds with each other, because it’s all about perspective. Contentment doesn’t come on its own, it takes work. Hard work. The snarky, snaking words of […]

  2. So glad you decided to write this, Maureen! I've been in a busy mode–lots of irons in the fire. Thanks for reminding me to take a step back and stop using the word busy! Cheers 🙂

  3. Lisa Flynn says:

    Great post that we certainly can all relate to. I love the Dyer quote, too. So true. Our perception of reality becomes our reality. Making conscious choices on matching our time spent with our core values is so key. As a Mom, I find this an interesting balance. As much as I love team sports and all the benefits therein, they also take up a lot of time. When combined with homework, social activities (also important!), it makes for a lot going on – and we have found family time is sacrificed. We recently sat down as a family and asked – what is most important to us as a family? We made a list, by priority to each family member, and after schedule reviews and compromises, we came to some group agreements. No hockey, more time skiing as a family. No softball, more time at the health club working out and at the pool. More family dinners and reading together in the evenings. My kiddos, ages 9 and 8, were surprisingly quite interested in this process. Being present and consciously recognizing and reviewing our family's core values as a family was a great lesson for all of us and made the decision making much simpler. Lisa Flynn, ChildLight Yoga & Yoga 4 Classrooms

  4. Maureen Miller says:

    Thanks for giving some concrete examples. I admire how you do it all and make it work…. will be in touch soon about my coming to visit the new studio.

  5. helene_rose says:

    Great reflective post Maureen – I appreciate that you share so much of yourself. 🙂

    I like this: "We must make a conscious choice to slow down and reflect on how we want to spend our time. By really paying attention perhaps we change it up a bit so we are doing things that really matter most to us and over time, perhaps we make a commitment to be less busy, and just be."

    Today I had made plans to visit a friend and then when the time came, I just didn't feel like going. I don't think it was laziness, I just felt like being home and quiet. I LOVE to socialize, but sometimes it feels good to have quiet time too and honor my need for solitude 🙂


  6. Maureen Miller says:

    Thanks Helene. I love being tapped into that and appreciate when we really listen to ourselves.I surround myself with people that would want me to honor what felt right to do, and I bet you do to, so I'm sure your friend understood. And then when you do get together, you are more present for that time together.
    I appreciate the relationships that have developed from being an Ele contributor…. thank YOU! 🙂