Everyone knows the one about the tortoise and the hare.
The slow and steady turtle wins the race. Life isn’t exactly a race we want to be over, not many of us are super excited to get to the finish line. We pretty much do every thing we can to prolong our existence on this physical plane. So, if we aren’t in any hurry to cross that finish line, why do we rush through everything? Why are we in such a hurry? Why has that insidious hare become our mascot?
It used to be that people lived their lives in sync with the world around them.
There was a time and a season for everything. Communities, tribes and families followed the natural movement of the sun, moon and stars. The seasons were their calendar and there were no smartphones telling them where to be and when to be there. Spring brought a flurry of activity, giving way to the long days of summer filled with hard work and vibrant celebrations. Fall found them feasting, nesting and preparing for the long winter ahead. Winter was a time for rest, renewal and quiet pursuits.
Society has long disconnected from its roots in the natural world.
We live in artificial constructs and are as far removed from the cycles of the Earth as my ass is from a size 2. Calendars, planners and people we don’t even like control our time. Busyness is worn like a badge of honor by everyone from CEOs to stay at home moms. Our success meter demands it. Modernity equates busyness with our social standing. The busier you are the higher you rank on the perceived status scale. Did our ancestors think busyness was badass?
F*ck no, they didn’t.
Our predecessors were masters at savoring slow. The amount of leisure time you had, not how much you owned, was the status symbol for over 10,000 years. Meals took hours instead of minutes to enjoy. Worship could last for days, not just for an hour in a building full of perfumed old ladies and starched deacons. Hunters would spend hours hunkered down waiting and watching, observing their prey from a distance until just the right moment of opportunity appeared. Holidays were abundant. Weddings, funerals and feasts could last weeks (can you imagine….taking 3 weeks off to attend a wedding?!?) I only took that much time off to give birth!
All of this busyness has become a cult.
If you ain’t busy, you ain’t successful. Go, go, go. Rush, rush, rush. Time is money. You are what you produce. Are we really more successful because of it? Are we happier? Are we more fulfilled than our leisure loving kinfolk of bygone eras? How much time do we really spend pursuing agendas that don’t even belong to us?
Are you ready to slow the fuck down?
Here’s your first assignment. [You can download the free worksheets below.]
Chart your time. Let’s see how busy you really are. You can do this exercise as a past reflection or you can chart the upcoming week. It’s up to you, but write down everything. Be Ruthless! It won’t benefit you if you aren’t brutally honest. If you blow 9 hours a day on Netflix and Snapchat, own it. Growth is painful and sometimes seeing ourselves objectively is the wake up call we need.
Here’s a Peek at Mine
This is a pretty typical week for me. You can see that I still haven’t mastered what I preach (and probably never will completely), but I’ve made so much progress over the last few years. My schedule used to be double what it is today and 90% of what I did wasn’t my idea! Today I accept complete responsibility for the course of my day. Sometimes I am focused and unabashadly pursuing my own agenda and other days, not so much. I still fall victim to doubt, people pleasing and binge watching trash. I think of it like I do food, the 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of the time I am steadfast in my resolve to create my own life and the other twenty goes amuck. As long as the scale doesn’t tip too far in the amuck direction I’m ok with it. Perfect isn’t in my vocabulary anymore.
Grab the Worksheets
Click the button below to get the worksheets.