The common small talk between people now days is often around the rush of life. "I'm so busy", "I don't have time", "there are not enough hours in the day"........you get what I mean! We are so entrenched in the day to day grind - parents with full time careers, child care, after school sport, music, email, social media, therapy, mobile phones, loans, bills, keeping up with the Jones's...... we are in a never ending cycle of rush and chasing our tails.
Being present in daily life is almost too hard with the rush of everything that we have on our plates. The weeks race and our lives seem to flash by.
More and more I see people longing for a return to a relaxed, safe, authentic life. A longing for freedom, connection with themselves and those around them. A balanced life that is steady and fulfilling.
Achieving financial success, the title, the materialistic all come at a price if our life isn't balanced. Don't get me wrong, having financial independence and a nice home is amazing and lets face it money makes the world go around but, what is fame and fortune without happiness and joy.
What is life without the essential human need for connection? How do we find balance and connection in our busy lives?
I was thinking back to my days in Corporate and to one of the Executives I worked for. I had to earn his respect from the day I set foot in the office. It wasn't just granted, I had to prove my worth. As I settled into my role and began working closely with this man I could see so many differences in management and business styles from the other executives. At the time I thought it was a little off, maybe a little reckless, lazy, unorganized, it wasn't the status quo.... but people seemed to gravitate to him and he enjoyed and lived a fulfilling life.
He wasn't afraid to be himself and he was hated and loved for this. I think in reality it was more that people loved to hate him because they envied his zest and freedom to be authentically himself.
Now as I look back and reflect, I actually see that this man had a unique way of connecting with people. He cared not for what others thought of him. He lived and worked authentically and went about his life in a way that brought him joy.
I remember one day I walked into his office and said, "your in tray is getting out of control, do you want me to help you sort and reply?" He looked at me laughed and picked the whole pile of papers up and put them in the bin. I was stunned! He turned to me and said "if any of it is important it will find its way to me again."
How powerful was that!
We can get so caught up in the daily tasks of life and the pleasantries and obligations we feel are expected of us but in reality none of it truly serves us. Its just another day on the merry go round.
We spend all our time trying to fit the mold of mediocrity and we let life pass us by. Making sure the yard is manicured, emails replied to urgently, the latest wardrobe, the car, the title, social media the list goes on. This Executive didn't concern himself with a late reply or what people thought because at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter and it sure does not serve us.
He was a successful executive who loved and lived his life to the full. Instead of passing up opportunities he embraced opportunities and made sure that he wasn't bogged down in the day to day grind. He stepped out into the world and connected with people. He inspired them to be free, authentic and apologetically themselves.
Now as a busy mum and business owner myself I completely understand that you might be thinking "how on earth is it possible to do this?" It starts with being aware of your thoughts and being self aware of your presence in the moment. I like to think of joy as a journey. Its everyday simplicity, planning, time blocking, the discovery of your core values, mapping out your future - what is it you truly want?, set your boundaries, master your habits, practice gratitude, create joy and fun and most of all make more time for what sets your soul on fire.
Get to know yourself, peel back your layers and really ask yourself what makes you tick. Stop judging yourself and start connecting with who you are. As you get to know yourself, you start to own your thoughts and you begin to choose your reaction to situations instead of just reacting. As you start to feel joy and fulfillment you start to safe guard your time and strengthen your boundaries.
When your juggling family, work, commitments etc it can feel almost impossible to find the right balance. Small decisions about how you eat, move, sleep and switch off each day count more than you think.
Having "no time" is really just an excuse we use to relieve ourselves from having to disappoint others or ourselves, give up on dreams that aren’t working or are taking longer to achieve, taking care of ourselves etc. Besides, if we’re constantly failing to meet some of our obligations, it can’t be true that they must be done....right ??????
Boundaries create a purposeful life with meaning and happiness. It allows us to stay in control of our situations, it means doing things that we feel are important and letting go of the obligations and the unnecessary.
The benefits of balance and boundaries will flow to all areas of your life. Good life balance and self awareness actually allows you to be far more productive and purposeful. When your balance and awareness is in check, you see time opening up for you... The clutter in your mind shifts and rather than having thoughts that either stifles your productivity or keeps you in a space of mediocrity you start to see the world in a new light, you feel inspired, motivated - everything appears possible.
So next time you hear the words fall from your mouth "I don't have enough time" have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They already know what you want to become.....everything else is secondary.
Cheers to finding your balance!
Love Kate x