I erode my Inner Woman (Man) when:
~only accomplishments gratify me
~symbols of accomplishment pre-occupy me
~I am caught up in uncontrolled pursuit of expansion
~I tend to take pragmatic shortcuts at the expense of moral integrity
~my people skills remain undeveloped
~I become increasingly competitive
~I can be potentially given to anger
~I am excessively busy
The last sentence sums up most of my coaching clients and many of my friends (myself included at times) and is the overarching reason for most of what comes before it. Excessive busy-ness ramps up the speed of our lives so that anger increases, moral integrity decreases and people are often seen as impediments to getting things accomplished.
Perhaps the piece should start with “I am excessively busy and therefore…”. Busy-ness has invaded every aspect of life. Children flounder trying to grab a toe hold in the chaos that is their home environment as they are rushed from one thing to the next. Relationships fall apart due to lack of time or energy to strengthen them. Empathy goes out the window as we plow through our to do list like a bulldozer in a field. Laughter rings with snarkiness and mockery rather than joy. And at the end of the day our accomplishments are hollow victories as our inner self, soul, spirit, or whatever you call it, asks us “was it worth it?”
A question that, if we are honest, causes us to toss and turn at night as we ponder to what end are we pushing ourselves. To what end? If we are not completely honest, then the tossing and turning spins a new list of things to do hoping we will end the next day feeling better about more accomplishments.
It is an unending cycle that tricks us into believing that we are not good enough, not working hard enough, producing enough, being enough. It is an unending cycle that erodes our essence, our sense of self, and our peace of mind. In the long run it destroys rather than creates. It denies life rather than affirms it. And it is a road that leads to situational depression, despair and unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others.
And it is a choice.
Making different choices creates a counter cultural shift that can be hard to navigate at first. Everything and everyone tends to work over time to make you shift back to the norm of overwork and busy-ness.
But what if, just what if, the shift toward ease, rest, renewal, relationship building, team work, partnerships, collaboration, sharing the load, and the pursuit of peace and serenity drove your life? What would that be like?
As I said, it is a choice. I’m off to re-examine some of my choices right now.