By Aoife Delaney
HEALTH & WELL-BEING:
Shift from Busy to Intentional
By Karen Brar
Shift from Busy to Intentional
By Karen Brar, Founder of Nourished Union
Move from the endless busy of life, to a more focused and energized way of living.
Morning alarm goes off, press snooze (1-5 times), or better yet, you wake with one of the kids poking your face until you open your eyes… Whatever it is, it feels like you barely slept, and here comes another day. Full of meetings, endless to-dos, business lunches, kids soccer game or school play (or both), while planning a weekend away with friends. Forget Keeping Up With the Kardashians, try keeping up with your own life! The days are never long enough, and yet even if they were, I often wonder if we wouldn’t just find more to fill the days with. Much like a woman’s handbag, the bigger it is, the more you put in it.
When was the last time, when asked, “How are you?” – you answered “BUSY!”? Come on… be honest. Was it last week, within the last few days, or was it even within the last few hours? And if the other person in the conversation said they were busy, how often did you think to yourself… “You think YOU’RE busy? Let me tell you about busy!”?
We’ve become a culture of people who pride ourselves on our level of busy! We can’t answer to the simple human exchange of how we are anymore, without feeling the need to express that our lives are filled with so much to do in a day. And the strangest badge of honour has become being so busy that we can barely keep up.
And we can’t. We can’t keep up with the insane amounts of pressure deemed acceptable in this modern world. From taking on more tasks at work, to taking on more social activities for ourselves and our children. To keeping up with the latest trends from food, fashion, health and social responsibilities. We want it all, and we want it now… but time and resources are limited.
We’ve become a society full of taking on MORE.
And to what end? How much are you taking in when you do this? How much are you enjoying in any one given moment? How much do you remember at the end of a busy, long week?
And when we pause and take a moment to realize how ridiculous this is, we quickly come up with all the reasons why we do it. Whether thinking it's not acceptable to say no, to justifying these actions as survival in this busy world – we have given in to some mindless way of living that has taken us off track from what we passionately believe in. Our life. Our existence. Our legacy.
Many will say that being busy is a sign of success. And success is definitely something we’re all trying to achieve in our lives...
But what will happen at the end, when we‘re gone, and people are recognizing us for our lifetime achievements? Will they go on about how reliable she was at work, always taking on another project/task, never afraid to work late hours. That he always had such a great Instagram feed, detailing all the mundane things he did in a day, but always found the right photo and filter, making his impeccable! Or that she was such a great mom, not only managing her own busy schedule, but that of her children’s – never saying no to being the carpool parent, driving around town for hours on end, because she couldn’t bare to say no. Or will you want to be remembered by all the real moments shared with people. How she had a real knack for being in the moment, celebrating life’s wonders – connecting, laughing, and truly living.
So if success is what we strive for, what determines it for our lives?
In the moment, it usually boils down to how much money you have to live the kind of life that shows “success”… the house, car, vacations, fashions, etc. But when its all done… what is success?
They say you won’t look back on those material things. You will look back on the memories and meaningful relationships we nurtured.
We hear this in the moment, and think… yes, that makes sense. I’ll think about doing this tomorrow. But as leading coach, Robin Sharma puts it, “each day is your life in miniature”. It adds up. And if we’re not careful, and start managing our ‘busy’, we will loose out on the meaning of our life. We will be alone in the emptiness of the material things without the real connection to ourselves and with the people we love.
Imagine a world where…
That may seem like a 1950s facade, so imagine whatever version of passion, energy and focused life looks like for you. And consider how you can start making small shifts to see this come to life. It starts by setting your own life intentions. Then looking at your current way of
living and identifying where you can make space by saying no to what doesn’t serve you to your life intentions. From there, the most critical piece to make this successful, is prioritizing these intentions in EVERYTHING you do. On a daily basis. Telling people about your intentions, to make them real. And celebrating the real successes along the way to realizing your true life’s path.
So live the good life!
Make the shift and set intentions that mean something to you. Continue to come back to what you want to be remembered for, and set actionable steps to live the good life! Your most meaningful life.
I challenge you to set time aside this week to set YOUR intentions, and milestones (with dates in the calendar, to achieve this). Then keep your intentions clear and focused with a daily practice, and shift the busy out of your life by living with intentional purpose.
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I know I’ve done it! I used to pride myself on how busy I was. Essentially juggling two FT jobs, and still squeezing in time to socialize with friends, cook homemade meals, practice yoga and go to the theatre. I truly thought that I was one of the few who could really manage my time well, and dare I say ‘multi-task’ – packing in as much as I could in a day, and trying to balance it all. But I can now tell you, that there is no such thing as multi-tasking. There is, however, doing a little of a lot. Not really making the most out of any one thing, and barely being in the moment to enjoy or connect to what it is you’re doing!
The world is in a crisis for change. We need to start collectively looking at how we manage our days, weeks and years. And how we manage the people in it. We need to start coming back to what is essential in our lives and learning to confidently say no to what doesn’t matter, and have a culture that supports that! We need to come back to our own visions and intentions for our life, and clearly take action that leads us to a meaningful life, rather than one full of busy nonsense.
You wake up each morning rested and energized for the day ahead. You wake the children with hugs and kisses, and make a nutritious breakfast before heading to work, where you will spend your day focused on what truly matters to the business and your own passions. You come home to spend time with the family. If the kids say they don’t want to go to soccer, you say okay – and instead hang out in the house laughing, playing and making memories.