Are you always living at an all-out frantic pace of life? Has your busyness become a badge you wear proudly? Has your busyness been something that tells you that your life is important and worthwhile?
Yet are you constantly exhausted, rather than living joy-filled and in overflow?
As a recovering perfectionist, I know what that is like. I know how to fill every moment with activity, because it means I’m ‘good enough’, ‘doing enough’ and being productive. A ‘good girl’. Hmmmm…..
The only problem is when we have a day or week when we feel we aren’t doing enough, and that we don’t measure up – or when we compare ourselves to someone else who is doing even more. That’s when the problems start. We become unhappy with ourselves, because we feel that we’re falling short.
The good news is that there IS a different way to live, and I’m discovering it more and more.
There’s nothing wrong with being productive (I love productivity tips!) or with feeling good about our accomplishments.
But if we get our SENSE OF WORTH from it, then it’s an idol – and will never fully satisfy us. It provides fleeting satisfaction only – and then we feel the need to accomplish something else in order to fill that void again. And then something else – and something else – and the treadmill never ends.
Can I suggest a better way to live?
How about slowing down and doing LESS, and accepting yourself more. How about measuring yourself according to the incredible value you have because you are God’s creation, rather than measuring yourself by anything you DO.
I’ve been reading a book called ‘Rest Assured’ by Vicki Courtney, which had a really positive impact on my life. It reinforced what God has been teaching me about my worth, my value – and how it cannot be lessened if I do less. It cannot be destroyed by any mistake or failure of mine. My worth is intact, no matter what I do.
I’m also learning the value of quietness and rest for my soul. I’m realising how much my soul needs it. 3 things in particular were highlighted to me in reading her book :
1. The importance of Time with God
If you are a believer, then you know how important this is. When we have a busy schedule, so often though, this is one of the first things to go on the back burner.
I love this verse below, because it tells me that time with Him will be refreshing, and will help me get off the crazy treadmill of busyness, to live a calmer, free-er life :
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest for your soul.” – Matt 11:28. Is your soul crying out for rest? THIS is where you will get it.
2. The importance of Solitude
Our Western World has forgotten much of the benefits of solitude. We hardly ever use the word ‘contemplate’ anymore.
Our brains need time to process events, things that have happened throughout our day. If we’re just rushing from one activity to the next with no time for pausing, we do ourselves a disservice. We don’t allow ourselves to reflect and come to terms with some of what we may have gone through.
A time of solitude daily – even for just 10 minutes – allows our overstimulated brain to calm down again, and allows us to learn from our experiences.
A great practice during this time is to do some journaling, and reflect on our day – what did I learn? What am I grateful for? What was hard and how do I feel about it?
3. The importance of Leisure Time
This has been my greatest challenge. Hobbies? Pffft….those are for people with nothing to do! At least, that’s what I thought, even if sub-consciously.
Yet having a hobby is so good for the soul! Having something fun to do on a regular basis allows you to BREATHE and get replenished again. Having ways you find to relax and destress does exactly that – helps you to unwind, forget about the stresses of the day, and re-calibrate.
Studies have also shown that those who have active lives on the weekend – in other words, people who plan fun activities, visit a new place and/or spend time with friends – are MORE productive when they go back to work on a Monday.
Completely separating ourselves from our work, to take a break and do something completely different renews our energy and leads us to greater effectiveness back in the office.
I’m choosing to SAVOUR LIFE more. Literally to smell the flowers! Will you join me?