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Michael Wilkes. File Photo: SUPPLIED

The elimination of hurry

In this season of busyness life can feel like it is getting away from us.
We push and push and push harder still to get everything done for the year. All the while adding the extra fun bits of decorating trees, hanging lights, buying presents, and trying to hold it all together.
Yet this so-called silly season is simply the homestretch. Most of us have been running all year. We wear busyness like a badge.
For many of us, being busy has become closely tied to our sense of worth. Yet busy does not mean productive or healthy.
I used to be a window cleaner around the Coromandel.
For the first year as I was trying to prove myself, I went full pace. I would run myself ragged smashing out a job super-fast and race on to the next one. Yet one lead up to Christmas I slowed myself down.

I intentionally noticed things around me, I allowed myself to relax in the job, have conversations, and enjoy the flow. I felt way more relaxed. The funny thing however, was my speed did not change.
The time it took to finish a house was still the same. What I realised that Christmas season was that busyness or hurry is often a state of being, as opposed to the speed at which we do things.
Often when life is busy around us, our inner self becomes overloaded. All our ‘free space’ becomes loaded with worry, thoughts on what we should or shouldn’t be doing, on the things we need to achieve, and mental check-lists that if written down could simply be left somewhere other than in or mind where things tend get stuck on an endless loop cycle.
Just because life is busy does not mean we have to be busy in ourselves. And this is a lesson I often come back to. When I begin to feel the hurry, I pause. I intentionally make time in the morning to read a book slowly, I email myself my to-dos and forget about them, I breathe slower and try notice the beauty around me that is bigger than myself, and I turn everyday practices like washing my hands into a deeper space, pause, breathe deep, and allow myself to be aware of a deeper, quieter space.
And I make sure my downtime is real down time.
However it looks, if you’re feeling stressed, busy beyond reason and full of hurry, it may be time to consider the elimination of hurry.
Find your own ways to be able to be surrounded by the busyness and still find moments of stillness.
Jump online and see how people introduce stillness, or silence into their day, try some things, and maybe, just maybe you’ll find a little more piece in the turmoil.
– Michael Wilkes is a Living Well Trust Youth Worker