by Janaiah von Hassel
For most of my life I have thrived on having too much to do. I’ve often been referred to as a “busy bee” humming along from one grand project to the next. As I would micromanage each day to fit in an overwhelm of must dos and have-tos, I began to define peace and happiness as that feeling of relief I would get when I was somehow capable of getting everything done, which was rare. This tendency to crowd my life with obligations was something I would do on auto-pilot. More and more I have learned to stop myself and ask “why am I doing this?”
In an article in the Spring 2015 edition of Pathways titled, “Be Still, Mumma” author Carla Wood, D.C. says, “I knew that busyness was the problem–I was looking to order the busyness–but once again I was looking at the outside, not the inside.”
A few months back, I began to have an increased awareness that I was busy, not my life. I was simply a busy person creating busyness everywhere I went. Often it was productive busyness, but rarely necessary. More than not, I busy myself with my children and all the things I must do with them and for them each day.
At some point I became aware that at the root of this busyness is a fear of boredom. A worry that in silence there is nothing. A reality that I have a longing for more than what appears in front of me. Busy fills the gap. Busy doesn’t allow for contemplation, or self-doubt. Busy hushes the inner dialogue that seems to endlessly harp on all the silly imperfections in the day. Ah, but the busy bee stings. Busy also hushes the inner voice that lovingly leads us toward our heart’s desire. Busy crowds out the beauty in each moment. Busy robs our children of their peace, and our attention.
Recently I challenged myself to celebrate inaction. It was only a few months ago that I looked at my calendar and the absolute insanity of it was telling. I didn’t want to be that person. I didn’t want all those obligations to crowd my life blinding me from the beauty of each day.
I truly believe that we create our lives, and we have a choice about far more things than we know. I’ve never been good at suffering. I just like being happy, and I’m extremely intolerant of misery. I guess this radar has been what’s guided me throughout my life, and made me quick to action when that overwhelming feeling of wanting to escape my own life creeps in.
I have spent this past summer truly practicing inaction. I’ve allowed myself to be still. Initially I found it extremely uncomfortable. I wondered what was at the root of that discomfort. I recall one sunny day as I drank my coffee at a small table in the corner of the yard while my boys played. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and I truly had nothing that needed to be done. The moment the peacefulness settled in I began searching my brain for any possible thing I was missing. I went through the check list of all the things I generally occupy my mind with until I found a problem that needed my immediate attention. Wow! What did I just do? Why did I need to leave that perfect moment to search every nook and cranny of the universe for a problem to solve?
If you’re like me and you like a good challenge, consider the challenge of inaction. In the past few years I’ve practiced more and more being present. But being still…it’s a whole new level. Can you sit in a moment, expect nothing from it, and offer nothing to it? It’s truly surreal.
I’m still uncomfortable with the stillness. It’s deep rooted, and there are a lot of layers to peel, but I’m learning new truths in these moments. It’s something I remember knowing when I was young and somehow forgot. In the stillness I hear the world telling me, “You’re worthy of all of this just because you’re here.”
Don’t let the busy bee sting you. I’m not saying it’s bad to be busy. I do enjoy a fast pace and love a grand adventure, but if you’re running fast, be sure it’s because you’re trying to get somewhere, and not because you’re running away from something.
There is beauty in every moment, and it is in the stillness that we share that beauty with ourselves. We come to know ourselves more deeply, and to acknowledge our fears and make ready our dreams.
Your companion in expansion,
Janaiah von Hassel, CEO of Kiro Kidz, is a proud mother of two young boys, Landon and Corbin, who she happily nurtures alongside her husband, Matthew. Janaiah turned to chiropractic after receiving her son’s autism diagnosis and, in doing so, discovered that her entire family benefited from care. In her desire to spread the word, she has found great fulfillment in her work with Dr. Todd Defayette on the creation and development of Kiro Kidz.