How’s your hurriedness these days? Recently, I started my day with exercise, commuted an hour to work (this week in bitter cold!), checked my emails, taught a workshop, attended a class, traveled back home, fixed supper for my family and finally collapsed to watch mindless TV. As my husband and I reflected on my day, I wondered, “Do I even remember who I saw today and what I said?”
God is really working on my attention is this area. Lately, I have either sent the wrong information to people or forgotten to send it out. In a rush this week to answer someone’s phone call, I tripped over boxes and landed flat on my face. I could hear God’s voice saying, “You will eliminate hurry, right Nancy?”
I want to take the time to slow down, notice things around me and enjoy the moment. I feel God is telling me, “I have things to show you, slow down and stop hurrying. Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46: 10) “ Since I have suffered from depression and anxiety, I know I have to deal with this hurry sickness for the sake of my body keeping up with my mind and my overall well-being.
In John Ortberg’s book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, he calls it the disease of hurry sickness. “One of the great illusions of our day,” he writes, “is that hurrying will buy us more time.” I know I feel that way. I make these elaborate lists of things to do and miss the little joys along the way as well as perpetuate over-thinking. How do I cure my hurry sickness bug?
First, I know I need something to remind me to slow down! Brain science tells us we need cues. What cues can I incorporate in my life to remind me? I am working on the following practice cues:
- Practice of stillness – somewhere in my day, I take time to be still and reflect on how my day is going, what I am appreciating about my day, where I am seeing God’s hand at work, and what I am grateful for in the course of the day. This practice is usually at the beginning and end of the day. When could you practice stillness?
- Practice of slowing – This practice is described as deliberately choosing the longest line in the grocery store or the longest line at the stop light, just to slow down and feel your body change gears. For me, I’ve decided to practice slowing at meal times. I had been treating my meals as one more chore to accomplish. My goal is to check in with my body and mind to still it and slow it down to enjoy my surroundings. By tying it to my meals, I cue myself to remember to do it. Where else can you eliminate hurry in your life?
- Practice of noticing beauty– driving in a car, riding a bus or bike or in your home or in the faces of the people you meet – notice beauty. I am practicing using my five senses to get outside my busy thoughts to see and enjoy beauty. Beauty is healing and creation can be a way of slowing your whole thinking down to notice and appreciate something outside yourself.
By slowing and noticing today, I can begin to feel the hurry sickness ease up. I am not there yet, as my fall on my face reminds me. What about you? How do you combat the hurry sickness bug? I would love to know. Please post your strategies on my Nancy Booth Coaching Facebook page. Let’s beat this bug together!
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress. It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.