Why Being Overly Busy Can Lead to a Lack of Connection

Do you ever hit a wall of frustration and would rather binge watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on repeat? Or maybe for you it’s Mad Max? For me, it would probably be Stargate SG-1. But is our need for checking out from the busyness and pressures of life just adding to the chaos? Could it be a hinderance to what we really need? In the striving and attaining of our wants, is there any space left for stillness if we are constantly turning to stimuli for relief? And then does the cyclical nature of our experiences just continue to regurgitate with no resolve? If we are feeling off, perhaps it’s because we have unknowing externalized what can only be calmed from within.

With so much demanding our attention it is no mistake that our energy leaks out in the direction of our concerns. And how many directions are actually feeding energy back to us? The problem with being chronically occupied is that it is hard to notice when there is no energetic return. We willingly lay ourselves down for our jobs, our families, our communities and in our down time can develop addictive habits to substances and screen time in the form of entertainment, social media or gaming. And while some of these things isolated may not be particularly ‘bad’, a lot of principle human behaviors and needs get pushed to the side when all our time gets filled or numbed marching between one hour of the day to the next.

The quality of our experiences lay dormant and untapped. Being human is such a rich juxtaposition of symbiotic and contradicting dynamics that are indeed interesting to navigate. But it seems instead of a curiosity towards our own nature, we have unknowingly accepted the means of experiencing false recreations of reality to avoid our own shadow. Most of which, are in the market for mining and selling our highly personal data, information and behaviors to push and improve their own marketplaces. It seems like this information should enrage and empower us, force us to pull the plug on these shady forces that are benefiting from our user engagement, our attention, and put directly; our life force energy.

But what even is life force energy? Life force energy, or ‘Prana’, is absorbed into the body via the breath, but Prana itself is a vast interconnected field of energy in which all things exists. Every breath you take brings in much more than just air. We live in an expansive universe where it has been scientifically validated through quantum mechanics that everything functions as particles or ‘wavelengths of energy’. Therefore we draw from our external environment for energy just as much as we do for air. This may appear a grand and dizzying concept to wrap ones head around, but your heart has an easier time conceiving this truth.

Grounding practices like taking your shoes off and walking barefoot on the earth, holding company with someone you feel loved and understood by, making time for sitting in silence, taking a short or long walk, reading an adored book, taking a bath or shower, cooking a healthy meal, checking in with how your body feels by stretching or moving, creating lists of things you have to do and then releasing your mental threshold – getting back to being connected can require using a combination of techniques. But the important part is to ask yourself what do you want to experience in this life? What matters the most to you? Where do you feel calm and relaxed? How can you loosen the stronghold of doing and ease more into the simple act of being?

Truth is you are the only person who can put a stop to your own cascading carousal of obligations and make time for the things that help you to feel well. To find moments where time can be irrelevant, if even for a short while. We come up with excuses day in and day out to why we continue to stand in the way of deepening our connection with ourselves and others, but the truth is that an interconnected, benevolent, omnipresent energy is patiently waiting to be recognized within each moment you are willing to give life your openhearted attention.

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”

David Orr

What Does It Mean to Be a Woman in the Modern Era?

There’s no doubt that with gender being at the forefront of many conversations today we are still left with many questions. In an attempt to soothe these newly public and specific identifications could it be that we end up loosing powerful traits that are part of both male and female archetypal energies? Let’s take a deeper look.

What is an archetypal energy? It is a reoccurring universal pattern that has a direct relationship with a particular type of energy associated with embodied imagery. What power these psychological and spiritual attributes contain exists outside of specific people, places and things. Therefore they are more of a blueprint, the energy of that which exists in the whole, not just the individual. For example, many people find fairytails hard to deceiver since the characters actually represent different internal states or ‘archetypes’ of energy (both those that may work for, or against us) that are then simply well executed into the externalized drama. The prince and the princess. The parent and the child. The hero and the monster. All these potentials, challenges, and resolves live simultaneously within us. Take into consideration these two books: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim and The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (or simply google “The Heros Journey”).

What does this mean now that we have so much pressure on choosing and guarding a solidified archetypal image for ourselves? What if your energy changes by day? What if you don’t know how to describe your unique experience of up and downs, highs and lows, preferences and apprehensions? In other words attempting to be “more of something” can leave you out of balance with other energetic areas in your life. It’s okay to live outside a definition. Often we see the modern pressures for women cultivate a drive to be more seen, more heard, more attractive, more desirable but this often leads to unnecessary competition and heightened insecurities. We spend so much time focusing on the outside and referencing others, but inside there are countless untapped abilities to be so much more confident and capable. Though, this includes the necessity of becoming grounded, resilient, and self-trusting with the willingness to get your hands dirty.

Look to other cultures and you will see what being a woman means. Yes, I understand innately there are differences in environments and lifestyle, but western culture has unknowing glorified the overarching superficiality of one of the most deeply Earth connected archetypes in the world; the woman. The grandmother, the mother, the maiden, the child. All these contain different specialties of wisdom, but we have assumed that attractiveness and desirability are at the top of the list in just about every phase of womanhood. This is untrue. What we are intended to experience and what roles we play shape us in such an internally significant way. If we were only to faithfully and gracefully ride the disrupting waves of change. Instead of looking to the world for approval we should instead be deep within the quality of our direct experiences. Whether that’s being in play, in love, in raising a family, in nurturing a passion, in raising plants, in devising a career, or in simply leaning into the abundant qualities that are innate to the female energy.

Celebrate your womanhood outside of status, economic sustenance, spiritual fulfillment, the presence of a parter (or lack there of), meeting the needs of others, the need to control, or the need to be validated and remember; there are still women far, far away in the jungle digging, building, working, giving birth, loving their communities, praying, chanting, painting, healing, resting and occupying their own power in whichever way it is choosing to show up. So no matter what you have or what you don’t, remember that you have the permission to channel whatever energy you need to at whatever moment you need it. We are not one dimensional. We are more capable, powerful, and assured then we have been led to believe. Or at times, that we are willing to apply or practice. We have endless amounts of strengths and weakness, but the point is to be kind to ourselves. To grow into how we can feel more settled, and sensual, and primal. Not just on the outside, but within our hearts, our spirits, and in the optimism of our thoughts. We are the warrior and the warred, we are the king and the queen, we are the flower and the seed, we are the sun and the moon, we are both ice and fire. Once we understand this, we can embrace ourselves so fully in such a deeply untouchably way that our peace will eradicate the need to call it anything. For we are human, and that means we are immeasurably capable of handling anything demanding our current need for action.

5 Ways to Recover Your Sense of Self

All too easily we can loose ourselves in the modern hustle. We can deny ourselves the impulses of our own heart and block out the thoughts that are intrinsic to our own needs. By no fault of our own, we may have learned to repress our feelings in order to show up for the world, for our family or for our partners. The world models this behavior of continuation without strong sensitivity towards the individual. Change is difficult to adapt to, but even more so when those around you become uncomfortable with your desire for it. They may feel they will lose you or that their dependency on you may be threatened by your new boundaries, and this very well may be case. But long term health and wellbeing within a relationship, given romantic or otherwise, can only be maintained if each individual is fully satisfied. And you are the only one who has the capability and capacity to do this for yourself.

Signs that your sense of self has been put on the back burner come in many forms. We’re masters at hiding inconvenient truths, so here’s somethings to look for to realize it’s time to hone into your own needs and invest time in reconnecting with yourself.

  • Feeling agitated, on edge or irritable
  • Looking to the lives of others and feeling the need to compare, judge or criticize
  • Feeling apathetic, numb or unmotivated
  • Feeling resentful in your acts of service to another or withholding affection
  • Frequent avoidant behavior in the form of using drugs or alcohol, overworking or shutting down

But do not fear! Here’s five things you can do about it:

1. Simplify

Sometimes we are merely doing too much and extending ourselves in too many directions. Review the obligations you currently have in your life and cut the fat. Where are you saying ‘yes’ when you really feel a ‘no’? It is not only okay to turn down responsibilities, but it is crucial if you wish to be thorough in what is important to you. If you are spread too thin nothing gets done quite right, and that can leave you feeling perpetually unsatisfied. Minimize your responsibilities and evaluate your priorities. Make time for simple things like taking a walk, preparing a nutritious meal or intentionally involving yourself in a relaxing activity. We must become disciplined with balancing activity with rest. Otherwise we get burnt out and we’re no good to anyone anyways.

A great read if you need some insight or inspiration is ‘Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.

2. Explore

Take a good look around you. What do you see? How do you feel about the people around you and places you find yourself? Do they fill you up inside? Do you feel you are able to contribute? When I say ‘explore’ I’m not suggesting you get on the earliest flight and high tail out of here. I’m suggesting you explore what you already have.

Look with fresh eyes. Listen intently without thinking of the next thing you are going to say. Be bravely present. Speak your truth clearly without becoming emotionally triggered or taking ownership over how someone may react. Hold your ground calmly. Turn off the TV, go outside and watch the natural world – notice things you haven’t before. A nest in a tree, the movement of the clouds, the sound of the breeze. When we think we already know everything there is to know, it leaves little room to be surprised or impressed by others or our environment. Try to approach things with wonder, a clear mind and an open heart.

3. Revisit old passions

What did you love when you were five? What about when you were ten? Maybe when you were fifteen? If you can’t remember ask a trusted loved one. No matter how little or big your interests were at the time, they are a huge clue to rekindling one’s joy and sense of satisfaction. Was it cars, dance, games, physical movement, sports, fashion, animals, climbing or some other interest? These are the bread comes to what Joseph Campbell mentioned as ‘finding your bliss’. We’ve attached our sense of purpose and happiness far too often with material and monetary gain. But this is incredibly misleading and is why some of the most “successful” individuals are the most unhappy and disconnected from their human nature.

It is very likely you can look to your childhood to see what you are passionate about, or what mattered to you at the time. There is a good chance that by giving time and attention to whatever interest, trait or talent was left behind – you can regain a sense of self-confidence and connection. Joy is an incredible emotion that can’t be denied. Remember your spark!

4. Learn something new

Dr. Joe Dispenza is an incredible researcher who has revolutionized how we understand the human condition. The human brain works through patterns. To an extent, this tendency suits us. But when it comes to making changes, it is the exact thing that makes it extremely difficult. When we are in a new environment or learning a new skill, we are demanding that these patterns be challenged. By exposing ourselves to new experiences we are literally paving the way to a new way of being. Often times it is not that we are actually ‘unhappy’, but rather we are not fully allowing ourselves to embody the enthusiasm that comes with discovering something. As a child we are constantly excited by unknown situations. By default we have forgot what it feels like to be fully present and have new and exciting experiences. By changing the way we think, react and what we choose to focus on we change the quality of our condition. Become a student again, challenge yourself in new ways, get out of your comfort zone. It will help you discover who you really are and what you are truly capable of. So, pick up that guitar! Paint that picture! Learn to plant that garden! Take that ceramics class! Be sure to see it through. If you don’t feel excited by it, put it down and keep looking until you find something that cultivates a feeling of true enjoyment. It’s out there!

5. Reconnect

Sometimes we get so busy that we overlook crucial relationships. Friends and family that we feel authentically understood by are irreplaceable gifts. An important part of feeling grounded and centered is connecting with others on a deep and meaningful level. Is there anyone you love and care about that makes you feel all warm inside? Give them a call just because. Let them know you appreciate them. Spin old stories from back in the day. There are certain people who feel like our literal roots in this world. We are human and we thrive when nurturing and maintaining healthy relationships. Maybe it’s a friend you haven’t spoken to in years. What are you waiting for? In the book ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing‘ by Bronnie Ware, one of the top regrets was wishing they had stayed in touch with their friends.

If you’re one of the many, many people that lack a healthy support system perhaps it’s time to find and nurture new connections. Reconnecting with who you are and what you want is a beautiful process and doesn’t have to be grueling or daunting. We just simply have to act. Frustration emerges in the shadow of inaction. Perhaps any of these new found or rekindled desires will lead you to new communities or habits that will bring you together with like-minded individuals.

But the greatest reconnection of all is that with yourself. Being clear about how it is that you’re feeling, how you might be able to express yourself, what it is that you need, and what uniquely brings you joy. It is a consistent journey maintaining one’s relationship with themselves, and it may prove to be life long. But it is truly the most rewarding relationship you can invest in, as it is the center piece to every other relationship you will ever have.