" I hear this a lot lately.
And it's funny that technically by the definition of busy, yes I am very busy.
And yet I feel the least busy I have in my entire life.
My life doesn't feel Busy at all...
it feels Full.
So what's the difference? The amount is the same.
Actually, I've probably got more things going on than I have ever before.
it feels completely different.
Words have such enormous power.
To me, Busy feels like pressure, struggle, hectic, strained, frantic.
When I think of Busy I imagine someone running, juggling several things at once, frowning, sweating, racing to the next thing.
Busy feels dull, dead, boring, the same old shit.
It's "should do's", errands, requirements, and to-do lists.
There is no room for joy or passion in Busy because there's no time for it.
Full feels spacious, abundant, fulfilling, joyful, content.
When I think of Full I imagine walking out of the Vancouver airport and taking in a deep breath of fresh westcoast air, filling my lungs all the way to the top, chest expanding.
Full is challenging and sometimes uncomfortable, and it has an underpinning of excitement, enthusiasm and passion.
Full is action with purpose.
Moving from a life that's Busy to a life that's Full for me has been half changing some of my actions, and half shifting my perspective.
Changing My Actions The first part has been about finding fulfilling activities to add to my life, and taking out things that weren't fulfilling and could be eliminated.
I have not magically gained an additional 12 hours into my day.
I had to very consciously give up some things in order to have the time to do the things that felt most resonant.
Here are some of the things I gave up and what I filled that time with instead: - Napping on the train to work - in exchange I use this time to write.
I used to really enjoy that nap each morning and afternoon, but writing brings me joy far beyond a nap ever could.
- Cleaning my house - I used to clean my house top to bottom every weekend and tidy it every night.
Instead, I use that time to play with the girls and spend time with Chris.
My house is pretty dirty most of the time and now I view the mess with a smile because it means I'm spending time with my family.
- TV - I used to watch a lot of TV that I didn't really like and that wasn't contributing to my higher self in any way.
It was a comfortable habit for me to sit down at the end of a long day and just zone out.
America's Next Top Model, Seinfeld re-runs, Law & Order...
all good shows and I gave them up to read more books and get more sleep.
I'm not at all against TV, in fact I'm a huge fan.
I've just made the choice to cut it way down.
However I will not give up Glee or So You Think You Can Dance...
- The Myth of Perfection - I have worked really hard to let go of my focus on trying to get things perfect.
I have a lot of space in my life now for "enough" and that gives me so much more room to focus on other things.
Not even just the physical time I got back by letting go of things not being perfect, but the energetic space I got back by letting go of the striving to attain something that is impossible to reach because it doesn't exist.
Shifting My Perspective Moving from Busy to Full is a total perspectives exercise.
In coaching, the idea of perspectives is that there are many ways to view any situation in life.
Even when you feel stuck, like "this is just the way it is" I guarantee there is another angle or way to view the situation.
The practice comes in learning to identify when you're stuck in a perspective and finding another way to see it.
So the second piece for me became finding the Fullness in the things I was already doing and that I needed to continue doing.
I work a full time job on top of what I do in my coaching business.
Each day this involves getting up at 5 am to commute 1.
5 hours to work an 8 hour day, then commute 1.
5 hours home.
As you can imagine, some days this feels like a real grind and all I want to do is stay in bed.
In those moments I connect myself to what's most important to me.
I'm fortunate enough to work for a company that is doing some amazing work in our world in terms of environmental responsibility and stewardship, so it's easy to remind myself of the bigger picture I'm contributing to.
My full-time job gives me the means to take care of my family, who mean everything to me.
The company is also supporting me in my coaching development and continue to give me opportunities to build my skills, so it's kind of like they're walking with me right now on my life purpose path.
I need to work to support this life that I want to live, and so reminding myself every day what I'm getting in return for the work that I do helps me to stay in the space of Full rather than shifting to Busy.
As soon as I take a few moments to remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing, it's easy to hop out of bed and get in the shower.
Take Away Busy still finds its way in sometimes.
Chris and I just got back from vacation, and let me tell you, coming back to life after a week off can easily move a person back to Busy very quickly.
It's a constant practice to keep my actions in line with the life I want, and to keep my perspective focused on why I'm doing what I'm doing.
Having a Full versus Busy life for me has been all about balance.
I still have to do boring, tedious things as I'm sure all of you do.
As a mom there are definitely moments when it feels like I'm just constantly moving, answering millions of questions, feeding, cleaning, organizing.
And what I've noticed is that when I balance those with at least a few things that bring me deep fulfillment, Busy doesn't get a strong foothold.
As soon as the passion is there, when joy, creativity and learning something new is present, that's when I'm in Full.
When I ask new clients about their dreams and goals a lot of them struggle with that question.
Many of my clients didn't have anything that really lit them up when they started.
And when I first started my coach training I didn't have anything that I was truly passionate about in my life either.
Of course I was happy and life was good, but it was not Full.
If you're reading this and thinking that perhaps your balance is leaning more towards Busy than Full, I want to push you to think of something that would even out the scale.
Start with your actions: What are you spending your time on? What's something you can let go of? What's one thing you could do today that would move your life from Busy to Full? What could you do today to Expand? And then think about your perspectives: Pick one of those tasks you need to keep doing and that feels Busy.
How can you shift your motivation to be aligned with your values? What's a new way to look at that task that would make it feel Full? Have some fun with it! This is your life.
If you're busy running through it from one thing to the next, you'll miss all the great stuff that's available to you right now.