Something Needs to Change


Last month, amid a string of private facebook conversation messages I was roped into (and eventually figured out how to bow out of continuing to receive), someone in the chain of messages said the following:

“I won’t be able to breathe until after Labor Day, I’m so very busy.”

And I thought: Goodness, I think something needs to change.

If we’re too busy to breathe, too busy to live life well, perhaps it’s time to do something a little different.

If you’ve been following me here on this blog, you know that I’ve written a few times about my dislike of any response having to do with the word busy. As in:

Gosh, I’m just sooo busy! or

I’ve been CRAZY busy! or

Well, ya know, I’m super busy.


I personally practice to avoid using this word. It is such a pervasive sentiment, anymore. So many conversations with people are hijacked at some point by the word busy. What does it even mean to be busy? Isn’t life comprised of action? Saying we’re busy is like saying we’re alive, and ya know, doing stuff. Hmmm.

My working theory here is that the word busy is affixed to our inner need to be validated as someone worthy and important. We use this word in an attempt to show others that we’re not just sitting around on our butts watching TV, or becoming consumed in our own small affairs. And, ultimately, we use this word to convince ourselves that our time is not being wasted or squandered away, which it probably is, to some extent. The state of busyness, then, becomes an excuse that we can point to easily as a means of letting us off the hook in terms of having to deal with what’s actually going on. Busyness is not a state of physical being, it’s a mental manifestation of our disconnection.

When people toss the word busy into my lap, as in: WOW, you’re busy! or You sure sound busy, I practice responding, when it’s appropriate (which it isn’t always), by saying something like: Well, I don’t feel busy. Which is true. I practice not to feel busy. I practice not to live a busy lifestyle. I practice not to dwell in the mental landscape of busyness. Even when I have full days or full weeks of activity, I practice the art of being a non-busy person. There is no way to peace, peace is the way.

Dear friends, please don’t put off your ability to breathe until you become less busy. Please don’t put off living your life well until your days become less full of things to do. The way in which we live is truly up to us, right here and right now. With this moment, we’re laying the groundwork for the next moment…and the next one after that.



4 thoughts on “Something Needs to Change

  1. You say something wise things, but I question whether it is truly wise to give so much energy into ‘busy’ by talking ahout it so much. Best maybe to think of what your preferred state is and think about that instead. In that way, you give energy to that instead.
    If you want peace, be peace rather than complain about the noise. ;)
    Sorry to be so direct. I thought that the straight route up the mountain might be the one you prefer.

    • Hello new reader :) Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I don’t profess to have any great wisdom to share, simply my own experience. Where I’m coming from is that I feel it’s important to draw attention to some of the blocks that can cause some of us to get stuck in our habit energies, such as the so-called state of busyness. It is my hope that in calling this topic into attention it may help others to look more deeply into how we truly do create the life we want to live and how it’s a matter of choice (as you said: if we want peace we need to be peace, which is very true). So, this is me flexing my dharma-teacher-in-training muscles :) Thanks again for reading.

      • In that case – nice approach! It certainly had that effect on me. It made me look deeply into how what we are leads to what we become. It was either that, or the book on Karma that I was reading at the same time (well, not exactly at the same time) as I was reading your post.
        There is so much wonderful depth in the dharma teachings that we can never fail to come across a lesson, no matter which direction we are facing.
        Kindness to you, my friend – Robert.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.