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HOW TO STOP THE RHYTHM OF RUSH
THE ENEMY OF RUSHING
Far too many women are feeling run ragged from all the rushing when they should be women moving with deliberate purpose. We all need to be women who are present in our stories and clear on where it is we plan to move. Unfortunately, many of us are not living the calm, intentional life we long to live. Many of the women I have worked with express a longing to have their time back. They report feeling guilty when they do slow down and rest. It is time for us to hand back the heavy expectations we have been asked to carry so we can slow down enough to enjoy the ordinary moments of our lives.
My BFF Google defines rushing as moving with excessive speed or urgency. Let’s call it what it is: The rhythm of rush has become an enemy of our soul. The world has made us believe there is a measuring stick used to measure our perceived worth. This relentless drive is pushing women into a pathology where we need to prove our value by doing the most. This gave birth to an inner and very relentless drive pushing women to prove their value. It is wrong for us to spend our one beautiful life rushing from one thing to the next only to look back and see all we missed.
DIVIDED FOCUS = DIVIDED RESULTS
We continue to shove so many tasks into every single moment as if the more we pile in the better our life is…the better we are when the truth is divided focus yields divided results.
Think of a rushing river. For a moment it may seem beautiful. But when it continues, when it reaches a flood state, the only thing it serves up is destruction. We have all seen images showing this of places after floods. Hurricane Katrina will forever mark the minds of those who saw the images.
Rushing is a particular problem for women courtesy of patriarchy. We have been set up to prove our worth to a man so he will choose us. We did this by being good and to be good we must be good at everything that man says matters. We are pitted against one another and have to prove ourselves without end. It is an exhausting cycle that
1) is utter BS and
2) sets us up for failure because we are trying to achieve something we cannot achieve
We CAN NOT earn or prove our value by more doing. We simply ARE worthy. And that is the hardest thing for most of us to accept courtesy of the sack of shoulds we have been dragging around since conception.
SCIENCE SAYS SO
Science has proven that rushing leads to decreased immune systems. It has been linked to other health problems like heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure, to name a few. Rushing creates anxiety and this is proved true by simply looking around to see the intense numbers of people battling anxiety
Rushing ruins relationships. People want to feel seen and heard. They want to be respected. But rushing keeps you from being present and when you aren’t present with your people they feel rejected by you. NO MATTER WHAT YOU INTENDED.
When we rush through our lives we brush past the people in it
There is a self-imposed struggle we participate in that strips us of joy and peace. I doubt any of us could count the times we have asked a friend how she is only to hear the response “busy”. Previously the canned response was “fine” which tells me that we have made a trade. And that trade wasn’t a trade-up. It was a trade-out. As a listener to this podcast, I believe you are ready to start doing life in a new way, a better way. I want that for us.
When my daughters were little we were heavily involved in dance. They were part of a pre-professional ballet company and it was a 6, sometimes 7-day per week commitment. Rushing was the norm. Meals were often consumed in the car. Sometimes the schedule was so full I would make them sandwiches and cut them into bite-sized pieces so they could grab a bite on the way to the bathroom or in five-minute breaks. Rushing was the constant pace at which we ran our lives.
Looking back on it now I wonder how we all survived. Let me be clear it left some serious scars. When they stopped dancing we had a huge challenge because we suddenly had time we had never before experienced. And in the stopping, I started to see areas in desperate need of attention that I had spent years rushing by. Pressing pause on the rhythm of rush created space for me to see some stuff that I could no longer ignore. I won’t lie, it was costly, because I couldn’t turn a blind eye to brokenness anymore. But in the end, putting an end to the rhythm of rush allowed me to do the work I needed to do, make necessary changes, and find healing in areas long ignored.
I am certain that if I can hit the brakes on my rhythm of rush and transform my life, you can stop the rhythm of rush and transform your life, too.
MULTI-TASKING IS A MYTH
Recently I heard this referred to this as “Hurry Syndrome”. Our tech-saturated world only makes this more intense. We tell ourselves with all the tools and gadgets we have we should be able to do more. I have certainly been guilty of this.
Multi-tasking is a disease that has infected us. We talk about it like we are doing a wonderful thing. There is superiority to it if I am being honest. But the truth is our brains are not even capable of multi-tasking. It is 100% a myth. This act we call multi-tasking is us sabotaging our brain. We are short-circuiting our brains and telling ourselves it is a good thing.
Rushing is coming at a giant cost.
HOW DO WE FIX THIS?
Answer this: Have you had one of those moments when you can’t sleep so you start calculating “if I fall asleep now, I will get X hours of sleep. Over and over we do this dance and watch as that amount of sleep dwindles. It doesn’t help us go to sleep. For most, it creates more anxiety. Rushing creates anxiety and this is proved true by simply looking around to see the intense numbers of people battling anxiety
How do we fix this? Let’s dive into the steps you can take to slow down and live with purpose.
STEPS TO SLOWING DOWN
Step one to take to slow this rhythm of rush is to stop. Literally, stop. Stop moving and racing and running. Author James Clear says, “A gift you can give yourself right now: Stop what you’re doing. Close your eyes. For the next 60 seconds, just breathe.” The next step is to ground yourself. Breathe. Come present in your own body and then in your story. Keep breathing as things bubble up. And resist the urge to judge them. Remember feelings are teachers so let them inform you.
Step three is to set a time at the start of every day to set your intentions for the day. Choose how you will spend the day. Schedule time in your day for a pause, for refilling your cup in whatever way that works for you. Being aware is key. Certainly, take care of the things that matter to you but also prioritize slowing down and coming present. Active core values are vital in helping you change the rhythm of rush. Head back to the third post for the post on this. It has a free handout to walk you through selecting yours if you missed them. Finally, prioritize rest. And yes, I am serious. We aren’t resting enough. I heard someone say the other day that the best way to tell if are sleep deprived is if we need an alarm to wake us up. Bam. That one got me as I found myself Ninja-chopping my phone when the alarm went off today.
THE SUCCESS OF SLOWING
As you work through learning to slow down you will learn things about yourself you didn’t have time to see during the frantic rush. Let those things inform you about ways to better control the pace of your life and give your soul what it needs. Be gentle with yourself as you practice the pause. You have trained your body to run at full speed for years. It will take a minute to retrain your brain and change your pathologies.
If you will lean into the awkwardness of stopping this rhythm of rush, you will:
- Deepen your relationships
- Have margin to breathe
- Learn to rest without feeling guilt
- Be present with the people in your life
- See areas needing your attention and start giving them that attention
- Create space to dream. Bless but our ability to dream has been drowned by the rhythm of rush.
- Relax, maybe do something wild like read a book just for fun or paint a picture
- Find your way back to the things that fuel your soul
THE COST OF RUSHING ON
You don’t have to miss out on the daily miracles surrounding you or keep shallow connections with the people in your life. There is no rule saying you must continue rushing through life at the cost of your soul. This rushing has become a badge of honor we wear when it is a weight crushing our souls.
The more that it is expected of us, the more we do. The more we do the harder we push ourselves. The harder we push ourselves the more depleted we become. And before we know it our emotions get hijacked, our nerves fray and our energy is running on fumes. In our rush, we miss moments of beauty, moments of connection, moments to see what is before us and hear what is being said and left unsaid. I don’t want us to miss out on another thing. It means too much.
Going forward together, let’s commit to stop, breathe, and be intentional about how we will use our time and energy with purpose and intention instead of with frantic rushing.
Until next time, remember, I am in it WITH you, always,