I’m so busy.
I have too much to do.
I don’t have time.
There’s too much going on.

How do all of those thoughts make you feel?
When you feel that way, how do you act?
How does that shape your life?

Here’s the hard truth. We will always have a lot going on in our lives. If we think “there is so much to do”, there will always be so much to do. Why? Because what we look for, we find. What we focus on, expands.  If instead we think, there are many peaceful opportunities in my day, you will look for and find those mini-moments. When stopped at a red light, close your eyes and feel the sun on your face. When making dinner, close your eyes and listen to the noise of your kids. What we look for, we find. Sure, you’re in the car driving from one activity to the next and if you focus on the busy-ness of your day, you’ll find it. However, if you choose to look for ways to add calm to your life, you’ll find that.

Stress is a choice.
It’s a choice that many of us choose.
Because it helps us.

What? How is being stressed helpful? In the same way drinking a glass of wine or watching an hour of TV every night is helpful. It helps us numb out from life. Telling myself I was so busy allowed me to numb myself from many areas of my life: my failing marriage, my destructive relationship with my parents, how I was spending my days. I could push some realities of my life into my unconscious and focus on how stressed I was instead. Let’s stop hiding from what’s going on in our lives. Next time you feel stressed stop and ask yourself: Why am I stressed at work? What is stressing me out about being a mom? What is stressing me out in my relationship or my marriage?

It’s much easier to say that you’re stressed than it is to do something about that stress. Why? Doing something about it means looking at something in our life that we’ve been consciously or unconsciously covering up. That’s hard and our brain likes easy. If our brain had its’ way, it would stay in bed watching Netflix and eating. Unfortunately humans are wired to evolve and even watching TV and eating will start to feel “ick” after a while. 

For the record, choosing to live a less stressful life or less busy life doesn’t mean that you have to make massive life changes. Rather, it’s an invitation to slow down enough to see what’s really going on in your life. So much of why I became a coach was to help people live more consciously. I spent the first 35-years of my life living in my own personal cloud of fog. When I woke up (or had my mid-life awakening, as I call it), everything was brighter: colors, feelings, relationships, experiences. Slowing down and choosing to step away from the belief that I had to fill my days to feel full has allowed me to see that my days are fuller than I could ever have imagined. 

Stress is a choice. The journey for each of us is different. We are choosing to numb certain areas of our lives because of our beliefs and our past experiences. I encourage everyone to work with a coach or a therapist to dig into why they’re numbing because a life lived is far greater than a life dulled. For me, I numbed my days because I was afraid that if I wasn’t super efficient and a high-performer, I wouldn’t be loved by those closest to me. Well guess what? What I feared most came true but not with the disastrous results that I had imagined. Those closest to me did remove their love and their support. All of it. But guess what? That’s okay. Their actions helped me discover my most important truth: my love for me matters more than what I accomplish, what I look like, or what others think of me, even my parents, siblings, and then spouse. In choosing to live consciously (facing my fears, removing the numbing), I’ve never been happier. That’s not to say I don’t have difficult days. My journey as a human means I’ll spend half of my time experiencing difficult emotions. Now I can remind myself that those difficult days lead to a stronger, more alive-feeling Susie.

Next week my blog will address the importance of doing uncomfortable things, of digging into the dark areas. For this week, I encourage you to be open to beginning the journey. Don’t change a thing in your life, rather, be more conscious about what you’re doing. When you pour that glass of wine tonight, ask yourself: What do I think this glass of wine will do for me? What am I feeling right now? When you plop on the couch with the remote, do so consciously and ask yourself: why am I choosing to watch TV now? How much TV will I watch? What am I feeling right now? Begin to be a curious observer of your life. Be kind and begin to get curious about why you do what you do. 

If you’re ready to dig in now, check out my 10-Day Cleanse for Conscious Living. This is a super popular program because it gives you small and simple steps you can do right now. Plus, it’s inexpensive (less than a coffee a day or one coaching session), you can begin it any day you choose, and addresses the major areas of your life: eating, exercising, sleeping, tech, complaining, etc…Click here to learn more.

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