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May 7, 2015

Wearing the Badge of Balance

TN--Rebecca TownsendI have spent 44 years doing and living life with the core belief that “BUSY = WORTHY”.

Cognitively, I know it is not going to change in a week, the neuropathways will not magically transform in 21 days, and I will likely still be struggling with being busy this time next year.

I will need to focus on and maintain the mantra gifted to me, “Be gentle with yourself.”

“‘No’ is a complete sentence.” (Anne Lamott)

In this new journey of unbusy-ing myself, I am learning it is okay to turn down opportunities involving things I am not truly passionate about. There are others who have a passion for issues I don’t. That’s one of the things that makes this an awesome world, right?

If I truly want to make a difference in my family, my community, my world, then I need to actually view myself as an important commodity and asset. If I were running my life as a business, I would protect my assets, my well-being.

So, what if I paid myself first? If I think of my energy as money, then allowing the initial energy of the day to be mine only makes sense.

For years, I was a runner and ran first thing every morning. An injury has kept me from running for almost five years now. After the initial depression of not feeling the pavement under my feet, I’ve started to use my mornings for prayer/meditation and writing. My intention every morning is to feed myself before I turn on anything that sucks energy from me, such as phones, computers, and TVs.

In the readjusting of my thinking, it is becoming clear that being busy is a choice. I am becoming more intentional with my priorities and making decisions about what is important in my life.

Sometimes that means I have to come to terms with the fact that I have had misplaced priorities. As I gradually re-examine where my time and energy are being spent, I know there may be some initial disappointment from others when I determine a “No” is needed in an area.

I am changing patterns I helped to create, and this may cause some confusion, hurt, and anger. It may even trigger some feelings of emotional abandonment in some. It is quite possible I set the stage for an unhealthy dependence, and modifying this dance — as painful as it could be — may be the best thing for all of us.

In these behavioral shifts, I am seeking to be gentle with myself as I experience the pain and guilt of relinquishing this Badge of Busy-ness.

I am seeking balance. That is the badge I want to earn: The Badge of Balance.

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