Have you noticed how quickly life passes by without anyone noticing? In fact, it has been over a year since my last post – so even counsellors suffer from ‘busy-itis occasionally’! Sometimes I wonder if all that being busy does is fill a void – of unhappiness, lack of contentment, emptiness, loss, grief – you can give it your own name – whatever it is, the mindless, busy activities are often a cover up, so that you don’t have to actually look at a situation and explore what you feel would make you happier and more contented.
I had a client several years ago, whose diary would have made most company CEOs weep with fatigue. Raising a family, school activities, work, volunteer work, supporting and caring for elderly relatives – you get the picture. She spent most of her free time in her car running from pillar to post, existing on sandwiches, cigarettes and coffee. She had been made redundant, two years previously from a very high powered job and it had been a huge loss in her life, both financially and in terms of her self-esteem and confidence. Even I was exhausted just listening to her typical day and I just wanted to shout ‘STOP’, because at no time did I hear my client admit initially what she really needed, ‘I can only please one person a day, and today I choose me!’
We had several productive sessions, and with empathy and reflection, my client started to visualise her ideal life – one that did not involve an exhausting hamster on a wheel existence. She started to realise that her exhausting routine had a wider effect on the rest of the family and her relationship with her children and partner, as she was never fully ‘there’ Once the real situation had been acknowledged and most importantly, she could admit to herself how unhappy and tired she was, there was a breakthrough. My client started to work on reducing her commitments to those that actually gave pleasure and satisfaction. She started taking better care of herself and finding time to do things that she really loved and freed up her creativity. This in turn helped her deal with the commitments that were chosen as important, and life took a more settled pace. Using the tools I had given as homework, a new resilience developed to better able to deal with anything that life threw at her. As Dr Susan Jeffers said in ‘End the Struggle and Dance with Life’ – ‘I have learned to dance on an ever shifting carpet!’ When I met my client recently, I was so pleased to see that she was glowing with a new contentment and health.
If you are drowning in ‘busy-ness’ to the point of exhaustion, please get in contact – I can work with you to develop the skills and a toolkit of strategies to ‘end the struggle and dance with life……..’.
Wishing you peace in a difficult world.