OR HOW TO GET OUT OF THE HAMSTER’S WHEEL
I just don’t have time. It’s not my moment. I don’t have the money right now. It’s too much, I can’t do it. I catch myself using such excuses all the time, and I hear them from my friends and clients.
That’s what we say – when we are overwhelmed, accelerated, stressed out, and when we suffer because we can never get everything done. That’s what we do when we are in the hamsters wheel.
When you really want to do something, money and time are never the reasons not to do it.
And yet we really feel that they are, we really don’t know how to take the time, and even if we take it, we are so overstimulated and stressed that we can’t make good use of it. So we try to go faster, we try to make more effort, we try to be more efficient.
It’s Time to Relax When you Don’t Have Time to Relax
Yesterday I read a quote by Sydney Harris:
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time to relax.”
This is so true. We are never going to get out of the hamster’s wheel because we finally get everything done. This state of acceleration and being over-demanded is an inner state and the way in which we approach our life. It is not that life IS that way. It’s that we PERCEIVE it like that.
As long as this inner state doesn’t change, we will not be able to take time for ourselves and for the things that are really important. We will continue feeling and thinking and perceiving that we never get there, that we’re not good enough, and that time is scarce.
The Real Reason Why We Don’t Stop
So if time and money aren’t the reasons for not being able to do things that are important to us, what is?
You can answer this question for yourself by digging deeper and feeling what is going on within you. When you become aware of your feelings, they give you the information and tell you what is really holding you back. Most of the time it has to do with feelings of not being good enough, never being perfect, having to make more effort, trying our best but never quite getting there – in essence, what holds us back is a mentality of scarcity and a lack of worthiness. When the patterns of scarcity and worthlessness are very strong, they just trigger our automatic reaction. And the automatic reaction is to go faster and make more efforts. It’s what keeps us in the hamsters wheel.
So it’s a cycle: We don’t feel worthy of peace and happiness, so we have to make more effort to be better, so we get more stressed out and exhausted, so we feel that we are failing and incapable, so we feel that we are not worthy.
If you want happiness in your life, if you want to feel joy, enjoy all the riches you have, be more at ease and laugh more, if you want the feeling that there’s a meaning behind everything you do, and you want to see how life supports you in your endeavors, you need to step out of the cycle.
How to step Out of the Hamster’s Wheel
We need to learn how to recognize the signs of stress, overwhelm, acceleration and frustration as early as possible, and our bodies are our best resource for doing that. If you look at your life, if you think back, you will recognize the signs of tension and negativity in your body and in your mind. You have known it all along, you have known it ever since you stepped into the hamster’s wheel. The pattern to try to go faster because we don’t feel good enough is just so strong that we don’t listen to these signals. We only do when we break down, get sick, or experience some kind of shock that gets to us. But we don’t need to let it come that far.
When we perceive the signals, we need to stop. We need to understand that stress and overwhelm is an inner state. And the remedy and the solution lie within yourself, not in more or different actions.
Once you stop, you need to ask: What do I need? How can I best relax? How can I help my body to feel better?
And if you read these questions you will realize that it is all about self-love and self-care. You have to love yourself to accept the fact that the most important thing is to take care of how you feel. Because only when you feel good you can give in a positive and sustainable way. When you feel good you use your time for what’s really important. When you feel good you know how to prioritize. When you feel good you recognize when you are driven by guilt or fear, and you get the choice whether or not you want to run with it. When you stop and calm down, when you decide to take care of how you feel first, when you respect and accept what your body is telling you and you empower yourself to respond to these needs – that’s when everything can change.
When you ask these questions, you can start to observe what best works for you, and integrate it into your routine. Create new habits. For me, it’s water, nature, jogging, Qi Gong, breathing and rest, gardening, sharing spiritual practices and learning from others, and beautiful calm moments involving singing and music that make me calm and joyful. Ironically, it’s also doing sessions with my clients. I have been so fortunate that a part of my work is a source of deep relaxation, joy and regeneration to me. What are your nurturing actions, surroundings and experiences?
Why should you stop and take care of your energy and your wellbeing, when every part of you tells you to accelerate more? Because you can gain a new perspective, you love yourself a little more, you’re a better example for your children and friends, you will return to your responsibilities with more resources and efficiency – and you create a life in which being calm and at peace and able to enjoy everything you have marks the tone, every day.
PS: If you need help, book in a free call with me.