Rush, Rush, Rush

by Suzanne Anderssen, Brisbane, Australia

I have spent most of my life rushing. In primary school I would fit swimming, netball, guitar lessons, homework, TV, playing with friends, etc. around school time. I observed how my mother never stopped for 5 minutes, busy with work, kids, housekeeping. When in high school, I actually got a speeding fine and subsequently lost my licence for seeing how fast I could get to the shops to buy a cake mix (!). On school days I would wake up exactly 15 minutes before the bus was scheduled, fitting in a shower, breakfast, dressing and packing my school bag before running out the door to make the bus (my hair was always left wet). This ‘routine’ set me up for adult life: for years I set my alarm to wake up with the bare minimum of time needed to make it to work. I would drive the most direct route, without traffic lights, eat breakfast and do my hair in the car, put on lipstick in the rear vision mirror, and swan into work with seconds to spare (if even that). I felt my stomach tense up as I sped through life. 

When I was in one of my early jobs as a waitress, we used to be told, “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean”!  Another phrase that has been used my whole life was “No rest for the weary”. You just toughen up and do what you have to do to get everything done.

I started to really notice the rushing when I had my daughter. When I was pregnant, I noticed for the first time how I wanted to move more slowly and gently. I wanted to take more time doing everything such as grocery shopping, walking, and eating. When I was in labour, she took her time being born; spending 3 hours navigating the birth canal – no-one was going to rush her out!

Life with an infant was so different, it became an extension of the pregnancy, everything had to slow down. I had to pack nappy bags with care and mindfulness or else I’d forget extra clothes or wipes; breastfeeding couldn’t be rushed, ever.

As my baby grew into a toddler, she showed me how unimportant time was. I had spent a lifetime watching the clock, and what I did depended on what time it was. Except parenting! Life became more about periods of time, rather than the actual time (but it took years to figure that out). I still left it too late to make appointments on time and had to rush to get there, but the good thing was that I felt how yucky that was.

When making school lunches, I noticed when I looked at the clock and saw I was running short of time, my body immediately reacted and sped up. The blueberries started dropping onto the ground, the Cruskit broke from pressing too hard with my knife, I felt butterflies in my tummy, my chest felt constricted, my voice became louder, my brain started listing all the things I need to do, now. Talk about ‘feeling it in your body’! I noticed I became irritated, busier, flustered and stressed when I rushed. I dropped things, cut myself, bumped into things; my shins always had a bruise on them somewhere. When I rushed my toddler, she fell over – every time. Then there were the tears, grazes, blood, Bandaids, more lateness and even more rushing. My then 4 year-old daughter even said, “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” I knew it didn’t work, but the rushing was so ingrained, I didn’t know how to change it.

A couple of years ago, I started listening to Serge Benhayon’s gentle breath meditation. The first time I heard it, I knew this was it. I have listened to many guided meditations over the last 2 decades, and they did help, but only for the duration of the tape, and maybe a few hours after it. There never was any lasting change. But with the gentle breath meditation, I felt gentleness and calm sweep through my body. My heart felt slower, it felt like my blood was reaching the far corners of my body finally, and not just straight up and down the middle.

I finally started to set my alarm early, giving myself over an hour to get ready, actually looking into a mirror, actually doing my hair, sitting down (not in a car seat) to eat breakfast. And it feels great! I have noticed that once I start not rushing, I am so much more gentle and present with myself, and everyone around me. At first I wondered if I was now being inefficient by not multi-tasking, but I have come to realise that I don’t need to make breakfasts and lunches at the same time – I can do them one at a time and it takes just the same length of time, and I come out feeling the same calm, smooth, still person I was as I went into making them. I now choose to drive the simplest route to work (not the shortest), with the traffic lights and hope I get stopped so I can just be for a few seconds!

502 thoughts on “Rush, Rush, Rush

  1. Even just reading about all the rushing is exhausting! I used to be the opposite where I couldn’t finish one thing without having a transition period first and constantly being told I was “too slow” which quickly became a trigger/swear word to me. But these days I am a lot more fluid and comfortable changing to what is needed then and there and that’s because I am more present with myself and not everything the mind is saying I have to do/be.

  2. “As my baby grew into a toddler, she showed me how unimportant time was.” They try when they are in our tummy, they work hard at it when they are first born, then they really let us know when they are toddlers “STOP RUSHING ME!”

  3. When I fall back deeply into the body, it feels as though I have all the time in the world, well, actually time and its constrict simply gets cancelled out.

  4. I love reading this article, I can so relate to the rushing and how it simply doesn’t work and how every time I rush my son he ends up falling over and hurting himself and how whenever I rush I feel anxious, I cut myself and my body feels achy and awful.

  5. When you think about it… it is almost silly to put rushing and efficiency together because when we rush we are actually less efficient and forget more and make more mistakes and so on.

    1. I used to work with someone who was like a whirlwind in the kitchen, but his productivity was poor. I see this in myself when I start loads of things one after another but never complete any of them. I have to make a conscious choice to finish what I start before the next task.

  6. “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” This is such a beautiful reminder of what we lose when we choose to go into rushing mode. Since choosing to slow down I can feel how much more connected I am but am still shocked at how I can lose this if I allow myself to be distracted. I am also conscious of the ripple effect of how I choose to move and how rushing affects everyone around me as well which reconfirms my choice to allow myself the space to move with me.

  7. Thank you Suzanne, this is so beautiful and honest, and very relatable. Gosh, rushing is so normal now, we are all so “on the go”, we so rarely just ‘be’, even feeling we need to justify rest by exhausting ourselves first, or waiting for the holidays. I know for myself as an adult I don’t allow myself the space I took as a teenager to simply be, to feel, ponder and enjoy myself, not necessarily doing anything but just enjoying being me.

    1. Yes, it is a balance isn’t it? We have cycles in our body that are connected to the cycles of the the sun and the moon, of our work and other regular commitments. There is a rhythm within these cycles that supports us to stay steady and not ‘race ahead’ or live in anticipation of the next thing on the ‘to do’ list.

  8. Rushing takes us out of ourselves and leaves us feeling stressed out and pressured. As much as we don’t like this feeling, nothing really changes until we get so sick and tired of feeling that compression that we decide to make some different choices – to get up earlier, to focus more, to bring more awareness to what we’re doing and not multitask constantly. Making life about quality in a period of time and not maximising the activity within that time brings a steadiness, a depth and a stillness to our days and lives.

  9. There is this distinct feeling when you realise that you’re stepping out of the door and you think there is something missing compared to when you know you are on it and have everything covered.

  10. I was a person who was always too fast and therefore I was very good in overtake myself and very proud about it. I never thought that all my illnesses I had had to do with being so fast until I met Serge Benhayon. Through his presentations and workshops I learned to connect back to the stillness I have inside of me and since that I am hardly ill. Stillness is such a great medicine – I really can recommend it!

  11. Rushing does feel horrible and messes everything up internally. But even if I am not multitasking and ‘only’ thinking about all the busyness on my to do list I can be slower in what I am doing or seek more distraction and then have no space to properly care for myself. I spend more time faffing on the computer and then eating in the car because I had no time or space to eat at the table before leaving for work. It doesn’t feel great and lately I’ve been asking myself “Can I just have a shower?” without thinking about this, that and everything but just being present with one task?

  12. I was so very aware of the old, and horrible, feelings of rush rising in my body as I read the first part of your blog, and cringed, as I could so easily relate to this exhausting way of living. My body was in continual tension, not getting any opportunity to stop and deeply rest, and so not surprisingly often becoming un-well or injured. But when I got to the part about the Gentle Breath Meditation I took a long and gentle breath and exhaled the old feelings, and my body smiled; it loves this simple but very powerful meditation, and so do I.

    1. How beautiful Ingrid “But when I got to the part about the Gentle Breath Meditation I took a long and gentle breath and exhaled the old feelings, and my body smiled; it loves this simple but very powerful meditation, and so do I.” It reminds me of how I am learning to listen to my body and becoming a friend to it by responding lovingly to what it’s communicating,

    2. So true, if we allow ourselves to listen to what our body is communicating with us when we read these blogs, we can feel the visceral memories held in our body. That is a such a grand opportunity to decide if it is a pattern you would like to re-imprint or not.

  13. Our body always offers us a great marker of the quality in which we are moving. The more we are willing to pay attention and are willing to be honest with what we are feeling the more we can adjust the way we are living to support ourselves to live with greater connection, presence and honouring of who we are, which impacts all those around.

    1. I agree, it’s a beautiful and simple way to remind ourselves to return to the love we truly are when we use behaviours that are not supportive.

  14. It is very loving and nurturing to give ourselves an hour or more to get ready in the mornings for work – which is a solid foundation for the day ahead as we have started off the day with ourselves and had lots of time to prepare.

  15. Rushing is a great way not to feel what is truly going on for us, and when we do not give ourselves space we do not allow for another way, and we set ourselves up to be under pressure. Letting go and allowing more time and hence space opens up a whole new way of living, and allows time for consideration of what next, from a wider and broader perspective.

    1. So true and when we get caught up in rushing we shut down our options and cannot feel what is needed next thus setting in train a cycle of events that drain us of our vitality.

  16. I love what your daughter shared “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” and that’s exactly what we do to ourselves we take ourselves our of presence and our bodies run on a functional surface level, doing just enough but now in fact in the fullness of who we are and what we can be.

    1. I love these very wise words too. In fact, if we replaced ‘Mummy’ with our name, these words become a very beautiful message from our body to ourselves as to what happens when we rush it. And I sure know from my lived experience, that doing anything without love is a recipe for a very challenging life. The wisdom of our children is price-less.

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