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!

441 thoughts on “Rush, Rush, Rush

  1. I was a rush, rush, rush addict for most of my life, always rushing to get things done as quickly as possible or to race out the door at the last minute to catch a train, bus or plane. But since practicing the Gentle Breath Meditation I now allow the necessary space required for all that I do in my day. My life is now so much simpler, joyful and flowing as a result of my daily practice of the Gentle Breath Meditation.

  2. I have come to feel the vast difference felt in the body when we rush and push the body that tenses up our muscles and movements, giving our power away to time and clock watching in contrast with the spaciousness and quality felt when staying consciously present allowing our body’s natural rhythm to flow and guide our movements.

  3. “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” Just goes to show how wise our children are and a powerful reminder for us all.

  4. I hate the feeling of rushing, but there was time when I enjoyed it because I like the busyness, but once I stopped I could feel a vibration in my body that I didn’t like and the only way to overcome this would be do more things so I didn’t have to feel it, and then check out in front of the TV at night before collapsing into bed. These days it is very different I enjoy the stillness in my body and when I feel any push I am much quicker to catch it before it takes hold.

  5. Same thing here Suzanne. Always being late, always stressed, speeding tickets amounting to 1500 euro’s per year. That is all gone now (almost gone) and now I say: I rather be late than stress my body by rushing.

  6. Breathing our own breath and living by its rhythm really exposes the yuckiness of living by the clock and its precision.

  7. Great Suzanne, we get there regardless of the time it takes, but how are we when we do, frazzled and ‘out of breath’ or serene and in our bodies?

  8. You can feel the difference so clearly – a little bit rushed, or slightly late and there is a squeeze inside me. It never feels good, and its kind of astonishing that I did not feel it that first time decades ago and decide never again! The difference in what I can deliver and how I feel when there is that fraction of space around what I am doing and where I am going is quite simply immeasurable.

    1. Yes I agree, it is easy to see once you choose to see it, or create the environment to be able to feel those messages and the distinction. The constriction in my body feels like a poison now compared to being on time and the flow of my body in that moment.

  9. I love this, from rushing and never really being there but two steps ahead to enjoying each moment, feeling all the time and space there is.

  10. I can relate well to this blog as I also used to rush around in life and never be able to sit still. Thanks goodness I changed my ways as it was so exhausting living in this way, I now also enjoy the simplicity and ease in how I live being more present in my body without needing to go into the rush energy anymore.

  11. How funny this blog speaks volumes to me! Each of my labours has told me something about the child that arrived – they came in the time and a way that has been very reflective of their characters. Equally, I can see how much my body worked to reflect to me how much I was rushing and the pace I was living that was against my body’s natural rhythm. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  12. Its not so much the amount of work, or length of time as much as how you do it. I can move in a way (and still do) where I’m over focussed on the one thing and then lose sight of the bigger plan. Or I have the most incredible time no matter how busy when I remember how many all the space that is available moment to moment.

    1. Bringing my focus back to the bigger plan always supports me to let go of any doubt that may have creeped in, and my body instantly feels more spacious and more open to receive.

  13. Oh wow I can so relate, I had spent most of my life rushing and still find myself sometimes running out of the door with wet hair only to put make up on in the car.
    What I do know now is how rushing causes so many more problems like your example onrushing your little girl and she falling over and you being more late.
    The more we rush the more havoc we create for ourselves.

  14. When we really start to feel the energy of what it really is like to rush, and then we feel the incredibly diametrically opposed since of stillness that is possible to have in movement then our lives cannot help but change and evolve

  15. Your first paragraph Suzanne aptly describes how most people live, I know I lived like this in my past, never having enough time, and arriving always late at appointments creates so much tension in the body. These days I so love to be organised and prepared and actually and it really feels nice to arrive earlier for appointments.

  16. I love this Suzanne, so many elements spoke to me, the time versus the pockets of time, the way time seems to go faster when you rush, the abuse of your body by leaving things to the last minute. All so familiar. Making a choice to change patterns of behaviour that feed this drain on physical and emotional resources is a great parenting tip. It is not a child’s natural rhythm to rush, we introduce it so I love your daughters’ reflection to you to slow down and get a bit more organised!!!

  17. “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” Wow, what incredibly wise words from a 4 year-old. Such wisdom is innate in them. How glorious it would be if we nurtured this wisdom in our children.

  18. I have found that when I rush anything, it affects the quality of everything I am doing, which also affects my body and the way I move, and through the gentle breath I am able to reconnect to myself which brings the rush to a halt.

  19. I too have come to love being stopped at the traffic lights, after years of being a ‘rusher’ who hated seeing the green light turn orange, then red. And I particularly love it when the light goes red just as I get there as I know that I have time to close my eyes and to breathe gently for at least 30 seconds – often more. By focussing on my breath, it doesn’t take long to reconnect with my body and any feelings of rush are instantly dissipated.

  20. Powerful Suzanne, actually sharing and showing us how life is not serving us or our children when we rush. As our young children can be so wise and say: Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.
    We can understand, and so too do we know. We just had made it so uneasy to express so. This is the core of the teachings of Serge Benhayon. It is all known within us — it is time to stand and live in authority of that, again.

  21. This was the perfect blog for me to read today. Lately it has really been coming to the fore how chained I am in the grapples of time. These days I don’t rush, and I’m very adept at taking care of myself – but, I’m still running by a clock, with segments of my day allocated for certain tasks – or I should say multi-tasks. I am constantly trying to cheat time – and of course this doesn’t work.
    What I’m realising is that the propulsion to ‘get things over and done with’ is a trade-off with presence. Rather than be present with what I’m doing, I try and pack more into that moment and make it even more productive. Now when I consider the possibility of being with one thing at a time I feel how much grace is on offer if we choose this. The grace of presence, of being there in full, all of us being offered to whatever it is we are doing in that particular point in time. If I choose this, time expands. The moment is full and what I do is full.
    I’m not there yet, but it is this truth I want to unravel and eventually live from. Presence instead of time.

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