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!

394 thoughts on “Rush, Rush, Rush

  1. Children can be a wonderful reflection as to what is going on within us. When I find myself feeling agitated because my children are going at a pace that is too slow then I have to question the choices I have made and what is going on within me.

  2. Love this! I can absolutely relate to all you have shared. I am so so grateful that I continually choose to remind myself that rushing literally gets me no where.

  3. It is beautiful how your child showed you the truth. Rushing gets us out
    of love, out of the gentleness we are. It doesn’t matter if you chose to listen at that moment or not, but it was there and as we all do, you knew it deep inside. What a lovely blog.

  4. I love how it feels in my body to do one thing at a time with conscious presence. There is also a marked difference in the flow, care and quality of that with which we move from in this way too.

  5. The more I connect to how my body actually feels, instead of how I want it to feel, the more honest I get – and the more things like rushing start to feel really out of place. Rushing severs our natural connection with stillness and steadiness and instead sets up a momentum of drive and stress.

  6. I can so relate to what you have shared as I believed that life was all about how much you could fit into a day – to get the most out of life. If I didn’t I thought that I would be missing out on living yet my life if, I was honest, was lived with needing stimulants to manage the exhaustion, be it coffee, tea, energy drinks then an alcoholic drink to wind down, or TV and comforting foods to ease the raciness. But now I have discovered that all along what I was truly missing out on was being with myself, that through my connection to my love within, I am already wherever I need to be. Embracing this has changed my life and how I approach my day. Now I don’t need anything to ‘get me through’ the day as I enjoy taking my time knowing what needs to be done whilst honoring and enjoying being with me, as best I can. For if I find that if I have slipped into an old way of being my body soon alerts me and I know I can simply come back to a way of being that I know is true.

  7. “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” Such a profound awareness and a great example of the wisdom of children.

  8. Such a lovely read, thank you Suzanne. Your description of how your body feels when you rush was exactly how I feel, yet rushing has become such a normal way to be. My body has been a great marker for me to indicate when I rush because of the constriction I feel and tightening up, as opposed to feeling still and calm.

  9. Such a good blog- children do have an amazing way with presence when they are young- of just being totally with what they are doing in each moment- not rushing ahead, distracted or thinking what they are going to do next. It is a good lesson for us all.

  10. Thank you Suzanne for a great blog on how rushing feels in the body. I can so relate to what you have shared. And yes babies and breast feeding cannot be rushed, giving us moments of stillness, and gentleness.

  11. Working as a nurse, rushing is something that is fairly common. Nurses will often say that they ‘ran’ through their shift. With so many demands and so much to complete before the next shift begins. I work in community health now and it’s very different, but that sense of rushing can still be there, but in a slightly different way. What I notice the most if I am watching a clock or trying to get things done in a certain time is that I end up getting more distracted and interrupted and most importantly that quality I am in when I am with others is more focused on the job and having things complete, rather than the relationship. I noticed to that when we are rushing, patients don’t want to bother us even though they really need something, so we close the door essentially to us connecting in a more deeper way with everyone when we rush, including ourselves.

    1. ‘I noticed too that when we are rushing, patients don’t want to bother us even though they really need something, so we close the door essentially to us connecting in a more deeper way with everyone when we rush, including ourselves.’ This is so true although I hadn’t made this connection. Of course, we separate ourselves when we rush, we are totally focussed on getting somewhere fast and lose touch with what’s really going on for us or anyone else and people stay out of our way.

  12. I used to always be behind myself, rushing, trying to catch up. Since attending Universal Medicine presentations I am so much more prepared and organized. This feels so much more loving, not only for myself but for everyone around me – far more respectful and honouring.

  13. I have noticed too how rushing has been so ingrained within me. Rushing the kids in the morning, rushing to get somewhere, rushing to do something because I had delayed the feeling to do it sooner, rushing putting my clothes on, rushing when cooking, the list has been endless but making the choice to rush with increased awareness is becoming a thing of the past. It has not happened overnight and there are still areas in my life where I still can find myself rushing but because of how horrible this behaviour has felt in my body and the impact this has had on those around me I now respond to making choices so that I don’t end up rushing. This is having an affect on the relationship with myself and my family where I feel so much steadier and calmer in those moments where there has been a tendency to rush.

  14. “At first I wondered if I was now being inefficient by not multi-tasking” these words made me smile Suzanne, I remember thinking the same thing as I was still in the mindset that doing more was better as I was not used to doing things at first in a slower and more gentle way however I began to enjoy being present with my body feeling the flow of being aligned to my natural rhythm.

  15. We have committed to a lifetime of beliefs and ideals that affect they way we do things and care for ourselves. Often these choices lead to sabotaging the harmony and joy available to us, this can cause a ripple effect in the way others are also effected. The Gentle Breath Meditation is one way that supports us to change our momentum and by doing this we change the reflection we bring to the world

  16. I so recognise what you share here Suzanne, rushing, and trying to maximise my use of time and cut things as fine as possible and I’ve developed all sorts of behaviours to match, but the question I now ask myself is how am I when I get there, am I flustered, am I with it and how does my body feel and often times it’s stressed, and I’m having to work hard to stay clear on what I’m doing. So now I’m starting to give myself more time, and to explore how it feels to actually give myself the time and space to get ready, to actually time a few moments to feel how I am. That’s the thing about rushing it give us no time to feel.

  17. Its funny how we allow ourselves to believe that we are subservient to time and must keep up with this measure, rather than to pace ourselves according to what feels true in our bodies. The power of being present with what we do cannot be denied and as you have shown clearly more enjoyable, plus when we choose this way, space seems to open up and allow us to do everything we need anyway.

  18. After also trying out several meditations over the years, it was only the Gentle Breath Meditation that I felt initiated true and lasting change and was able to bring me down from my head to bring a conscious presence with my body that allowed me to feel the gentleness within and impulsed me to start to make changes in the way I was living so that I started to take my time to do things rather than create a raciness in my body from rushing around from one thing to the next.

  19. What you describe is actually the normal for many many, people. You eat breakfast in the car, and kid yourself that you are doing the right thing, because it is fruit your are eating. The stress we take for normal as well. What really touched me was what your daughter was saying to you “when you rush me, you take me out of love” – she was so right and should have added: “Mummy when you rush you take yourself out of love as well”. Still it did not stop you.

  20. I can so relate to what you have shared Suzanne, racing around was a great way I stay disconnected from my body and how I truly felt. If something was intense in my life the busier I got. If I felt lack of self worth the busier I got. If I was nervous about something the busier I got. I used it to feel wanted by others, I felt if I did all these things for them they would need me. What I’ve discovered is under the raciness lay a deep stillness that we all crave to be walking in.

  21. I can so relate – if I rush, I am prone to make more mistakes and things become even more chaotic than it needs to be. And it’s true we run our life by the clock and not necessarily allow ourselves to eat and sleep as and when we need to.

  22. What an inspiring blog to be able feel the different quality in the ‘rushing about and squeezing in as much as possible into a time slot’ and coming to stop to be with your breath, a have a loving pause before every action. I am sure everyone around you appreciates the difference too!

  23. This brought a chuckle from within – I actually appreciate traffic lights these days – they bring a reminder to stop and pause (red), a moment to be aware of reactions in other drivers and not to get caught up in the picture (amber) or to flow with ease and grace (green.
    “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!”

  24. “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” so true, so very, very true what an absolutely wonderful quote – LOVE IT!

  25. Funnily enough the more I rush the less time I seem to have – when I take my time I have more time (pun intended). Of course we all have the same number of hours in the day it is just what we do with them and what our relationship to them is.

    1. So true Nicola, it just shows that time is not rushing us as an hour can feel very long and sometimes it seems very short, it is us who chooses in what quality we spend time at any time.

  26. “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean”! I can relate to this kind of attitude, it is like that in any job, even when you have a moment you don’t want any one to notice, especially not your boss because they could think you are lazy, wasting time, not needed, got not enough work, are not your money worth, etc.

  27. Spending time with young children has really enabled me to appreciate the importance of slowing down and not rushing. They live in the present and what could be more important than investigating the behaviour of an ant – rather than getting to school on time?!

  28. Just reading the title of your blog I could feel the raciness of the energy of rush. In the past I probably used rush as a stimulant like adrenalin or caffeine but these days if I find myself in the rush energy it feels absolutely awful and shows me I am out of rhythm.

  29. Space in our day is one of the most precious things we can give ourselves. Its like a gift that constantly wraps us with support, love and tenderness.

  30. I felt stressed just reading this, mostly because it’s such a familiar feeling. I think it’s funny how I often get caught in the idea that rushing gets you somewhere faster, despite the imminent mishaps along the way that set you back even further. There is a lot to be said for conscious presence.

  31. “Mummy, when you rush me, you take me out of love.” Wonderful. Rushing to get your daughter to school when she is offering the most precious lesson.

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