My Relationship with Time, Stress & Busy-ness

by Toni Steenson, Coraki, Australia

Time is of great significance in my everyday way of life. Time can either be my ally or my enemy. What decides if it is a support or an enemy of combat is my relationship with it. I have noticed I either allow time to dictate how life happens in front and / or around me, or it is something I can take charge of and direct how it affects me. For example I have noticed if I allow ample enough time for me to do something like get ready in the morning, then time is not an issue, in fact I end up with extra time. Whereas if I try to cram more into my morning than I can fit, I am always playing catch up, never being able to fulfill all it is I wanted to. So I can actually choose whether I have a stressful morning where I feel I am always running out of time with loose ends everywhere, or a relaxed morning where I am able to do all I have set out for myself, feeling like I have all the time in the world.

A huge part of feeling I have all the time in the world is making sure I am thinking about the activity I am physically doing at the time. So if I am brushing my teeth I am actually thinking about brushing my teeth, the way I am holding my toothbrush, how my gums feel being massaged by my toothbrush etc. I find when I have got caught up in the feeling of being busy, not having enough time and playing catch up, it can be hard to keep my mind with the activity at hand. If I give into my mind flitting from one subject to the next, it creates within me a sense of being busy and hectic. Even if I have a lot to do in my day, thinking about this at different points throughout the day, only contributes to a sense of overwhelm.

When I find myself doing this I now choose to bring my mind back to the activity I am doing at the time. I then choose to feel how my body feels in doing the activity and maybe even focus on the feeling of my breath in my lungs. For example if I am driving to work and I start thinking about all my day entails, when I catch myself doing this, I will bring my awareness to how my hands are holding onto the steering wheel, how my mouth / jaw feels, how I am sitting in my seat… the list can go on and on. As I bring my awareness to these things I make choices to change how I may be doing these things, becoming aware of how my body actually feels, and enjoying the feeling as I let go and surrender to just being with me in the moment I am in.

I have also noticed another thing about myself and my relationship with time, and that is I can use time to keep life complex, over-full and stressed. How do I do this? Well, really well at times! I know what I can and cannot do in a day but sometimes I notice I will choose to deliberately overfill my day.

I have noticed I actually choose to do this because there is something happening in my life that I do not want to address. By overfilling my day I have an infinite amount of reasons for why I am feeling stressed, so many reasons in fact that I am able to actually avoid the real reason I am not feeling myself. I recently needed to speak with someone about how I was feeling and I was worried how this may pan out, so rather than speak to them I went into the process of overfilling my day, which led to the overwhelm. I chose to see the overwhelm as my issue, rather than feeling and resolving the original issue of not speaking about how I felt.

So I have learnt I can be a calculated manipulator of time or I can be a creator of time. It is my choice and it is as simple and as joy-full as allowing myself to feel my body in whatever it is I am doing at the time.



203 thoughts on “My Relationship with Time, Stress & Busy-ness

  1. I’m discovering that my relationship with time is very united to the honesty and intimacy I have with myself. The moment I allow myself to clearly observe what I feel and hold myself while doing whatever I do, time is not an trouble anymore, but a confirmation of the support I’m offering to myself and it simply expands with me.

  2. This is a prime example of how we are more in control of life than we may care to acknowledge. All the pressures and stresses we may experience has our hand in there at some point! How we do and are in life is the biggest factor for how we experience life.

  3. I love the learnings and awareness gained, ‘I have learnt I can be a calculated manipulator of time or I can be a creator of time. It is my choice and it is as simple and as joy-full as allowing myself to feel my body in whatever it is I am doing at the time.’

  4. Staying with the activity we are doing, makes so much sense, ‘if I am brushing my teeth I am actually thinking about brushing my teeth, the way I am holding my toothbrush, how my gums feel being massaged by my toothbrush etc.’

  5. It still amazes me how in choosing to have a different relationship with time my life has become so much more spacious and I can no longer hide in busyness and overwhelm. On the days I choose to revisit these old habits my body soon shows me the physical and mental effects of those patterns and the impact they have had over the years but which I now have the tools to release myself from.

  6. I find that reconnecting to me, to valuing my body and how it feels really supports me to come out of pressures related to time. Even if I get caught up in stress around time I can understand why as it’s been a common pattern over my life and it… takes time (!) to overcome!

  7. This is great what you are sharing Tony, and may I add that walking on a daily basis for only around 10 minutes and it can be more. Being in conscious presence as you have shared Tony especially in our walk makes all the difference to our day and vitality.

    1. Thanks Greg for your comment, you’ve inspired me to pay more attention to my conscious presence. I know when I walk with my whole body it feels amazing and I feel really light.

      1. And with conscious presence we get the most loving rhythm and flow, that allows even long walks, and thus we are not placing any strain on the bodies.

  8. Sometimes a day flows and so much can be done and we do not even feel busy. Actually, when I am very present, I find myself actually being more productive effortlessly. Could it be that when we ‘try’ to put so much in our day, we are already exposing ourselves that we are not with ourselves?

    1. When I go into trying it is usually because I am trying to prove myself to someone else/others rather than staying with me and feeling what is needed.

  9. We are in relation with much more things that we dare to admit. Yet, the relationship we establish with them, is always coherent with the relation we have with ourselves as we go through time.

  10. The moment I try to cram too much in I go into drive and busyness which seems to stay with me for the rest of the day, it’s amazing how I end up on the back foot and the knock on effect of earlier choices.

  11. Recently I had a very direct reflection of my relationship with time during a swimming session with Simone Benhayon. In the water I got to feel very clearly the effects in my body when I swam with the thought that I was running late for an appointment, when I swam as if I was running on time and again when I swam knowing that I had arrived early for my appointment. During my fist swim I felt a lot of tension in my body, with the second swim there was not as much tension but there was tension none the less, and with my third swim my body flowed with ease through the water. I now have no doubt that giving myself the space to arrive early for all my meetings is a loving way to ensure my body is in harmonious state and well prepared for what is next required of it.

    1. That’s beautiful Elizabeth, I appreciate your sharing, it shows the level of detail required to support our body to be harmonious and well, and it’s very practical and easy to apply also.

  12. Being connected and aware of one’s body as one is doing things brings truth and honesty to one’s life.

  13. Yes it is amazing how we can fill our days and then wonder what we did when we come to the end of the day and yet, when we live with awareness space opens up for us to get things done.

  14. It makes sense how our relationship with time, stress and busy-ness relates directly to the depth of relationship and presence we have with ourselves and how we choose to move our body, either feeling the natural flow and spaciousness in our movements or feeling like we are always playing catch up, pushing ourselves and compromising our body.

  15. Just recently I found myself waking up several times in my sleep thinking that I had overslept and missed my early morning appointment. This way of running ahead of myself, driving myself into anxiousness is very exhausting and keeps my head buzzing with nervous energy. Thank you, Toni – what you share here reminds me that there is a way to be in the space, with my self, and what may or may not happen next is not for me to predict or dictate, but my job is just move through it with the quality I want to come back to.

  16. I so know that overwhelm of trying to squeeze more into a certain amount of time often at the expense of quality…. but am learning that the more aware and present we are the more space we seem to have.

    1. Cramming too much into our day, especially at the last minute can be depleting, whereas working in space has flow and is supportive to our body.

  17. Reading this today, I’m aware of how I create overwhelm and busyness as a distraction that cuts me off from what I can feel in my body, which is that there is disharmony in a project I’m working on. Overwhelm, anxiety and stress get in the way of us clearly reading situations and calling out what we can feel, even to ourselves – the perfect excuse to not have to take responsibility, by hiding in the self-created overwhelm and stress. It’s quite incredible how we create our own stress simply by over-filling our days and wanting to do more than we actually can, and not being present with what we’re doing in that moment.

  18. I can relate to always playing catch up with time, feeling a tension within me from pushing my body beyond its limit to try to catch up and feeling out of sync and in disharmony from the natural flow when I am present with myself. Now in learning to move in a way that honours my body more this creates more space to fit things in that need to be done without losing all sense of being myself in the process.

  19. “if I allow ample enough time for me to do something like get ready in the morning, then time is not an issue, in fact I end up with extra time.” It is an interesting concept that we think we can create extra time rather than choosing to give ourselves the space to accomplish tasks within a given time-frame.

  20. Being aware of our relationship with everything, including time, is what determines whether we respond or react, as such how we move to the next moment. When we surrender to the truth in each moment, as best we can, we move in a way that creates the space for more of what is needed in honor of that truth to expand, as such we feel ourselves be move by the flow of love. What you have shared Toni is a beautiful reminder of how control really achieves nothing, and surrendering allows us to experience everything.

  21. This was a great reminder for me as I often catch myself thinking about what else needs to be done, and on the days that I allow myself to focus fully only on the one thing I am doing at the time, everything seems to take care of itself.

  22. Toni your writing for me is always very relatable and very practical. Our relationship to time is such an important part of our wellbeing, and I know for me time has been a source of stress quite often, which has impacted on my health. Allowing sufficient time each day to get through my activities and placing me before how much I actually do get done has been supportive. I appreciate your tip too on conscious presence in relation to time.

  23. What makes a key difference to having a true relationship with time or not is based on the relationship we have with ourselves and the quality of connection with our body so that in valuing ourselves we are able to honour our body’s natural rhythm and flow so it then becomes harder to push ourselves and take ourselves away from the natural harmony we feel within.

    1. So true Linda, beautifully said – the nature of the relationship we hold with ourselves have a great effect on the nature of our relationship with everything else.

  24. It is a great one to realise how we can create our own business and overwhelm by putting too much in the day or as I have found to do things that are not needed, like checking Facebook etc. so in the end there is not enough time for what is needed and I can’t do them. It is true that often the issue is not in not being able to do the important things but not wanting to address something in our lives. Be it talking with someone or going deeper in the relationship with ourselves.

  25. This is so true, I like to allow myself plenty of space, ‘ if I allow ample enough time for me to do something like get ready in the morning, then time is not an issue, in fact I end up with extra time.’

  26. It’s a big one Toni. Great to read your understanding and expand on it. At the end of each day things need to complete. The best way to look at this is to break the day down and it complete the smaller tasks. What supports me in this is the quality I do it in – I complete it in how it needs to be done so I do not have to return to it. If I do return it supports and feeds me back in the clarity of my precision and order. So, my quality I must uphold and stay focused with.

  27. this is very practical Toni. I too have noticed how time seems to expand when I stay present with what I am doing. Everything gets done without the anxiousness and drive, and I no longer end up exhausted by my thoughts.

  28. Developing a deeper level of relationship with our own quality, allows our movements to be aligned to the wonders of the universe where space is available to us for whatever is needed for the good of all.

  29. Thank you, Toni. I really got to feel how it is for me as well. If I am not being with what I am doing at this moment, thinking ahead of what else needs to be done etc., I am already trying to fill this time frame, or the space, with something that does not belong – and of course that will make me feel time is running out, because that is exactly what I am instigating. And I agree – our physical body reflects back and confirms what we are experiencing at this very moment and how, and offers us a great point through which we can come back to ourselves.

  30. This is a great expose of all the ways we distract ourselves and lose connection with our bodies and end up feeling rushed or pressured for time. I know it’s a pattern I can go into at times because I am avoiding feeling my power and how simple life can be when I choose to be present and aware in each moment.

  31. I find that if I don’t feel I am enough then this affects my relationship with time. Not feeling I am enough leads me to be more driven to get more done and hence rush through life without any true connection to what I am doing. When I know in my heart that I am enough – and more than enough – I find myself able to slow down, to relax into what I am doing and be fully present in it. In this, there seems to be more than enough time to do all that needs to be done.

  32. So true Toni, thank you for sharing your wisdom here. This is something I am very much aware of and have to work with every day. Sometimes I feel myself going into a rush and whilst there was a time when I used to live that way, today that feeling of rushing feels deeply disturbing and disharmonious in my body. Recently I have experienced what it is like to be more honest with myself about what I can and cannot do in a day and when I allow this to be my guide, my day is much more self-loving and harmonious as a result. It is interesting to note that most days, I complete more when I master time rather than rush about. Rushing about is as you say, an avoidance of something we need to express or see in our lives.

  33. I’ve also found that the simplicity of returning to my body and what it is I am ‘doing’ at any given moment, is what brings me back if I find myself caught in pressures and stresses that are based upon time Toni. In exploring this – via the continued inspiration of the work and teachings of Serge Benhayon for several years now – I’ve found that underlying any such stresses, there is always an issue related to a lack of worth and true valuing of myself.
    As the way I value myself has grown and remnants of past lack of worth been healing within me, I actually find that the quality of being with my body, and my depth of presence in all that I ‘do’ goes to deeper levels – an experience of deeper ’embodiment’, connection with myself and all, and purposefulness in what it is that I dedicate myself to.
    And so thank-you for this blog – to reflect upon what impacts us in such regards, and what is truly underlying any anxiousness, pressure or stress we may find ourselves experiencing, is valuable beyond measure.

  34. Very interesting learning – seeing and observing how about we go about time and how we can very knowingly misuse it for our own creation and or drive. Hence, we are our own lifetimes creators and we can make it hard, tough and complicated (almost like you are going against time or in constant fight) or easy, simple and smooth (as we listen to the impulses of the heart). It is that simple, and we know it!

  35. It defies what we think we know about time when we stay present and connected to ourselves and only think about the thing we are doing. Time and space simply open up.

  36. Thanks Tony… It really is that simple isn’t it… Just stay connected with your body, and we will have the most amazing readout of everything that is going on within and without.

  37. A great sharing to ponder on Toni in how we become a manipulator or creator of time and that we are able to choose to build a true relationship with time that allows us the space to surrender to the simplicity and joyfulness of being present and in connection with ourselves aligning us to the ease and flow of our body’s natural rhythm so that we don’t push ourselves out of rhythm and into stress and busy-ness.

  38. Thanks Toni, it was great to read this again and feel how much has changed for me around time, and how much more I am simply with me as opposed to being ruled by time and feeling stressed and pressured. I still at times (!) find myself wanting to jump ahead to the next and next things, but staying present in the moment feels so much more steady and enjoyable.

  39. “Time can either be my ally or my enemy” I know I have used (the lack of) time as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility and to maximise what is on offer, as you have mentioned Toni, it is simply a choice to come back and reconnect and live life from the impulse of what is needed at each moment and not from the complication of control of how we like it to be.

  40. Thank you Toni for this reminder that coming back to the body settles everything. That I have an ability to stop and enjoy what I am feeling and to enjoy being me just being here regardless of what I am doing.

  41. We use and create overwhelm and stress so as not to feel something that we don’t want to deal with…I can see how I do this all the time, and use it as an excuse. Although I say that I love the feeling of stillness and the spaciousness that comes with it, there is still a part of me that loves the whirlwind and the stress, the excitement and the busyness, and I often lose myself in it. What I’m starting to feel is that this is a depleting way to live. I can either make choices that support me to feel still and steady in my day, or ones that make me feel stressed, anxious and then exhausted. The fact that this all comes down to our own choices is super empowering.

  42. Mmmm….. I have never considered I overfill my day – but I do – strange – as I am not incredibly busy, but I think my body has been calling for more rest for months – but I have been overriding and ignoring this. I also wanted to share that stress can make someone very very ill, affects relationship, other people and as well all know, a person’s health in many ways. But it’s a very serious and common thing, especially in the corporate and construction world – there is so much pressure put on people and many are in the same ball game, so very little people are reflecting there is another way to be, work and live life – one that is not compartmentalised and where everything is treated with equal importance, respect and care.

  43. ‘If I give into my mind flitting from one subject to the next, it creates within me a sense of being busy and hectic.’ I love this and I can relate to this sometimes even feeling important with so much to do instead of committing myself with doing one thing at a time and staying present which offers simplicity and space, our mind can make us go crazy creating complexity and overwhelm by not having enough time. It makes no sense the choice is actually truly easy.

  44. “By overfilling my day I have an infinite amount of reasons for why I am feeling stressed, so many reasons in fact that I am able to actually avoid the real reason I am not feeling myself. ” I can relate to this, I use to do this a lot, to avoid expressing my truth, those where the days when I lacked confidence in expressing my truth. So I would just keep my days filled, being busy. This was so exhausting.

  45. I love how honest you are in exposing the patterns of behaviour you choose in order to avoid what being in the flow of life can offer you. It’s amazing how cleverly we can fool ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is necessary when in truth we are just avoiding a deeper connection.

  46. Creating busyness and jam pack days is a great form of distraction that I can also relate to getting caught up in Toni. I know when I find myself in a state of feeling stressed or overwhelm from all that supposedly ‘needs’ to be done, that there is something that I am choosing to avoid addressing. My relationship with my body has been the greatest guide as to knowing if I am moving through my day in connection with me, in truth. As when this is the case there are simply no issues with time, and a far greater space is available to bring my presence to all that I do and all that truly needs to be done.

  47. The relationship we establish with time is crucial, it is the consequence of the relationship we establish or not with space. If we do not choose space, time is the kingdom of fuzziness and living in such a cloud where you run behind things which deprives oneself of oneself.

  48. Heavens I hadn’t seen that pattern of being anxious about a conversation and then rushing, stressing and filling my time so I didn’t arrive at the conversation steadily but I can think of way too many examples where I have done that! One to choose to see very clearly from now on and to make a different choice!

  49. Beautiful Toni, I love that you have observed your going into overwhelm as a choice to avoid feeling something that needed to be addressed.
    I also loved this line . . . ” becoming aware of how my body actually feels, and enjoying the feeling as I let go and surrender to just being with me in the moment I am in.” . . I will take this into my day.

  50. Thank you Toni, in highlighting the simplicity in which we are able to deepen our relationship with time from feeling how present and connected we are with our body, the depth of awareness we are able to open up to and how much we are able to feel.

  51. I love the simplicity in your approach to time Toni! We tend to make it so complicated but really it is just the choice to allow ourselves more space to do what needs to be done being present with ourselves in it and the rush is gone.

  52. Thank you Toni for sharing your experience, I loved this line also which I can relate to an avoidance issue I have at present going into overwhelm. “I chose to see the overwhelm as my issue, rather than feeling and resolving the original issue of not speaking about how I felt.”

  53. “I chose to see the overwhelm as my issue, rather than feeling and resolving the original issue of not speaking about how I felt.” Toni I love what you have shared so honestly as it is exposing how I can choose to create the overwhelm to keep me away from what is really necessary to do.

  54. Toni,
    It continues to amaze me that when I choose to be present and with my body, my head clears, my body straightens and lengthens and I know exactly how to use the time I have to achieve what I need to do.

  55. Great blog about time. “A huge part of feeling I have all the time in the world is making sure I am thinking about the activity I am physically doing at the time.” I agree – staying present with whatever activity I am doing at the time also reduces my stress levels.

  56. Yes I can see that when I am not connected with myself and what I am doing time and other things become the issue. This is a great realization.

  57. Time is still a source of stress for me, especially the thought “I won’t get everything done.” It’s an old pattern of going through life stressed and in a frenzy, instead of being connected to me and letting what can be done be done, and letting go of the rest. Life becomes like an unending pile in front of me, instead of a joy-filled day connected to me, exploring life and all of its wonders. Stressing out (including about time) is a very reduced way for me to live.

  58. This is such a powerful and practical look at how we add to and create overwhelm and stress, and equally how we can not only stop this but also learn from the experience and live a completely different way. These practical examples of staying with what you are doing and only thinking of that, could be just the thing to prevent checking out and daydreaming and in more extreme cases alzheimer’s.

  59. There is a saying ‘More haste, less speed’ and perhaps we should add ‘ More space, less time’ meaning that the more space we choose to be with ourselves in the moment the less we are ruled by time.

  60. Toni, I never equated that keeping myself busy was an avoidance to connecting with myself, but of course it is. When I choose to take on too much my mind starts to race and the next thing that happens is that I leave myself, an end up in overwhelm. It is a work in progress for me at the moment, to keep my mind with what my body is doing.

  61. Ah yes when I get into the busyness of the day it is obvious I have lost connection with myself and am attached to time and fitting everything in, when I remain connected to my body and am present with everything I do, time seems to slow down and everything gets done without the stress and pressure.

  62. It’s true we constantly manipulate and play with time to create problems in our day, for example, in finding a way to be a few minutes late that creates enormous stress and tension in our bodies and ripples out to effect our whole day. It really does show that we are the self-creators of the reality we live in.

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