A Race With No Finish Line

I have always been a very driven person. Some would see it as bubbly, excited or motivated, but recently I have been supported to see that actually it is an unnatural drive, it is something I do that isn’t actually a part of who I am as a person. For example, when I close doors, cupboards or drawers, I would often be halfway through closing it and already be turning to do the next thing, or leave it to close on its own as I walk away. Or I would leave one task half-finished to start another and swap between, rather than completing one before moving on to the next.

I realised that this drive and motion was playing out everywhere:

  • The way I walked (or rather ran) to catch a bus or the train
  • The over excited way I talked and gestured with my hands
  • The way I would be the first up from the table at dinner and clearing away the plates even before other people had finished eating
  • The way I would be so easily scared by someone walking up behind me
  • The way I would be thinking about everything except focusing on what I was doing there and then.

Once I became aware of these behaviours, I started experimenting with feeling when I go into drive and motion, and when I get stimulated and leave myself behind. I am now working on catching when this drive creeps into my day and instead of staying in it, stopping to bring myself back to focus on me and what I am doing right now.

For example, bringing a focus on my breathing, the way I open and close a door, the way I am sitting or walking. These things may seem simple, but they allow space to be with ‘me’ in what I am doing in that moment, whether it be catching the bus or eating my dinner.

What I then found is that as I did this, an underlying anxiousness started to rise up to the surface, showing itself in dreams about making mistakes at work or waking up in a panic thinking I have overslept my alarm when I know I hadn’t. I realised that it has been this anxiousness that is the force behind the drive I have in life, an anxiousness based on not feeling enough or being good enough, and so having to drive to prove myself and to get recognition.

As I work on addressing the drive, the anxiousness is becoming more apparent because the coping mechanism is no longer being allowed to play out. I can now see that I need to begin to appreciate that what I do and what I bring is enough, for then and only then will the anxiousness and the need to prove myself resolve.

I then asked myself the question – why am I choosing to live this way?

What is it that the anxiousness and drive stops me from getting to feel about myself?

I discovered when I am caught up in the drive, there is no space for me to stop and actually feel what is going on with me, or with other people. Being in this raciness stops me reading what is going on in situations and being able to bring my all to it. When I am moving at a million miles an hour, at least on the inside, it is much harder to be present in the moment and deal with what is there to be done, even if it is as simple as preparing and eating dinner.

What I am beginning to find is that by introducing more space, I am more able to feel what is needed in each moment – i.e. what is needed to be said, done and how – such as, is it time to get up from the dinner table, has the conversation finished and the meal drawn to a close? Is the decision I am about to make true for myself and other people and what is really needed, or am I just doing what seems to be ‘right’?

The change this has made in my life so far has been amazing and it is having a knock on effect on so many other things. I am now more open and honest about how I am feeling because I am more present in my day to notice.

I am connecting more with people because I am not so caught up in my inner race and so have more space to actually stop and meet them in the moment.

And I find I am not getting so caught up in things because I am making more space to step back and look at the situation before responding. I am by no means perfect in this, there is a whole lot more space to be made in my life, but I am beginning to see every day as an opportunity to learn.

A huge thank you to Serge Benhayon and my Universal Medicine practitioners, who have always presented that I am everything before I do anything – a valuable lesson in a world where your worth is defined by what you do, and not who you are.

By Rebecca Briant, 19, PA and Student of Politics, London, UK

Further Reading:
Anxious Much?
To Rush or Not to Rush: That Is The Question
Connection to Self Through Conscious Presence

850 thoughts on “A Race With No Finish Line

  1. Very interesting to read how you have identified appreciation of yourself as a counter to anxiousness, and it feels like we deliberately introduce anxiousness to avoid connecting with space, which would eventually and inevitably let us know the enormity of what is.

  2. And the thing is, that this race mode as you say Rebecca, is something that so many many people think is cool, and the way to be, with absolutely no idea of the toll that it is taking upon us

  3. The metaphor of a race sets up the stage. If you decide to participate in it (if this is how you see life), you can either quit or finish. Yet, who are you racing against? And, that is the key since you are racing away from yourself who in truth needs no races.

  4. What a blessing it is to know that when we truly connect we do not need to be a part of this ‘race with no finish line’ that has sucked most in. Racing through life compounds anxiety as it is competitive and very stressful

  5. All races race us eventually into the ground. It is an exciting ride but very costly to our love and our well-being.

  6. The act of completing something, even the small things, and then pausing to note the completion, allows more space.

  7. Having no finish line is huge. So much of my life I have spent thinking when I get this or that then I have made it. It is like I have been programmed to want a rest stop, a moment where I can go ok great and rest. But what if we are here to expand and forever deepen so the moment we complete something it is so something greater can come. It brings the what is next rather than the look at me I’ve just done this. Sure it is important we appreciate and confirm what we have done but we can do this moving forward otherwise the moment we stop we stop our connection.

  8. Isn’t it interesting how much honesty comes to us when we sleep? I have found there is a potential for another layer of honesty available to us if we are prepared to listen.

  9. What is so important is to feel the difference between purpose and drive… The spherical versus the linear, the multidimensional versus the two-dimensional… The difference between joy and anxiety… What’s amazing is that I need to be constantly reminded of this!

  10. When we use drive and motion to get through the day we are totally run by time and miss out on being open to feeling space and that this beautiful quality can bring to our life.

  11. A great reminder that drive closes down space and makes everything about time. Something I have spent a lifetime doing but slowly learning to stop doing so. Getting a balance between motion and repose is a key part of this and very much a work in progress.

  12. Being in drive and push used to be the perfect way to be busy all the time, not deepen the relationship with myself and others and not surrender to the stillness and sacredness inside.

  13. I can so relate to what you have shared regarding drive Rebecca and are aware that I constantly pit myself against the pressure of time and in that rush, allow it to compromise the quality of what I do.

  14. There’s nothing worse than listening to someone and being anxious that you have to get on with whatever it is you have to do. I find this in the care work as you are on a limited visit, which is these days is all checked electronically using mobile phones – so the office knows your every move. The client wants to talk, but we have to get on with the practical side of things – I know we are there to do a job, but people want to connect because they spend hours on their own, so it’s understandable that they want to have a conversation with someone.

  15. “What is it that the anxiousness and drive stops me from getting to feel about myself?” And also stops us from being aware of others and everything that is going on around us.

    1. Yes, never to feel what is truly going on, though, if you look a little deeper what is truly going on is love, truth and stillness.

      1. Well said Christoph, we tend to get scared off by the layers of hurt we encounter when we first start feeling again not realising that this is just a very thin veneer compared to the enormous love and light that lies beneath it. Worth scratching that surface I would say!

  16. A great article Rebecca on living with drive and raciness and how it feels in the body and how creating space by being consciously present enables us to be present with our body with each situation reading what is there to feel and being able to respond openly and honestly with the situation,

  17. Yes, when we’re running at a million miles an hour on the inside it can feel like we don’t have any feelings and we greatly diminish our ability to read situations, just because we’re not with our bodies to be able to notice what and how we’re feeling. Bringing our focus to each moment really does create the feeling of more space, because we’re in the moment and can then complete the thing usually much quicker than when we try to focus on many things at once. It’s the opposite to the multitasking mode where we perpetuate the ‘never enough’ feeling, and always trying to catch up with ourselves.

  18. I recognise so much of this in me and around me, so many of us live life in a state of anxiousness and have coping mechanisms which mean we often do not see them. When we drop those mechanisms we get to see where we truly are and that is the start for an honesty and a space to feel what is going on and respond accordingly.

    1. I agree, and wouldn’t you say it is a constant unfolding monicag2? where there are layers we are ready to see and as we choose whether to address that layer we are then offered the next layer. So all in our own time.

  19. Thank you Rebecca, this is very supportive to read this to understand drive. I feel that beliefs of ‘not being enough’ and ideals of ‘doing a good job’ and needing to ‘get things done’ as a priority over myself are definitely at play when drive is present. The anxiousness you speak of underneath the drive is really pivotal because there are often layers to why we are as we are, and understanding these and addressing them in practical ways are part of the healing process.

  20. “As I work on addressing the drive, the anxiousness is becoming more apparent because the coping mechanism is no longer being allowed to play out.”
    The understanding shared here brings a great awareness to why it is so very difficult to let go of substance abuse, or anything that we use to ignore feeling our body and the truth of the life we have made.

  21. I can so relate to waking up in a panic, this was something that I used to experience frequently. With this anxiousness running my body, I never even felt my body, as such. I no longer wake in a panic and what is so very profound is that on waking I can feel the silkiness of my body, my presence within it and a steady readiness to ease into my day.

  22. The simplicity in bringing our awareness back to our body, the way we’re holding ourself, moving and breathing affords us the opportunity to be more aware of the quality in the way we are approaching life.

  23. I have been noticing recently a real power and natural authority that can be had when we are with ourselves in absolute presence with our body. Sometimes we go into rush and drive to avoid challenging others with this natural authority.

  24. “I am connecting more with people because I am not so caught up in my inner race and so have more space to actually stop and meet them in the moment.” When we are able to take this time to stop and appreciate another because we have taken the time to appreciate ourselves more, we open ourselves and the other person up to so many opportunities that would otherwise not be there and avaialbe to us.

  25. A point you gave me to ponder on is, when to get up from the dinner table. This has been coming up for me recently where I dishonour myself and do not do what I want to do. I have given my power away and do things by others rhythms and don’t honour my own. I can feel then I go into the reaction of this and shut people out and do my own thing. The truth is learning to express myself within the group.

  26. It is amazing how easy it can be to get ahead of myself, it is like I can move onto the next thing in my head without actually finishing what I am currently doing. The more I let go of the mind and what is next the more i can be present with what I am doing and the more ‘time’ I have for those around me as I am not trying to race onto whats next rather allowing it to come to me.

  27. “As I work on addressing the drive, the anxiousness is becoming more apparent because the coping mechanism is no longer being allowed to play out” – Rebecca i love the insight you draw here.. and how that in the reducing of speed, race, drive, strive, rush, stimulation and so on.. other aspects do get revealed to us. And it just shows how much motion is a cover and something we use as a crutch almost to not feel other things in life; about life.. and about ourselves, others too.

  28. I love the draw half closed identifier as it is a physical manifestation of when we are not with ourselves and committed to completing what we are doing. In these simple and small moments, they can teach us so much about the bigger picture about how we are with ourselves and others. You have given me some good food for thought about my own drive and what is behind it.

  29. Great to become aware of unhealthy patterns and behaviours in our lives, we then know what is driving us and hence can choose a different, more supportive way.

  30. We can be so driven in our lives, and we can think that this is so normal. And yet when we do find stillness, and those pauses that nurture us so deeply, it is like lifting a veil of awareness, and we see what is actually going on in the world.

  31. Society tends to value people who appears to be “bubbly, excited or motivated”. There is no doubt that they do not go unnoticed. Because of this, there is also an expectation that they will deliver bubbliness, excitement and motivation on a consistent basis. After all, these are the features by which you are known to others. So, they have to walk the talk and reduce themselves to fit that image. It is a self-built jail that reduces them as beings and conditions their movements.

  32. It can make a real difference to have simple ways of re-connecting with our body and how we’re feeling in what we’re doing, bringing our mind back to our body and movements in the moment, giving ourselves the opportunity to be more aware of the way in which we’re living.

  33. The ironic thing about all of our rushing around is that we don’t end up feeling like we’ve achieved more, but usually just more checked out and unaware of how we’ve been. Yes, sometimes we do need to move fast to catch a bus or to put out a fire, but most of the time, we don’t need to rush. It’s just a choice of movement and an alignment to energy: rushing and checking out that leads to a disconnection, or steady focus and presence, bringing more connection to what we can feel, and an innate knowing that we are enough.

    1. I agree there is never really any need to rush as it usually, well always for me, results in my body becoming racy and on edge. It starts as soon as I try to look ahead and anticipate what is coming rather than being fully present with myself in the moment.

  34. Great point of reflection: do we go about our day awake and aware of how we’re moving, how we’re being in each moment, or are we in non-stop momentum going from one thing to the next, without ever stopping to notice? And what is the impact of each of those choices on how we feel about ourselves, our relationships with others and the wider impact on the world?

  35. I notice that I live in a way that makes sure I am racy, for example if I leave with just enough time to get somewhere then I will feel the tension of not wanting to be late and rush, it may be subtle but it’s there. I am then more impatient with traffic and I’m guaranteed to arrive where I am going wound up. That wound up doesn’t need to be agitated and impatient (which it can be and often is) but also, excited and bubbly as you described. Either way, it doesn’t matter as they have both taken me away from feeling settled in my body.

  36. Great observations Rebecca, I can recognize this. I actually identified it was good to be racy, to get a lot of things done. Identified with the doing. Now I see that it just a trick to not stay connected to myself and feel what is needed, feeling that I am already enough, beautiful and amazing what ever I do.

  37. It is so lovely to reflect on how I was living life even a year or so ago when I would finish my day still pushing to get things done, it feels so different to the way I prepared myself to sleep last night.

  38. I can feel that it is utterly exhausting to push through life trying to get things done without looking at the quality I am doing them in. I often slip into drive, it is only recently that I’ve started to clock when I shift and it seems to be when I devalue myself and feel I am not enough that I start to push to validate my own worth.I love how you have shared that it is by valuing ‘what you do and what you bring is enough, for then and only then will the anxiousness and the need to prove myself resolve’

  39. I love your honesty in everything you have shared here. ‘For example, bringing a focus on my breathing, the way I open and close a door, the way I am sitting or walking.’ Things like this are super simple and practical in supporting us to come back to the truth of who we are. Allowing us a stop and moment instead of just tumbling through the day with one thing after another and not truly being with ourselves .. like being on a continual convey belt with no stop! I know this one well as I have allowed it many times but really appreciate how my body is calling to me this can no longer be lived. It is great when we start to question how we are living.

    1. I like how you describe it as tumbling through life – its like a uncoordinated jumble as we move gracelessly from moment to moment, just muddling through. It leaves life as much less than it could be – in creating more space we give ourselves the opportunity to stop our down hill tumbling and move ourselves through life rather than having it move us.

  40. I so recognise this, the need to rush, to be efficient, and in fact it’s a great way to mask what is going on. So now I’m learning to be more with each thing and to see when I go into that race, there’s perhaps something I’m avoiding feeling and wanting to see. And the best thing is that it keeps unfolding, and it does indeed give more space to see what is needed in each moment.

    1. Thank you Monica, I agree that we can be masking what’s is really going on when we allow anxiousness and drive to rule our lives. The simple stop moments Rebecca uses are so supportive to continually allow ourselves to connect to how we feel, and to take care of ourselves as a result. Life then becomes also more about taking care of ourselves rather than placing what we do first.

  41. Rebecca, this is a great remedy for anxiousness and I have noticed with myself that this works; ‘I need to begin to appreciate that what I do and what I bring is enough, for then and only then will the anxiousness and the need to prove myself resolve.’ I have noticed at work if I am present with myself and appreciating who I am and my qualities then I do not feel anxious and I enjoy my work, if I am not appreciating myself and am in self doubt then I can get very anxious and work is very un-enjoyable.

  42. “I discovered when I am caught up in the drive, there is no space for me to stop and actually feel what is going on with me, or with other people” – agree Rebecca, I can relate to this very much.. because if you can’t feel what’s there, then you have easy abdication from otherwise activating the enormous greatness that’s there asking us to be responsible towards understanding whole-life as it is, raw, energetically true.

  43. It feels so different when we allow space to occupy our day instead of the constraints of time, by allowing raciness, rush, stress and drive to take over. Interestingly, I seem to choose the latter more often than not, but I am noticing and appreciating more and more each time I let go of this way of moving and expressing.

  44. It is a blessing for allowing so much self-reflection and observance in your life as you do Rebecca. We learn that far too little if at all in this world and put no emphasise at all regarding these personal things in our education system. I have always observed with children/students that struggle with a certain subject in school, that it is not the topic itself but that it always had to do with the lack of knowing themselves, knowing what they needed and knowing the rhythms to live by to go through life with ease and joy.

  45. What a gift to learn this at 19. Living this way causes so much less wear’n’tear on the body, it is one of the best gifts you can give your body is to be with it and not against it.

    1. So very true “What a gift to learn this at 19.” We are robbed of so many things simply by the way we are brought up and all the things that do not work, like stress and rushing, that society instills in us. So what a blessing to be inspired that there is another way, where you build yourself a solid foundation to go through life on, that saves you the many struggles we deem so normal in this world.

    2. This is so true Sarah, I am becoming more aware of when I am fighting against my body, whereas in the past I would not have taken much notice of what I was doing to my body because I thought it was normal to run my body down, not listen to it or care for it.

  46. I have realised that I need to bring more and more appreciation into my life, ‘I can now see that I need to begin to appreciate that what I do and what I bring is enough, for then and only then will the anxiousness and the need to prove myself resolve.’

  47. Living in the rush of nervous energy and drive, we are always living ‘beside ourselves’ and can never feel complete. Allowing the time to re-connect, to be in union with our body is the most beautiful and natural medicine.

    1. How very true the saying that you are ‘beside yourself’ because that’s exactly what it feels like, to be almost separate from the body, trapped by the feeling of anxiety of drive so that you never feel totally prepared for life because you not fully connected with yourself.

  48. What a great realisation to come to, ‘I realised that it has been this anxiousness that is the force behind the drive I have in life, an anxiousness based on not feeling enough or being good enough, and so having to drive to prove myself and to get recognition.’ Wow, by understanding this old pattern you can now work on letting this go and healing this, as you are doing.

  49. Our connection and presence are paramount, and affect the quality we move in, I am learning to keep these as my marker, instead of just getting something done and going into drive.

    1. I’m learning the same Lorraine, and it’s been Esoteric Yoga sessions that have really supported me to make my life more about the quality of my presence and how I move in that, rather than what I do and how much I can get done, which is usually done in complete disregard of myself.

  50. Thanks for sharing this Rebecca, I never really thought that by going in to race mode was a way of ignoring what is there to be felt but it does make a lot of sense. I love the way things flow when we are able to stay present with ourselves and even the gentle, or maybe not so gentle reminder of a twisted angle when I have got too far ahead of myself.

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