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

805 thoughts on “A Race With No Finish Line

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.’

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. “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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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’

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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