How was your Day? – “Intense”

The last two years of my life have been very, very busy. I have been living away from home a great deal and the work hours have been long – between fourteen and twenty hours a day, mostly seven days a week. The work has been challenging on many levels, the learning curve steep and I can say that I have never worked this hard in my life. On top of this I have been juggling my family life, maintaining and building my relationships and also trying to keep abreast of the other work that I do besides my day job, as well as finding the space in all of this to look after myself.

Certainly it has been a busy time but my story is not unique: working hours are expanding, the internet has blurred the boundaries between office and home, and many of us are seeing that, with the world as it is, there is always work to be done.

For this whole two year period I have been running a dialogue that everything was super ‘intense.’ Every time I spoke to family or friends and they asked how it was going, I would reply that it was ‘intense.’ Every day I would wake up expecting the day to be ‘intense’ and every night I would go to bed reflecting on the ‘intense’ day that I had just had. On top of which, I would look at the schedule ahead and see that, sure enough, it was going to be ‘intense’… next week… next month!

I was writing my own future.

I knew it was going to be ‘intense,’ I said it was going to be ‘intense,’ I invited it to be ‘intense’ and, sure enough, it was. I was pre-disposing myself, my movements and my body to an ‘intense’ day and therefore was immediately holding myself in the tension of that intensity:

intense = in-tense.

But there are extra levels to this game that I was playing.

I was pre-laying excuses for my irresponsibility over this period. By getting out in front with dramatic stories about how full-on it all was, I was absolving myself from any slip-ups that I had been making along the way, whilst also trying to ensure that people didn’t pull me up for some of the choices that I had made – how could they possibly understand or challenge the way I was being, because they’d have no idea what I was going through? The more dramatic it sounded, the more excuses I had.

Furthermore, by running this dialogue, I was completely and consciously capping my awareness. I was giving myself pre-meditated permission to keep my head down, the blinkers on and just get through the day and by doing this, was choosing to not read the truth of each situation. I was in effect saying; “No, I don’t want to know or see more, because that might expose the game I’m playing, so I’m just going to deal with the intensity in front of me.”

I had built the perfect merry-go-round to keep me exactly where I was and, whilst on that merry-go-round, there was no way that I was going to say yes to seeing more, yes to anything else I could be doing, yes to awareness, yes to growing.

But the truth is that the ‘equation’ that I coined earlier in this blog, intensity = in-tense, in fact works the other way.

And it all starts by getting self out of the way.

All of the above is protecting the creation that much of my work is, the investment that I have in it and the recognition that I seek for it.

And this puts me in huge tension with the truth of what I am, the true purpose of what I am doing and the enormous power of my true expression and the all that I can bring to the world. It prevents me from walking alongside the unfathomable support that I have on offer, in partnership and absolute equality with my heavenly brothers and heeding the undeniable pull of the true divinity that I am and to which I can inspire many to return to.

So, living an iota less than this then obviously puts me in tension!

Very simply, if I get myself out of the way, then I will not be in this tension, I will not be in-tense and thus the day can no longer be intense.

No self = no tension = no in-tense = no intensity. 

So you see? The intensity is created by me.

Since really accepting this game that I was playing, a huge weight has lifted from my body. It is early days… but something happened last week that shows me I’m definitely onto something. I was in the shower contemplating the day and suddenly found myself asking, “what else could I do today?” For the last two years I have been constantly struggling to deal with the mountain that was on my plate, and so the notion of asking for more would have been utterly insane!

But here I was, with space, a lack of ‘tense’ in my body and a true willingness for more.

I said at the beginning of this blog that I have never worked this hard in my life – if I make work ‘hard’ then yes, it is ‘hard.’ It really is that simple; a choice to choose self and thus to stay in-tense, or a choice to accept and appreciate how much more powerful I am, how we are designed to work and how true evolution comes from saying yes to more.

And now, with this new learning, I am seeing that there is room for a great deal more and, amazing beyond amazing, that fills me with joy.

By Otto Bathurst, 46, man, husband, father of three children, Film and Television Director, Bath, UK

Related Reading:
Stress at Work
Addicted to Being Stressed
High Stress, Poor Health: Can we Change the Way we Work?

794 thoughts on “How was your Day? – “Intense”

  1. When we talk about our day being intense and that there is so much to juggle, we do create a barrier for people/others to not ‘bother’ us with more, and equally as Otto has so beautifully shared it gives us an excuse or a ‘get out of jail free’ card to not take responsibility for other things or try to get sympathy from others with what we are going through. This is in fact a game we play and sadly we are the main ones who get affected by this and exhausted in the end.

  2. Otto, thank you for this fantastic blog – I am going to have to re-read it a few times as it feels like I am still stuck in choosing to see my life at times as being very intense too. I so understand how I create this myself and the words and my choice to see it as being intense is what actually makes it so, rather than the day itself bringing that to me directly. Thank you!

  3. It opens life up when we are willing to see things in a whole new way, to challenge our perceptions, and experience how life can be without our own impositions. We can be so limited by our own consciousness, I’ve seen it many times in myself. Otto I so appreciate the reminders here to be open and aware of more loving ways to be, and that life does not have to be a certain way.

  4. Even as a kid I believed that we were masters of our own universe (and I didn’t grow up watching He-Man) I knew and still know that we create our perceptions and realities.

  5. Words can either take us closer to our Essences, Inner-most-hearts / Souls or be a huge distraction and keep us in deep illusion, and thus understanding the energetic Truth of words is super important for our evolution.

  6. “what else could I do today?” Realising that we just have to be all that we are so that the ‘doing’ is already ‘done’.

  7. “…heeding the undeniable pull of the true divinity that I am and to which I can inspire many to return to. So, living an iota less than this then obviously puts me in tension!” Very simply stated! We are very good at creating our own realities and perceiving life in a way that is convenient and comfortable, and often through the lens of our hurts, and to keep ourselves in irresponsibility.

  8. We can create our own labyrinth and get lost in it, but it’s okay because as the creators we will always know the way out.

  9. It’s so easy to place all that is going on around us as directing how we feel, and yes life can certainly be intense or challenging, but it feels really beautiful to bring it back to ourselves and whether we are living the connection to our soul or not as the true reason for our sense of stillness and love, or disturbance and feeling unsettled.

  10. Life is intense when we choose to disconnect from God and from who we are, hence this is why so many people are finding life so intense. We often seek remedies to lessen the intensity instead of eliminating the intensity by going straight to the cause and stop fighting who we are.

  11. I can really relate with what you have shared here and am so aware that for the last week I have been saying I feel tired and that it has felt I have been on this treadmill that never stops … however, I have created this! It is so true in that our livingness, how we live, either supports us or doesn’t and a great reminder to bring it back to quality and first the quality in how we are with ourselves.

  12. “I’m just going to deal with the intensity in front of me.” I am starting to clock when I repeat mental pictures, reactions or conversations. It stops me being aware of what is beyond that which I am focusing on, keeping me at a certain level. Another reminder to keep feeling the quality of that which I am repeating.

  13. Saying yes to more that is the thing and doing so without expectation of how it should be and we should be in this – this is very possible if we make the foundation of our life about quality, about bringing that quality to all we do. We set our own ways with how we move, how we speak, everything.

    1. When we think we have no more space and time for anything else, and yet we still say yes to the next thing, it is amazing how things can shift and change. When there is true purpose, there is space for all that needs to be done.

    2. Letting go of pictures and expectations is key in our lives, ‘without expectation of how it should be and we should be in this’.

  14. I was working with someone recently and they were very intense it was like being next to a pressure cooker. I did wonder how anyone with such pent up stress can keep going without exploding in some way.

    1. They do sort of exploded in that they constantly let of steam like a pressure cooker all the time and everyone else gets assaulted by that – eventually it turns in and the body will develop some illness or accident.

  15. I used to be a very busy person and get stressed about how much I had to do. I very rarely feel like that these days and most likely do more than ever although it does not feel that way. The way I see it is that I am here with my all every day and I attend to whatever is there and feels true to me to attend to in that moment and whatever does not get done clearly didn’t need to happen in that moment or it would have.

    1. Sometimes what is there for me to attend to is quite surprising. For example I might have some sort of apparently urgent job and somebody comes into my office needing support and I end up speaking to them for 30 mins rather than doing what I had thought was urgent. Today to my great surprise I found myself going for a swim in the middle of the working day and came back refreshed and was super productive in the evening.

      1. Prioritising ‘jobs’ is indeed an ‘art’ – and comes not from the head but from the body.

  16. A gem Otto, thank you. It exposes the way we set ourselves up, but we can live in space and rhythm which supports us to embrace more, and intensity doesn’t have a part in that.

  17. Great points here, really there is always a huge amount of things that are going on. However of those things how many times do we get caught up and feel the intensity and how often do we see the day as an opportunity with whatever comes our way?

  18. This is a great example of how we run with these pictures which in effect give us the excuse to ignore everything else in our lives. I’m in this situation at the moment where because I have to focus so much on my college work that everything else has had to be put on the back burner and what I realised four weeks in is that the course hasn’t been that difficult (up to this point) but the reputation it has of being brutal is something that I at times have chosen to run with.

  19. We definitely do write our own future and most of us are not even fully aware of the oh so many subtle ways in which we subconsciously do this. Last week when I looked at my working week it was jam packed and I could feel myself starting to get anxious about this as i had lots to do. What I could feel is how I was living my week before it had even begun. I had put my body in ‘busy’ mode when I was not even doing anything! I noticed this and something changed and yes the week was busy but what I appreciated is how most of the time (not all of the time!) there was a flow and joy with this and could appreciate how I planned each moment to support the next.

    1. True, we do write our future, what choices are we making, ‘I was writing my own future.
      I knew it was going to be ‘intense,’ I said it was going to be ‘intense,’ I invited it to be ‘intense’ and, sure enough, it was.’

  20. Thank you for your gorgeous honesty, Otto. Being aware, observing and understanding the significance of the words we use in an incredibly powerful self-healing support.

    1. I love the honesty and awareness you came to, ‘No, I don’t want to know or see more, because that might expose the game I’m playing, so I’m just going to deal with the intensity in front of me.’

  21. I love what our are sharing here Otto. In the end it comes back to ourself to reflect and see why we create the days the way we have them. Are we standing in our own way to prove something, to get the recognition that we crave, etc. etc., or do we allow the abundance in ourself to be there in everything we do and then some more.

    1. We do stand in our own way, we cap our evolution, great to catch this as Otto did, ‘I had built the perfect merry-go-round to keep me exactly where I was and, whilst on that merry-go-round, there was no way that I was going to say yes to seeing more, yes to anything else I could be doing, yes to awareness, yes to growing.’

  22. I know that feeling, of using a busy period and a feeling of being stressed as a defence. A thin veil I pull over to act as a barrier and effectively say to the world…. ‘keep out, I’m too busy’. Everyone loses from this – I’m disconnected, and those around can’t enjoy any kind of relationship.

    1. I know I have been on the giving and receiving end of a relationship of “I’m too busy to connect” and it feels horrible to receive. However, it’s only when I feel how horrible it is to give to myself first is when I do something about it.

  23. I love what this blog communicates about our self-created perception and through that applying our own self-limiting hand-breaks to the possibility of expansion and being more. I have been noticing that it is not even necessary to be working as hard as is mentioned here for us to choose the label of “intense” and feels its impact. We are at the liberty of randomly choosing such limitations whenever and wherever we choose.

  24. You know, I’m quite sick and tired of constantly hearing empty how-are-you’s. We’ve come to a place where these three words no longer mean “how are you”, they’re just a conversation starter, a protective tool so that people don’t feel my vulnerability when calling for a favour, or just so that we look good and like a caring person. But if the true care for the person is not in that sentence, the words mean nothing.

  25. So revealing how we may color our life and get so identified with what we do and be the owner of end results, and the process – like, ‘look at me and what I have done, how much I have done’, and what I can feel is how we are missing the point and actually shortchanging ourselves when it comes to appreciation. We are so much more than we allow ourselves to settle for on this plane of life and there’s so much more on offer for us to connect to. And so much more can be done when we get ourselves out of the way.

    1. There is so much more on offer for us to connect to, do we block or allow that, ‘It prevents me from walking alongside the unfathomable support that I have on offer, in partnership and absolute equality with my heavenly brothers and heeding the undeniable pull of the true divinity that I am and to which I can inspire many to return to.’

    1. I agree Elizabeth you can actually see the tension coming out in the way that some bodies actually shake with tension. I was on a plane recently and the legs of the passenger sitting next to me were shaking and the person across the aisle from me had what some might call a nervous twitch; he was constantly drumming his fingers on his arm while at the same time clicking his fingers with his other hand! Both people were totally unaware they were acting in such a way.

  26. What a huge realisation and a deeper understanding of the tension and overwhelm plague that is crippling our world. When we make life about ourselves of course there will be tension as we are working on meeting our agenda rather than flowing with what is needed for the all.

  27. There are two ways to deal with busy and challenging times: 1. using it as an excuse to have a break of evolution or 2. knowing that everything is there to evolve us, especially the most challenging situation, accepting that and dealing and growing with whatever comes up.

  28. What a leap… To start letting go of the intensity, to realise that there actually is a flow, there is a connection, and within that reconnection there is effortlessness and grace

  29. I’m a guilty user of ‘intense’… it’s the one word that sums it all up with out saying much else. But really, saying what is feeling intense will probably help clear the tension!

    1. Expression is everything. In expressing it gets the chance to be looked at and you can become more honest about it. In shortening it with ” intense” you simply cut yourself from feeling deeper into it and renouncing what truly makes the intensity.

  30. Intense = in-tense, we live in tense all the time, that nervous energy that runs through out body, oh I am so familiar with it. Questioning whether everything we do is correct, perfect even. Whether our work, way of being is good enough/will be accepted. At the end of the day it boils down to: do we feel worthy enough in ourselves? Do we feel good enough and content in who we are.

  31. I was joking with someone just yesterday about how people’s default response at work is ‘busy, soo busy’ (and it’s not uncommon to hear ‘intense’). And fair enough if that is the case. The point I’m making is that there is often a lot of baggage or stuff behind that response: wanting to be perceived in a certain way, seeking sympathy, drive, recognition. I’ve said it myself. But ultimately, by being truly honest with ourselves and others, we can change what is often a formality into a deeper and more truthful conversation.

    1. I changed it around- I do say that I am very busy and peoples reaction is always very funny, as they think they need to feel sorry for me. But I then respond immediately how much I love it to be busy and how much the things that I do are needed. It totally changes the perception of people which is beautiful and sometimes very amusing to observe.

  32. When we forget about the purpose for doing something and instead just focus on the end result and what we may get out of it, we simply set ourselves up in tension. And if by some chance the outcome is not what we had hoped for up goes the level of tension once again. We, as humans, seem to have living in tension down to a fine art, but it has been a choice to do so, so if we don’t like where we find ourselves, in the very next moment we always have a choice to make a very different more self-loving, and tense-less choice.

  33. Pretty cool to have your eyes wide open to the dramas and complications that we can create in our own lives. Once we see it, we are more aware of it and from there can make choices. When we remain blind, we cannot.

  34. This does make me ponder, is there more to the fact that we seem to have an abundance of tension in our lives? Is there a part of us (however small) that enjoys that drama and the conversation about it that ensues?

  35. There seems to be a craving for this intensity, whether it’s extreme sports, extreme partying or pushing oneself to achieve impossible targets. There is a thirst for the dramatic and sensational, there is continual pushing of the boundaries. Is it because we are not accepting ourselves for who we are? We are not recognising what amazing and incredible creatures we are without all this razzamatazz? were we to stop for a moment and connect to what’s inside this scientifically stupendous body and begin to feel what’s going on deep within and around us on levels we have until now ignored we might begin to realise we have got it all – and the deliciousness of life is not in the extremities.

  36. Building a relationship with Space and not Time…this is the key to maximising the volume on offer when we make life about evolution and not existence.

  37. Intense is a really interesting word that so many of us use yet how often do we actually create that intensity for ourselves? More often than not if my day is intense its because I’ve chosen to get caught up in the day rather than being me and dealing with whatever comes my way that day.

  38. What I love about what you share here is that you start out with a reason (excuse) why you had to be the way you were but then come full circle back to you, finding the responsibility in your own hands why you were the way you were. However way we turn and put things they come back to us, the power lies with us.

  39. Otto this is a really honest blog and I’m sure that many of us can relate to what you have shared. There was a period in my life when I also lived in a way that the more dramatic I made my life sound the more sympathy I felt I gained from others that then justified my way of living. No on pulled me up perhaps because they were getting something from the drama of my life?

  40. It’s okay if life is intense if that is our choice. Honesty is key. We like the intensity. Our complaint may be there but we like it as we are choosing it. But we can also surrender to our choices really surrender, to the intensity and the exhaustion, taking the responsibility in acknowledging yes this is our choice. And it’s okay. We only fight intensity when we are not honest, that we know there is something deeper but we are not choosing it and yet want to not admit it is our own choosing, so we suffer even more than being honest of the creation we choose. Choosing creation is what it is, not good or bad, we can just be honest about it.

  41. Could it be that we get addicted to the tension, the level of stress we have in our lives, because without it we are left to feel our relationship with space and all that is communicated to us through it? Or we could say, that it is this relationship with space (how open we are to receiving universal wisdom/God’s love) that directly relates to the amount of tension we feel. If this is so, then it is not the elimination of tension that we must seek but more so a relationship with it that will ensure we keep moving in a way that allows us to surrender deeper and deeper into this field of communication, allowing more of what lives within us to be expressed out.

  42. When I find myself going in a rush or stress I bring myself to a stop, call out what I am doing and move forward in a way where I feel stillness And space again by letting go my to do list. Just start as new and feel what I need to do next.

  43. We are the creators of our own intensity and I have found the more intense my day the less I am able to observe during the day, and when I focus on my awareness I am at ease with myself.

  44. Thats great to understand that particular revelation… the more dramatic, the more excuse was there… humans just LOVE stories…and until we let them go, we stay trapped.

  45. A real eye opener of a read today, thank you Otto. I can see how much I play my own version of this game and how in doing so it keeps it all about me and is a very clever way to avoid being called to more responsibility. A very wise woman once told me that I couldn’t be faulted on my work but the question was if I was being all I could be and the answer I felt was no, but the trick I played and still can is to offer enough so I can’t possibly be called out as not doing enough and of course there was a talk track to go with that. And all of this exposes how much we can make is about ourselves and how exhausting that can be, and how when we get ourselves out of the way we allow space to ask ‘what more could I bring?’

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