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?

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

  1. Wow – thank you, thank you, thank you for making the space to write this Otto, it is a blog I will definitely be re-reading as I so often wrap myself up in the ‘intensity’ of work.

  2. All we have to do is bring all of ourselves to each day with love integrity and awareness and the space will be there for what is to be done. Thanks Otto for exposing how we can set ourselves up to be less and avoid what is so lovingly on offer.

  3. Thank you Otto, this is perfect timing for me to read this today as lately I have been saying to others how intense life has been for me. I can see how I am creating this and then constantly confirming this back to myself giving me an excuse to avoid responsibility and my greater awareness.

  4. “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.”
    This statement is how it actually is, in truth. We are here fully supported by our heavenly brothers. The question I constantly ask myself is why do I not accept in full my equality to my heavenly brothers? It is totally ridiculous that we doubt this truth, but we do, and until we are able to accept in full our equal grandness, the tension of our lives will be felt in our bodies.

  5. This is a great reminder of how we are always setting ourselves up for the day and the future with the inappropriate use of words.
    “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”.

    1. Well said Stephanie, the responsibility of how we live, speak and move becomes much more refined when we know, without doubt that such a way we choose will bring more of that same way.

  6. Love it Otto. I get so in-tense sometimes I feel like the world has closed in on me and I may explode – which is not at all pleasant for me or others to experience. Recognising the absorption of the intensity around us as a bodily tension is definitely the first step to deconstructing it.

  7. Yesterday I felt totally committed to the job I was doing, even though the amount of it seemed impossible. I found myself feeling joyful as I committed more and more, and enjoyed engaging with everyone along the way. I observed myself talking to a customer and asking her if there was anything else that I could help her with. I felt so committed I wanted to go the extra mile even though I already had so much to do. This felt so different to the days when I wade through my work feeling grumpy about it. I felt on top of my work instead of drowned by it. It was all in the attitude.

  8. I loved that I reread this blog today as I have just started a new job and had fallen into the ‘this is so intense’ trap as I am learning new systems and new skills. Reading this is a great reminder that I can take a step back and take the self out of the picture and simply allow things to unfold.

  9. I can certainly relate to this one. How I create the intensity is interesting. You are correct Otto, it’s the self getting in the way, whether for identification or recognition etc that is what leads us to feeling in-tense. Over the last month or so, what I have observed is that I have a lot more space in my day, but I am recognising that I don’t know how to be in that space, so I have created all sorts of things – intestines, issues, dramas, being busy or even time out to make sure I am receiving some kind of identification. Learning how to be in space with me is a weird but amazing feeling at the same time and I don’t have to exhaust myself or get in-tense in the process.

  10. It is valuable to read and be reminded that we create our own intensity when it comes to situations. Intense would be a word I would have used when visiting the dentist but have chosen of late to change the relationship I have with my dentist and the work that needs to be carried out. So, now I appreciate what my tooth is telling me, the healing that is being offered and the disregard that can be released due to the procedure. Also, it is not the dentist we dislike; it’s the procedures and the previous bad experiences that cloud our perceptions. So, it depends on how we look at things that can make a situation intense or not – ultimately it is our choice.

  11. I do find it revealing how much my perception of how something is going to be affects how I actually am whilst there/ doing it – it’s amazing how much we can create ‘drama’ where it’s really not necessary!

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