It has occurred to me that when someone asks how my day has been, and my answer is “busy,” there is usually an air of agitation and negativity in my response. It’s when I’ve felt rushed- between work, carpool lines, errands, and meetings. It’s when the day has had no margin, and life feels like a series of responses rather than initiatives.
In contrast, when my day has included purposeful, intentional activities and moments that nourish my self, my faith, my family, and others whom I care about deeply, my day has been full, not busy. Full, not busy, is how I want my days to be. Full, not busy, is how I want my life to be.
I talk weekly with people in the throes of eating disorders. The thoughts and behaviors that construct and maintain an eating disorder make life a very busy personal hell. In an anxiety-driven and numerical obsession, in a vast emptiness, in a quest for an unattainable goals, eating disorders keep life from being full.
For some, the body has physically, mentally, and spiritually become emptier. Busier. For others, the body has become so physically full that it crowds out the spiritual fullness that makes life meaningful, that provides the capacity for the body to be a vessel of peace. Others vascillate between the two states. In any case, these experiences can become frantic states that leave one disconnected from the body and busy with external things.
Maybe that is the biggest difference between busy and full. Busy is preoccupied with external demands, obligations, and expectations. Full is experienced within the self, connected to the internal calling and purpose felt at our deepest level of knowing and being known.
Is your life busy? Is it full? What would need to happen today that could create more fullness, less busyness?