How to Cure the Busy Lifestyle Syndrome (BLS)
So what is BLS? Sounds more like bullshit but unfortunately it is not. It’s the real deal and all of us suffer from it, well maybe not all of us, but most of us, myself included.
According to doctors at CPS Research, a Glasgow-based clinical trials company, the syndrome is caused by hectic lives bombarded with information overload from mobile phones, BlackBerrys, TV, radio and the Internet. “We believe there are widespread signs of the problem,” says spokeswoman Angela Scott-Henderson, “Our attention spans and concentration levels are going down. It’s getting to be more common, affecting people at younger ages.”
It’s real. It’s really real. And we know it. We see it in our children when they can’t make eye contact during a conversation. We see it in ourselves when we scroll from one site to another on our phones, computers, or tablets, checking emails insistently and seeing who’s posted what on social media sites. We see it in the frazzled looks of other drivers as they multitask with their phones at the stoplight, sipping a supercharged latte and gorging on the lunch that, in most countries is savored. Lunches in Italy take 1-2 hours and it is a complete sacrilege to even dare to eat or drink while driving, much less walking. When I was in Rome my body slowed down, emails waited, calls were postponed to a block of time and my family was savored. Ahh! They work to live instead of us who live to work.
I’m pretty sure that although they work long, hard hours, they won’t end up with this God forsaken syndrome. There were so many times that I walked down a little cobblestone side street only to find another extraordinary piazza. So many times I sat in complete silence and enjoyed doing nothing. I didn’t think about what next crisis would be covered on TV. I didn’t long for the incessant hum of electronics; I sat, drank, ate, savored. I watched the pigeons peck at the gaps in the cobblestones, lovers canoodle on benches, and grandmothers and grandfathers holding their grandchildren’s hands patiently explaining the quirky questions posed. You know the ones: What are the clouds in the sky? Why does the moon come out? How many flowers are in this park? I just sat.
Every moment does not have to be captured immediately, retouched, given the most appropriate, and posted on Instagram or FB. Your memory and a journal will do that. The crowd at home can wait to hear first hand how the trip was.
This syndrome is all over the place. Forgetfulness, stress, and anxiety are running rampant — especially here in the land of milk and honey.
So what’s the cure?
Well, let’s see… Big Pharma has a solution… pop another pill. Now mind you I have nothing against popping a prescribed pill or two, like when my body’s chemistry is completely out of whack from years of constant fight or flight response (see my posts on our family’s PTSD journey) or I am in severe pain, like when I broke my ankle. But it wasn’t and isn’t my go to cure all.
Big Pharma is already looking to find a drug to minimize forgetfulness and maximize memory; it will be hailed as the cure for BLS. The drug will not cure us, of course, it will maintain the status as a chronic condition. The drug will have multiple side effects. Like most other drugs on the market today, you’ll be watching the ad on TV and you’ll see the girl skipping down a lane and focusing intently on her blissful life all while some drone reads aloud each and every complication they found in trials.
What if there’s another answer to the syndrome?
What if we can do one thing that changes everything?
And what if that one thing is meditation?
The Dalai Lama is frequently quoted about the value of meditation. In fact, he believes it is critical to health and wellbeing. I totally agree. The quote in the story goes something like this, “How are you able to fit in daily meditation with such a busy schedule?” The Dalai Lama smiled and replied that on normal days, he meditates for one hour in the morning. He then smiled even bigger and said that on extremely busy days, he meditates for two hours in the morning.
Out of that one step of meditation came being fully present in everything we do (even doing the laundry can be a Zen meditation — trust me I know), being mindful about our thoughts, actions, and words (most of us get two out of three… sometimes), and shifting our mindset about ourselves and others through movement. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
What meditating did while I was in pain both mentally and physically was calm my body, mind, and soul. What meditating did was create the foundation for this newfound life of presence. Do I still get frustrated? Sure. I’m not an avatar but what I have noticed is that I can process it much faster and with more compassion. I can observe myself in the situation. My ability to slow down and smell the roses, listen to the birds, and tune in to my children, guides, and to my Higher Self is much more apparent.
Multitasking is not our friend, taking one task at a time through prioritizing is. Enjoying life and experiencing all that life has to offer with consciousness is. Getting rid of inane actions is also a friend, and yes, that means turning off the TV programming that keeps us in a drone state.
Is that why it’s called programming?
Giving ourselves the gift of time to rest, relax, and pamper ourselves is also a dear friend and luxury we can afford. My son has a t-shirt that says: Namast’ay in bed. This t-shirt says it all. Chill!
To learn more about Juliette Taylor, visit her website www.JulietteTaylor.com. She is also open to emails with questions, comments, or concerns at Juliette@juliettetaylor.com. To schedule truly begins the rest of your life, visit her website www.juliettetaylor.com today.