Just after Clayton passed, I was forced to get a second job. I started up an online business which allowed me to work from anywhere. I wasn’t locked into a schedule, at a location with someone else’s requirements. I worked extremely hard to quickly get to a point I felt financially safe again. I hit that mark and continued to maintain that level of busy.
I realized that I had needed to be always “on” not to maintain the business but because slowing down and sitting in quiet would bring huge waves of paralyzing grief. I distinctly remember that when I hit my first real goal I told myself I could completely take a day off with my phone on silent. I slept in, got up, made coffee, sat down with my dog and the intensity of pure silence in just sitting caused me to lose my breath weeping. I had been so busy that I hadn’t processed much of my grief from losing Clayton and my dad. It was overwhelming, painful and dark. That place held very scary fears and I refused to let myself sit in silence so I went back to “Busy Bryan”. I wasn’t ready to sit comfortably in my new normal’s quiet so I avoided it.
Through the rest of year one and all of year 2, my time was filled to the top and overbooked. I had a full time job, my side business, 2 different blogs to write weekly, travel to speaking engagements, communities to help foster, the gym, my dog, social media and any other excuse I could find to be busy. Even during the worldwide quarantine, when everyone else is stuck at home, I had to work full time, more people came to my side business and I was on zoom calls for all sorts of groups and virtual events.
Now that life is getting back to it’s new pace (whatever that really is), my life is starting to slow down a bit more. I am starting to really pay attention to myself, my wellness and my quality of life. Yesterday I felt the heaviness of constantly moving. I received great news involving projects I was working on and I could take a huge breath. Without thinking, I just sat in that moment feeling positive, accomplished and I thanked Clayton for helping me achieve some monumental goals. It was quiet. It was relaxing. It was safe. I took the day off with little distraction. Somewhere along the way, something changed. The fears that flooded me 2 years ago were nowhere to be found. I felt at peace. I felt balanced.
Up until that moment, I kept reminding myself to stay busy to keep away the quiet. Without thinking, I gave myself the permission to sit in calm and found I had grown tremendously since that huge panic attack almost 2 years ago. I don’t really like to sit still but at least I know now that constantly being active is no longer a self-preservation mechanism. I’ve become a better busy Bryan…