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The dis-ease of being busy


How are you?

Or rather, what I’m asking is, ‘how is the state of your heart?’

On holiday in Turkey last week, taking time out to reflect, I read a few articles about a subject which struck me as very relevant in life right now – ‘The Disease of Being Busy.’

Adults and kids, our lives, our health: we’re all suffering from busy’ness or being so busy.

Far from feeling like they’re LIVING, it seems many feel like they’re just surviving. It’s the modern dilemma we see in the media, on our social media feeds, on the playground, in the office, in the street. Technology has done so much to enhance our lives and to excite us – yet at what cost?

Immediate, instant ‘pleasure’ or reward has replaced delayed gratification (which my generation grew up with). We want fast food, fast service, fast technology, fast transportation, fast… everything! We are on our devices all the time; little or no division between home and work.

And what is this way of living costing us? For our health, physical and mental? Our relationships? In our careers? What are we doing to our kids?

Over-scheduling, overdoing, over-complicating – for some of us, trying to please everyone and be perfect – and sometimes, sadly, killing ourselves in the process.

In his article, Omid Safi* writes about ‘how did we end up doing this to ourselves? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?’

‘What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?’

Safi* said, ‘in many Muslim cultures when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? Or How is your heart? How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?’

When I ask, ‘how are you?’ that is really what I want to know’.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that is what we all ask each other? Not ‘how busy are you? What are you worried about, what is on your to-do list, what haven’t you done?’

… instead:
How is your heart, right now, today?

‘Are you sad, are you happy? – examine your heart, soul and tell me something about YOU?’ Are we in touch with our own heart and soul enough to know? So we can connect with others in the same, meaningful, unhurried, authentic way. I invite you to take time out of your busy schedules to find out.

So when you next ask someone, ‘how are you?’ and they reply with how busy they are, we can follow up by saying “I know, honey. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”*

At Incognito, we have a big heart which beats through everything that we do. It’s important for all of us who work here to examine our lives so that our big, beating heart is as pure as it can be, to make as big a difference in the world that we can make.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”.

Wishing you lots of connection this week with those you love, and doing what you love,



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