Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Time to Pause

Today I discovered an apple core buried deep inside my pocketbook, which was actually left over from last weeks’ snack on the go. Nice, huh? Fortunately, it was in a Ziploc bag, so things could have been worse. I did learn a few things from this apple core discovery though – first, that I really need to clean out my pocketbook more often and second, that I was making a conscious choice of eating an apple rather than some type of candy bar or sugary snack. Most importantly though, I needed to pay attention to the sign that came to me in the form of an apple core – that I needed to slow down. In the midst of the chaos that is our lives, we need to take a moment and pause. A time to stop and be mindful of what is really going on and enjoy the moment with no distractions.
We are all so busy with what is happening in our lives and we are all trying to wear different hats and so often it becomes overwhelming and frustrating. For me, I am trying to be the best mom to my beautiful girls, a loving wife to my wonderful husband, a supportive daughter to my fabulous parents and a caring sibling to my only sister. I am also trying to develop two different business ventures, keep the house clean, walk the dog, manage household schedules and duties and plan and execute nourishing meals that bring my family together. Most days, there are not enough hours left to accomplish everything on my to do list and I have to constantly remind myself that it is ok. I have to remember to work in some “me time” to prevent the chaos from turning into stress. I have to pare down on my schedule, give myself a break and reconnect with myself. By doing this, stress is reduced, frustrations are minimized and I still feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Connecting with myself may come in the form of yoga or going on a bike ride or walking the dog and noticing the flowers that have started to bloom or driving in the car in silence to focus on driving through the beautiful community with no distractions.
By making a conscious effort connecting to ourselves, we may also find that it helps us in our relationships with others. If your teenager is non-stop talking about her dramatic day and you are furiously trying to make a work deadline, stop and pause. By putting down your work for a few minutes and really focus on listening; you may help to cultivate a better connection with your teen. Then, when you return to your work, you may discover that you now have a much clearer, more focused mind. If we don’t take the time to stop, pause and be mindful of the wonderful life that we have in front of us we may not be realizing our full potential and may end up getting stressed out due to our overwhelming lives. We may yell at our kids as a result of this build up of stress, we might neglect to properly care for our bodies by eating or drinking too much, or we might get depressed by what is happening economically and we can’t seem to thrive amongst the chaos. But we can, it’s all under our control and it’s about making choices.
Check in with yourself to see where you are at in your day, or how the week is shaping up for you. Do you have too much on your calendar? Can you cut back or delegate any of those items? It’s a matter of what works for you and how you can cultivate that sense of joy and passion and appreciation for yourself and others in your life. So, pay attention to the signs that come your way as reminders to slow down and pause and be in your moment – alive and awake.

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