Most of us live in a very fast-paced world. Being able to multi-task is looked upon as being essential in order to keep up with the many demands placed upon us, both at work and at home. This ability is coming with a high price, though! How many of us are able to really appreciate the moment, when we’re doing several things at once? Are we able to do our best at any task when our attention is only partially on each thing that we’re doing? What about the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing that we’ve given a project our undivided attention, and put our whole heart and soul into it? What happens when we feel so much pressure to produce, that the end product is more important than the process of getting there?
This can take a toll on us, physically and emotionally. When we lie awake at night, wondering how we’re going to get everything done the next day, or when we wake up in the morning feeling tired and overwhelmed before the day has even had a chance to get started, something needs to change. Some people thrive on this busy, hectic lifestyle, but most of us don’t feel our best, or do our best when we’re under this kind of pressure.
What can we do? The word “do” is important to focus on here. Unfortunately, there’s so much emphasis placed on doing today, that the value of being has too often gotten lost in the shuffle. We can begin to feel more rested, more peaceful, and more nurtured by learning how to be. As always, it’s important to make any change a little at a time, by taking small steps. The first step could be setting aside two minutes a day to sit quietly, and just focus on our breathing. This can be done at home or out in nature. The main thing we need is peace and quiet, so that we can learn to let our nervous system relax and be still. Our busy minds are going to be coming up with all kinds of thoughts at first. That’s to be expected. We just notice the thought and send it gently on its way. After the first week, we can add another two minutes a day. Go slowly, and keep adding small increments of time each week or two. As time goes by, the thoughts will begin to slow down, and a sense of quieting (learning to be) will begin to take their place. This is a gift of time, and space, that we can give ourselves. If you try this, it will be interesting for you to see what other changes might happen as you learn to look at life in a different, quieter way.
In my next entry, I’ll talk about some ways to slow the doing down, by prioritizing, delegating, and letting some things go. If you decide to give being a try, let me know how it feels to you. Remember to stay patient with the process. Life doesn’t change overnight.