Do you make time to:
- connect deeply with others in a way that calms and heals both them and you?
- watch the sun set, stare at the stars, or walk in the woods and connect with the larger flow of life?
- read the books that inspire you and pursue the passions that make you feel alive?
- engage in the causes that take you out of your little bubble and make you part of something much larger than yourself?
Is there a narrative running through your mind something like “There’s so much to do and so little time.” Moments shift, seasons end, and years slip by, almost as if we never lived them.We are so busy doing that we seldom step back to savor life as it unfolds. And it’s affecting us in profound ways — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
So how do you create more time and space?
Work with Intention
We live most of life through habitual patterns of thought and behavior that don’t serve us well. We may waste it in ruminating, or in perfecting a project that is already complete
. We may waste it in splintering our attention among a hundred different tasks, or in distracting ourselves with the buzz of our phones and the pings of our emails.
First, what’s on your to do list that’s NOT essential? Let it go.
Then pick a task, turn off the distractions, focus on the task until it is completed, then let it go. Now it’s time to stop, check your texts and emails, and decide what to do next. By focusing in on only one thing at a time you will be more productive and feel less frazzled.
Connect with Nature
Find ways to disconnect from the sameness of work and bring more awe into your life. The research on awe shows that it forces us into the present moment, expands our perception of time, and makes us more willing to help others. Some suggestions: place a bird feeder within view of the kitchen window; pause while doing dishes and watch the birds. Go for a walk during your lunch break and look at the trees, the flowers, or whatever is in your landscape.
What are you doing to expand your life? And how can you do more of it?
Restore Yourself Every Day
Don’t just count on your annual vacation to recover from the fast pace of life. Vacations are a wonderful short term fix. For the long haul it is important to design in daily retreats for rejuvenation. Some suggestions: a phone call to a friend just to say hi, a 20 minute bubble bath at the end of the day, a 20 minute tea or coffee break with a good murder mystery when your brain can’t write another sentence of that report, a five minute dance break, stopping on the way home to buy a bouquet of flowers to place where you spend the most time in your home, 5 minutes of meditation or guided imagery or sitting in silence looking out the window to escape the hubbub of what’s happening around you, an early morning workout at the gym, a true lunchbreak – get out of the office rather than eat at your desk.
What are you doing to enrich your life?