Take Five, The Power of A Pause
(Read this in under 4 minutes)“Don’t miss anything. Don’t miss the game. Don’t miss the performance, don’t miss the movie, don’t miss the show, don’t miss the dance. Go see everything and experience all you possibly can.” ~ Jim Rohn
Autumn is a glorious time for a road trip. The skies are bluer, the weather is kinder and the crowds are smaller. Most likely we still have several weekends before the snow really flies and takes the joy out of travel. This post is what I will call a second helping. I wrote about this a year ago but the place I’ll describe is so worth a visit I just have to share it again. Hang with me, I’ll get to the church in the picture.
I’ve lived my life stuck in high gear and I jam as much as I can into every waking hour. I walk fast when I don’t need to and I always talk too fast. I instinctively stab the “close door” button in elevators every time. There should be passing lanes in malls and I’m terrible at waiting. I’m a checkout lane hopper. I always try to get “just-one-more-thing” done, so I often run a few minutes late no matter where I’m going. To be honest, I embarrass even myself.
Here’s the rub, folks. I’m all about making the most of every moment and living life to the fullest, believe me! But somehow in the race to make every minute count we have to find some kind of happy balance between going, doing, becoming and taking time to smell the roses. That’s a pretty tough gig, would you agree?
So what do the experts say we should do to “reverse the curse” of our addiction to speed? Unfortunately, I know of no twelve step program for this problem but there are some steps that are mentioned again and again. Thankfully they are small and easy to manage until we get the hang of taking life a little slower.
Five Ways to Pause and Refresh
Begin the day with a short pause. Take a few minutes to sit quietly and simply breathe before grabbing the cell phone and checking emails or messages. Even better, think of things you are grateful for or spend a few minutes reading something uplifting or inspiring. Establishing a good frame of mind in the first minutes of wakefulness will pay dividends all day.
Take mini-mindfulness breaks a few times a day. When you begin to feel that tightness of trying to get through your long to-do list, take a quick mental break. Even 5 minutes of getting up, walking around, getting a bit of fresh air will help you regain your focus. Humans were not meant to work for several hours without mentally “coming up for air.”
Quit trying to multitask all the time. Few things are more over-rated than trying to do several things at once. Focus on the task at hand and you will get through your list not only faster but with fewer mistakes.
Put no more than three things on your to-do list. For real. Write down the big ones first, the ones that will actually make a difference. If you get nothing else done, you will have accomplished a lot. You’ll get real good at deciding. When those are done you can make another list.
Stop before you drop. This one took me about 45 years to learn. Be smarter than me. It’s okay to leave some things undone. Nothing is worth the constant sacrifice of sleep (except maybe getting through the first weeks of parenthood.)
Sometimes we simply need a pause!
Now, about that church. I’ve driven by a striking structure that’s quite visible from the Interstate about a hundred times. I always think to myself, “I’ll stop there sometime.” You too? Well, my brother has said the same thing often but this time, he did stop and the instant he entered the space he felt a peaceful presence that will stay with him forever.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”~ Rumi
Every time he goes by it again, he’ll think of those precious minutes and remember the feeling it gave him. Out of a 168 hour week, he paused for 30 minutes or so and took the stunning photos that I’m sharing with you. That’s what a pause can do. What are we waiting for?
Has this church caught your eye as you fly by on I-80 just outside of Omaha? You say you want to go see this breathtaking place yourself? I hope you do and that it blesses you! Need information? Here you go!
See you again Monday! See life with new eyes!
I’ve been to that chapel. Gorgeous. Especially at night with the lights and water trickling down the sides of the aisle.
Great insight Betty on slowing down. I need to hear that advice almost daily!