I suck at many things. I’m not skilled in the kitchen. I have challenges folding and hanging clean clothes and putting them back in the closet. And I have sent more plants to Heaven than I care to confess to.
But I know where I’m really good in my life. Where I am “profesh”.
I am a profession rusher, worrier, list maker, trying to shove too many days in a hour. Now, I can get back to center by prayer, mediation, petting my dogs, holding my children, exercising or getting lost in a good conversation, or beautiful prepared meal.
And when I rise, I swear someone hits me with a stupid stick and I’m raring to go with thoughts like this…
Did I make that call?
Do I need to check that email?
What are we having for dinner?
Do the dogs need to go pee?
What’s the day today… what bills are due?
Did I miss someone’s birthday? In real life? Or on Facebook?
Is there gas in the car?
Do I need to reach out to a friend and tell him his mother who has passed is coming through? Can he handle it now?
Do I need to call the friend who was going to call me back and hasn’t?
Shouldn’t I check on them and make sure they are okay?
Do I need to pick up milk?
All while I’m in the bathroom.
Does any of this madness feel familiar? Even if just one of questions is banging around your head, then it’s time to do something different. It’s time to hop to it and stop rushing our lives away.
While a certain amount of energy is needed to get things done, rushing from one event to another or one thought to another can leave us in an exhausted state physically, mentally and emotionally. Our rational brains know this isn’t the way to live our lives, but we diligently, habitually and willingly do it again the next moment.
Why do we impose such torture on ourselves?
We do it out of fear.
Fear that if we don’t do everything, it won’t get done.
Fear that if we don’t help everyone, people will get mad at us, look down at us or even stop loving us.
Fear that this is all we know and we can’t change.
FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.
We are terrified if we don’t try to do all the things, respond to everyone everywhere on social media, that we are missing something very, very important.
And we are.
By telling ourselves the story of fear in our lives why we have to do it all and we’d better hurry, we are losing our REAL TIME LIFE.
Your REAL TIME LIFE is
Waking up rested and safe in your cozy bed.
It’s hearing your dog snore.
It’s noticing the sound of your best friend laughing at your warped sense of humor.
It’s the smell of coffee.
It’s hugging someone a bit longer than normal to show that you feel their grief and you’re with them.
It’s enjoying the silence of the church, an empty gym, or your car when you are by yourself.
Your REAL TIME LIFE is when for that brief sweet moment, you get clarity that you and every one you love is only here for a limited time, and you should make this moment count by feeling gratitude.
If we can create the understanding that we rush, not because of a true-life emergency but out of fear, we create awareness. We need this awareness that we rush and here’s how we can do it.
Three things you can do now to hop into your REAL TIME LIFE.
- Perfect the Pause.
Remember the advice that when you are angry, you should pause before speaking? Why stop there?
Practice pausing before you jump out of bed and feel the gratitude of waking up to another day.
Practice pausing before you eat. It could be with a prayer or just a deep breath to focus on how you are about to nourish your body.
Pause before getting together with a group of people whether it’s co-workers or friends and create the intention of what kind of energy you want bring to these groups.
Pause before responding in any conversation. Really listen to the other person and not just start formulating what you want to say or think you want to say.
Pause for a moment of peace. Pause for a moment with your pets. Pause for a moment with nature.
Pause for a moment of kindness for yourself and remind yourself that in this very moment you are doing your very best.
- Schedule it. Seriously.
If you want to hop away from the stress of rushing then schedule the most important things on a calendar. When you write it down, put it in your phone or computer, it becomes real to your conscious self. Things like exercise, yoga, time with family, helping others need a place on the calendar so you can feel the commitment and honor it.
And if there are things you don’t really have to do, drop them. Don’t even add them to your list or life. And here’s another tip, schedule in some time for nothing to do. This way, you can enjoy not having to commit to something else or this time can help buffer your schedule if you are the type who tries to do too much at once with no time.
- Unplug. Daily.
Everyday, schedule an hour, or half-hour, or ten minutes that you are COMPLETELY UNPLUGGED. This means not looking at your phone and turning off the sound of your devices so you don’t get a dopamine hit every time you hear a ding. If you haven’t done it before, it may feel a little unsettling. But every time you can do it, you’re training your mind to rest and not use it’s reptilian brain of reacting in the fight or flight mode to every sound or light you see on your electronic device.
Your REAL TIME LIFE is worth it. And by taking these main steps, you allow your mind to stop rushing in to the future and be fully present. These are moments that you will remember clearly at the end of your days, the ones that you remember as the time of your life. Now, get to hopping. Peace.