Sometimes my thought process feels like it’s the disclaimer you hear for car ads on the radio. It races ahead, quickly thinking about all that lies ahead of me, everything I need to do, what I have to check off a list. It spins my head. Even today, I was walking our dog on early in morning, my favorite time of the day, and I was through today into next week in my head. Sometimes I’ll start talking to someone and I’ve already had the first part of the conversation in my head so what comes out is mid-way through and makes no sense at all.
I’m often thinking about the next move. What I have coming up. I think my busy mind has been also on overdrive at night lately. I’ve been having crazy dreams – which I don’t normally do. I was telling my coach about one yesterday. I was in the Philippines, a place I’ve never been. I came out of a corridor and there was water everywhere, like in Venice, with a lot of Asian influenced statues. I floated around on a statue head, trying to take a bunch of pictures because I only had a short time. Then I rushed to a hotel room where my husband was, he wanted me to hang out, but we had to get to the airport, fast! Then I was changing my clothes in a public bathroom, ran into someone from work, and ran through the airport for a flight, telling others to keep up. My coach looked at me and said it sounded like rushing all the time while my husband wants to just hang out with me. Just like that, calm, cool, she summed it up. Mic drop, walk away.
It was an oh crap kind of moment. I’ve been thinking about it today and wonder if, in the midst of trying to stay ahead of the game, I miss what’s right in front of me. Maybe I already know the answer to that, but I don’t like it. I’m in, but am I truly in the moment? Or, am I too busy looking at the next thing. Even though I thought I knew this about me, I thought I’d made progress towards slowing down. Apparently not.
In today’s busy lifestyle, it’s far too easy to fall into this trap. What can you do to safeguard against it? What steps am I going to take to slow down (and believe me, I’ve already slowed down from the pace I used to go).
First, if you find yourself starting to spin, take a breath. Really. Just slow down and take a few slow breaths. It has the effect of calming you down, slowing the cadence of your movements, let’s you think clearer.
Next, think about what is actually on your plate, right now. Not tomorrow, but in this moment. You may be afraid you’ll forget everything else you have to do, but you won’t. And if you’re really concerned, make a list. I’ve read that when you make a list, it allows you to clear that information from you head. Less to distract you.
Finally, think about what is most important in the moment. Focus on that. It could be your spouse, your child, a family member or friend, or maybe it is work, or play. Whatever it is, just focus on doing that. Take steps to engage, fully, completely.
One of the things I’ve realized is that I manage a lot of stuff. And by stuff, that’s exactly what I mean, just stuff. Lately, I’ve been working on minimizing my stuff so there’s less to organize, put away, manage, clean, you know, all those fun things that come with stuff. With less of it, I can focus on what’s important. How about it? Tired of managing all that stuff? Purge it with me, both your mental and the physical stuff, and then let me know how it goes, how you feel, how you’re showing up in life. I want to share your journey!