Savoring life when you have a million things to do
I was a theater kid in high school. One of my favorite parts of performing was the moment of darkness at the opening of the show, just before light beamed onto the stage. The audience was quiet with anticipation and the actors were in our places. Worries over what was to come, whether it was my first note, the hazards of wobbling in costume heels, or enunciating the tricky part of my monologue, all of it disappeared. During that still and silent pause between preparing and acting, I was in the moment. When the stage lights came on, I was ready and focused. Creating quiet moments within transitions gives your brain a chance to center itself and relax. But as adults, we often find ourselves rushing through our day from the moment we wake up, with very few moments of stillness in between. We launch from bed to the shower, from the car to the office chair, from assignment to assignment, and errand to errand. We sometimes ignore our basic needs in the rush as we skip meals, get dehydrated, and put off bathroom breaks. Our shoulders creep up to our ears with the stress, and patience wears thin. Entire days can feel like a breathless, frantic sprint. And we zip past so many of the little moments that make life textured and interesting. A moment of stillness interrupts stress and brings you back to the here and now. Pausing doesn’t demand a meditation cushion, privacy, silence, or even 10 consecutive minutes. All that’s needed are a couple of seconds to rest before making your next transition. When you park your car, take a deep breath before opening the door. When you wake up, feel the warmth of the sheets on your skin before you move. Between yoga poses, pause and observe the left and right sides of your body. Before opening a new web page or scrolling, close your eyes. Before walking, notice the feeling of your feet in socks, like that spot under the big toe where the cotton is wearing thin. After taking the recycling to the curb, notice the movement of leaves in the breeze. Take just a moment to pause, as often as you can. Even on our busiest days, we have 2 seconds to be still. Taking good care of ourselves involves letting go and saying no to many of the things that drain our energy. If you’d like support to savor life more and stress less, let’s find some time to chat!