How do you typically respond when someone asks, “How are you?” We used to respond politely with an “I’m fine.” Now the most common answer is “I’m so stressed. There aren’t enough hours in the day.” Or, “I’m crazy busy!”
Have you recently looked at your calendar to schedule a coffee date with a friend only to realize you’re booked two months out? If any of those things sound familiar, it’s time to slow down, listen within and chart a new course. As Kevin DeYoung wrote in his book, Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem, “We have to schedule time to be unscheduled.”
Make a Choice to Slow Down
We have so few occasions built into our contemporary lives where slowing down and reflecting occurs. Yet this is where restorative, spiritual change and inner guidance frequently takes place. This sort of time used to be very common. It just naturally happened in the spaces between the events of our lives. We would stroll or ride a bike to work or school. Our lunch hours included both nourishment for our body and a leisurely walk for our souls; a bit of quiet in the middle of the day. There were tranquil moments waiting for the pot to boil, the rain to stop or the casserole to bake in the oven.
Have you found yourself getting so caught up in the frustrations of your job, driving your kids to their various after-school programs, making meals, multi-tasking on your various devices and generally struggling with life, that you forget to ask yourself, “What’s my true purpose here?” Perhaps you’re afraid to ask yourself that question. Dr. Richard D. Dobbins stated it this way, “Until the pain of remaining the same hurts more than the pain of change, most people prefer to remain the same.”
Listen to Your Inner Wisdom
When will you begin tuning into your own soul and listening to its guidance? Do you get so caught up in the busy-ness of your life that you neglect to give yourself permission for emotional, physical and spiritual renewal? It’s during those times that you remember what is meaningful. John Wanamaker wrote, “People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.” It’s much more pleasant to take the time to nurture yourself when you’re physically and emotional healthy.
Begin to create a pace that feels good to you, that feels like life is flowing for you, not hectic and out of control. If you are peaceful and choose to live your life with balance, your life will be peaceful. When you constantly feel tired, cranky and out of sorts your inner guidance is working over-time to catch your attention. It’s saying, “Warning! Your life is seriously out of balance!” God is providing the course correction for you by cautioning that the path you’re on is leading to energy depletion.
What’s Relaxing to You?
You can’t do it all. Let that be okay. You’re only human, along with the rest of us! Your task is to recognize when your life is out of balance and as quickly as possible to do what you can to nurture yourself and restore flow and ease. How long do you want to wait to start living “the good life?” Your Wise Inner Being will constantly point to the path that will lead you there.
Asking your intuition questions is a good place to begin. Examples are: “What can I do to feel more peaceful?” Or “What my right next step?” You may not receive the answer right away, but be open to nudges to move in a new direction. If an idea feels interesting, makes you feel better or calmer, that’s a clue.
Below are some common ways to create a sense of spaciousness and connection. Which one resonates with you?
- Taking a walk
- Being in nature
- Making time to be alone
- Writing in your journal
- Listening to music
- Unscheduled time to do as I please
- Playing with my pet
- Creating something (music, art, crafts)
When you take care of yourself and take time to do what you love, you are in balance. There is time and space for you to once again feel and appreciate the fullness and richness of your life. Allow yourself time for prayer and meditation. It is the one thing you can do that allows you to experience the All-That-Is that is God. It is the way to gain access to all the possible resources of healing guidance for your mind, body and spirit.