In today’s world, it seems like many of us are trying to find time to have a minute or two of reprieve from the demands we have chosen in our lives. Yes… I said CHOSEN. How many of us have chosen careers where we are spending 50, 60, 70 or even 80 hours a week because we believe that is what it takes for our businesses to be successful? How many of us have chosen to be caregivers for aging or ill family members? How many of us have chosen to fill our children’s lives with activities because we believe filling them up with the “right” activities will:
- Help them be more successful in life
- Keep them out of trouble?
How many of us have chosen to live a life with a bit of chaos versus a life of calm?
I know for myself, trying to carve out time to be physically active (riding my bike, going for a run, canoeing/kayaking) is a pretty difficult task on many days. I have chosen a career which does require more than a 40 hour work week. I am a leader and being a leader requires being available when needed. Sometimes I may have the full intention to walk out of my office at a reasonable time and something unexpected shows up. Sometimes changes are occurring that need a little more time to be available to give direction and support for my team.
I have also chosen to be available and take care of my aging mother’s needs. She just turned ninety years old last week and with that comes challenges for her to be able to be totally independent. As the only daughter and with a background in nursing, I am probably the best “fit” to care for her needs and I choose to support my mother during this time in her life.
Oh yeah… I have also chosen to take my coaching experience and skills to a new level by starting my coaching practice and committing myself to being an accredited coach through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Choosing to be accredited takes time and effort through intense coursework, accumulating significant coaching hours and passing both a written and oral exam. I want to put forth the time and effort to be a coach with credibility… a coach where my clients trust that I have invested as much into being a great coach as they will invest in working with a great coach.
I know that I am not alone in filling up my life with choices that take time and effort. In fact, I am currently communicating with three girlfriends to plan a “girl’s weekend” at one of the friends’ lake place. A weekend to spend on the lake… breathing in fresh air… soaking in some sun (hopefully)… sharing laughter… and most likely sharing some tears and fears. Trying to get four very busy women together for three days can prove to be a challenge… we have parents to care for, children to support and businesses to run. We are all working very hard to create a weekend of calm, stepping away from the busyness of our day-to-day lives.
Yesterday, I decided to get my butt out of bed since it was Saturday and go for a bike ride so that I could get my physical activity “fix” (which is my natural anti-anxiety prescription). As I was riding along farms and fields, I noticed the cattle standing out in the fields calmly grazing… no rushing… no fighting each other for space or food. I realized once again that nature has a great message for all of us who are willing to listen…
Most non-domesticated animals will only break into a run out of fear or aggression. If something or someone is coming to hunt them down… they will run. If they are hungry and need to be the hunter… they will run. Most of the time though, adult animals are spending their time resting, eating or contemplating what their next move should be. Animals understand that they need to take the time to nourish, conserve energy, figure out a plan and then take action. The animals who do this well out-survive those that are weak or careless.
What if we started living our lives with the intentions to nourish our bodies and minds… conserve our energy for when it is really needed… take time to think and figure out what we should or should not be doing… and only then take the action we want to take to reach our goals?
How would you describe your life… chaotic or calm? What is one thing you could do differently to give yourself a few extra minutes a day to nourish your body, mind and soul?