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Sunday, June 5, 2011
unplug and unwind
life is coming at us rapid fire these day. everything's fast. everyone's impatient. we want immediate gratification. our families, our bosses our peers expect more from us than ever before. is it better? is it worse? is it healthy? is it detrimental to our peace? IS IT WORTH IT? how do we detox? do we want to? even if we don't want to unplug, should we pull it for our own good?
well, i have mixed opinions on this stuff, as, i'm sure, do you. i've got a love-hate relationship with technology and progress. so day-to-day, there are some things that i try to do to keep it real and keep the multi-tasking to a minimum. i've outlined some of them below. most i practice faithfully, but some are a struggle. change doesn't happen overnight, but with patience and commitment, you can tame your addiction and return to the living. here's a reasonable list of things you can do if you are getting swallowed up by your own to-do list.
take care of Y.O.U.
do everyone else's needs come first? forget everyone else for just a minute. if you are sick or tired or dead, how much help are you to everyone else? zero. so hydrate. eat. sleep. exercise. love. be loved. thank your strong body for propelling your though this life. when your basic needs are satisfied, then you can tend to the rest.
savor your food
this sounds so basic. savoring your food not only helps you to BE present in the moment, but also aids in digestion and helps in controlling cravings and losing weight. by chewing, slurping, licking and swallowing with consciousness and intention, you are allowing your mouth to fully and completely experience the food you are eating, thereby satisfying your craving... and your sacral chakra (chakra & awe). mmmm.... yum.
say no more
saying no to somebody who really really really wants you to say yes is hard. but possible. if you find at the end of your day that you feel like a tube of toothpaste getting rolled and squeezed and manipulated to suck out the last drop, something's gotta give. so let it go. you will not disappoint anyone. your life is your own to live - not someone else's to delegate. this includes your children, your peers and your pet projects. say no so you can say yes to tranquility.
slow down the pace
think turtle speed. plan out your day so that you are not racing from point a to point b. that may mean better prioritizing your tasks or rescheduling appointments so they're spaced better. what's the rush? stretch out your activities. get real. you can only do so much with your day so change your self-expectations. most likely the only one putting pressure on you IS YOU. people will understand that you need to rearrange your calendar - especially since they're probably whacked out on a crammed schedie, too.
under-schedule yourself and your family
if you think you're stressed out trying to get your kids to school, lessons, practice, clubs, appointments... just think how they feel. i'm not an expert, but this i know - my kids are happiest when they're playing in the backyard or doing something simple with me. a 5 year old does not need to be in a scheduled activity every day to be competitive or confident or entertained. your child will learn more playing freely with friends or shadowing you than he will in a lesson with a relative stranger and a bunch of kids who are being programmed to be "a winner". there are more important things in life than beating out the competition. in fact, in the grand scheme of spirituality, competition scores pretty low.
when you are rushing around and dumping all of your energy into maintaining a busy family schedule, you are most likely not making time to BE present. if you simply cannot work yourself out of being over-scheduled, try turning off all the electronics while you're in the car. at least you'll have a little less white noise to contribute to the craziness.
turn off your mobile
okay, get ready for some tough love. cell phones are the devil's work. they're making people insane. we know it, but we're totally addicted to our gadgets, our apps, our connection. they call if "crackberry" for a reason. if you are looking to BE, this is an idea that is important to integrate into your thinking: you are not on-call.
what is more important than BEING present at any given moment? why does a incoming caller's agenda trump yours? put that phone away - have somebody pry it from your tight white fist if you must. don't walk around with it all day. don't play with it while you're hanging out with friends or family. store it in your locker at school. turn it off and leave it in your handbag if you're on a date. if you're worried about your kids at home with the sitter, excuse yourself half way through your event and check for messages. here's a big one - if you're at a restaurant, do not leave it on the dinner table next to your bread plate. if you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for your friends and family - leaving that dirty phone on the table while you are enjoying time with others is a social faux pas, it's disrespectful to the company you keep and it serves as a distraction to your ability to BE where you are.
that cell phone is a constant reminder that somebody somewhere else needs you. while this can be a comforting ego stroke, it is counterproductive to your efforts in BEING present in any particular moment.
tell yourself every day that you deserve good things
when you know that you are worthy of love and goodness, WHICH YOU ARE, you will know that you deserve to be healthy. health isn't just having bubblegum pink lungs and a heart that beats 80 times a minute. it's living life at a pace that allows you to find a little peace every day.
maybe the things i've listed above are not things that you are ready to do, or care to do. if this is the case, and you are really committed to BEING instead of just living, you need to consciously remove yourself from the chaos that you are fostering.
for an hour or two every day, turn off the tv, put the phone in a drawer, put down the book, get away from any reminders of the stuff you have to do. be quiet. if you can, take a hike in the woods, sit in the park or take a walk along the beach. if you are trapped at home with kiddos, put them to sleep or set them up in their rooms with some toys and a story on tape then go hide in your bedroom. now listen. maybe you hear birds or wind or rustling leaves. maybe you hear silence. with time and patience, you will begin to hear a very familiar voice - your own saying thank you.
peace, love, gratitude,