This morning’s Calm meditation was about hitting the pause button on life. There’s a quote by Dov Seidman, that says…
“When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings, they start.”
I have found this to be true in my own life. There was a time that I was so hurried, so harried, to get everything I thought needed to be done, that I rarely took time to hit the pause button. I ran through life, spinning my proverbial wheels and it affected me in many negative ways.
Thinking back, I remember I even developed a tremor in my hand. It was so bad that I had trouble writing at times. And then once when I went to give blood, the nurse told me that she wouldn’t take it and that I had to see a Doctor soon because I had an irregular heart rhythm.
It scared me to death, but thankfully the doctor put my fears at ease and said it was there, but not serious. However, I find it interesting that now when I take my pulse, I can barely notice it. It’s there, but it’s about 90% better than in was when I was in my late 30s and early 40s.
Maybe it’s because over the last ten years I’ve been able to slow down – to take daily pauses on my life. Now life still can get trying at times, but it isn’t like it used to be.
I realize that some of you are where I was then. Feeling trapped and that their isn’t anything at all you can do about your life at this point.
I get it. I would have said that too at the time. A stressful job, a mentally and physically ill dad who needed me, a teen at home with all that goes along with that, church responsibilities, neighborhood HOA responsibilities, housework, and on and on it went.
The only thing that kept me sane during those days is that I would journal. Mostly in the form of a prayer journal, and it helped. But it wasn’t enough.
Finally, on Labor Day of 2005, I remember sitting out on my back porch – a wonderful, rare day that I didn’t have anywhere I had to go. I could just sit and think. Sitting out there enjoying the late summer day, I looked up to see the wind take a few leaves from a tree. As they fluttered to the ground, it made my heart hurt.
To me, it signified another year coming to an end. It represented a new season. I realized that I had not been present for the previous ones. Where had summer gone? Where had spring gone?
As tears ran down my cheeks, I decided that I was going to do something about it. I didn’t know what, but I knew that life was quickly passing me by and that things had to change.
Six months later, I took a much less stressful job and my life changed forever. Just by taking this low stress job, I was able to hit the pause button regularly. I was able to reflect and grow into the person that was waiting for me to become.
I took a writing course, I read about things I was interested in, and I eventually became a life coach. And at the young age of 50, I decided I wanted to paint. And so I did.
Now the reason for telling all of this is to say –
As busy as your life is right now, if you are running yourself ragged, you CAN change it. No, you can’t change everything, but you can change some things.
After leaving my stressful job in the spring of 2006, I still had an elderly dad that needed to be cared for up until August 2007. I still had other responsibilities, but by doing one thing – just one thing, I was able to start the process of really living.
My friend, if this is you, please give some serious thought as to what you can do to get some relief.
Below are a few suggestions to help.
Get up 30 minutes earlier
Yes, I know your sleep is valuable, but 30 minutes of peace is even more valuable. Spend this time journaling, or just sitting with your thoughts. It’s a great time to pray or meditate. Be still!
Limit Social Media
I love Facebook and Instagram, etc, as much as the next person, but too much of anything is bad for us. Set a limit on how much time you are going to spend there. It’s way too easy to sit down thinking you are only going to check notifications and then an hour later you realize you’re still there.
Same as above – Maybe I should just say – have less “screen-time” in your life. And maybe I’m burying my head in the sand, but I rarely watch the news these days. I feel like no matter who I watch, I’m being brainwashed with someone else’s agenda, but that’s another post. Limit your TV time!
Journal your thoughts
I can’t stress enough how important it is to periodically write down your thoughts. Even now, my thoughts still get all jumbled up and need to be put in order. Journaling does this for me. Try it and see what happens!
Take 20 or 30 minutes a day for yourself
In addition to getting up early, take another bit of time just for you! Maybe for that half hour that you won’t be on Facebook, take a walk around your neighborhood, or go to a nearby park and just walk around. Or if you can’t walk, sit on a park bench and do some people watching, or bird watching. Or better yet, close your eyes and just listen to nature. This will still your mind and help you turn on that pause button.
Ask yourself often, what’s not working in my life and what can I do about it?
By becoming aware of the problems, you are much more likely to fix those problems. Sometimes we get so in our heads and busy with life, we don’t see what is glaring us in the eye. Slow down and take an inventory of what is, and what is not working. Then come up with a plan to fix it, or at least help make it better.
Well there you go. Hopefully this will give you a head start in putting the pause button on your life so you can begin to live.
Life is a gift. Let’s make the best of it.