I had lunch yesterday in a restaurant near my home. I had taken along a good book to read and was just finishing a cup of coffee when a young women sat down at the table next to me. She was speaking loudly and rapidly making multiplecalls on her cell phone, updating her staff, calling her kids, making dinner plans, hair appointments and sales calls. I briefly imagined what it would be like to have that many things on my plate and immediately felt exhausted!
What struck me after lunch was how few of us know how to slow down and savor life. What comes to your mind when you think of “taking care of yourself?” Pause a moment and really think about it… Is it a long vacation by the beach? A full month at a restorative spa? Endless massages? Perhaps you imagine you can do that when you retire. Most of us think of taking time out of our lives in order to really nurture ourselves. But what would your life look and feel like if you had balance and calm as an everyday experience? What if you didn’t need to get away from your daily life in order to bring peace to your life?
We have so few occasions built into our modern-day lives where reflection and slowing down 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 walk to work or spend time gardening. 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, the casserole to bake in the oven and it no longer happens as frequently or as easily as we all long for. “It” is the natural rhythm of life.
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, 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.”
When will you begin tuning into your own soul and listening to its wisdom? 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.
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.
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.