Even though I’ve narrowed my work scope over the past eight years, there are always so many new and exciting things to offer that I can become a little scattered at times, like Suki when I throw her two balls at once. Each ball is great and fun but which one to pick up and play with? Whenever I do this to her, I can see the confused and anxious state in her eyes, her decision-making process taking shape in front of me. I wish I could understand how she makes her choice but ultimately, after sniffing and chewing on each, even trying to put both in her mouth at the same time, she somehow decides which one we’ll play with for the next fifteen minutes. I really appreciate her commitment to her decision, too, since she won’t switch balls halfway into our play game, no matter if I start throwing a different ball. She’s dedicated, highly focused, and committed. Once again, I could learn a lot from Suki.
While I think I’m fairly good at blocking my time to attend to specific activities or subject matters, I often notice a frenetic quality to my attention. Settling into a creative space between scheduled events isn’t always easy, resulting in a sense of disconnect between what I need to be doing and what I’m capable of doing. There’s real training in coming back to knowing what you can and can’t do, letting go of the frustration of what won’t work even though you want it to, and then moving forward with what’s possible.
So how do we approach all the things we want to accomplish in the time and energy frame we have?
I find it’s more challenging in this over-stimulated age of electronics and social media to steer clear of the shiny object syndrome. Our attention is constantly being diverted (yes, we do need to train ourselves to stick to task). Combined with less available time due to extended work weeks or family responsibilities, a life that is gravitating towards peace may be the opposite of what we are feeling.
Take a look at how many things you have on your calendar right now. I’m sure they’re all good and serve a healthy purpose. The question to ask is if they create a sense of balance and joy or has our initial excitement turned to dread or obligation. Book clubs, PTO meetings, photography class,... add in the myriad of work, home, and family stuff... where is the room to breathe, enjoy, and self-nurture?
None of this is to say not to be involved or to expand your connections. Quite the opposite. Creating depth of attention and truly experiencing our experience so that we don’t surface-skim our showing up is important. Let’s develop our skill of discernment, though, and commit like Suki to that one ball we are playing with so that we can enjoy it fully and not feel the pressure and added weight of everything else that is calling our attention. On a different day when it’s right to play with a different ball, we can do that, but for now let’s hone to come home.
Need some quick tips on how to do that? Check out these 5 Super Honing Supports
1. Say “No, not now” to say “Yes!”
You aren’t very good when you’re over-extended or exhausted so kindly say “No, Not Now” to the next request that comes your way. Doing this will help you to say “Yes!” to yourself. And not to worry as someone else will pick up the piece you were about to carry.
2. Focus on only one activity per month
Instead of scattering your attention over numerous activities, pick one and delve into that. By engaging in just this, your enjoyment for this activity will grow and you’ll learn more about it that you would have thought possible. Leave the others to have their turn over the coming months.
3. Create daily time just for you
20 minutes minimum is my recommendation; meditation, bath, yoga, walk, napping, knitting… whatever keeps a connection to yourself alive!
4. Plan ahead and prepare meals
Save time, calories, and health. Don’t be caught off-guard with last minute kitchen and nutrition messes. Decide dinner in the morning, double-cook soups and stews for future-freeze, and prepare snacks and salads by cutting 3X the amount of veggies.
5. Purposeful Pauses
Break the flow of constantness with 10+ second breaks throughout the day. Stop, breathe, feel your feet, and notice the physical and mental sensations. By tuning in to the present moment, we can decide more clearly what is needed next.
Love and peace,
Mindfulness & Stress Management Coach
Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner
8 limbs Holistic Health, LLC