Though I write this in the middle of summer, I realize this easily applies to back to school season, the holiday season, or ANY time of the year. We always hope that life will slow down, no? As women, we are often charged with running a household, balancing work and family, managing kids and their schedules, not to mention something we may want to do with friends or investing some time into an activity which we are interested in, outside of our required responsibilities.
At times, we may feel that we are running on the treadmill of life and just can’t get off that thing! We say things like, “I can’t wait until summer!” or “I can not wait until the kids are back in school!” or “I will just wait until the holidays are over.” or “I am starting a new routine after the 1st of the year!”… all hoping to feel some reprieve from the hurried pace of our life.
Of course it is up to us to slow down this tiresome pace, but it is not always that easy. It wasn’t until I read the book by Amanda Owen, “Born to Receive: Seven Powerful Steps Women Can Take Today to Reclaim Their Half of the Universe,” that a simple concept started to make a lot of sense.
Receptivity. Owen talks about receptivity as an ability or a willingness to receive, instead of giving (energy, time, etc.). Slowing things down. Being still. Being open. Scheduling time to go for a walk, sit and read, sleep or even just listen to music. Making time for things that feed our souls and give us energy. I am afraid that these things may land on deaf ears since we live in a world that pushes productivity as king! However, as the book states, no one runs and runs, expending continual energy, without eventual burnout. We NEED time, regularly, for things that fill us up, and give us energy.
Have you ever felt burned out? Too much work? Too much constant stress? Too many things on your mind, for far too long?
STOP. Pull out your calendar. Plug in 15 minutes, thirty minutes, one hour for a date with yourself. Do whatever it is you want to do… but, as Owen states, it should not be anything that takes your energy, i.e. doing the dishes, laundry, or anything with your job. Sit, be still, be open. Listen to music, go for a calming walk. Lay down. Just be.
(Did you just say, “I could not do that, that would be lazy?” NO! STOP! You are NOT being lazy! Please stop that thinking that! You are being smart. You are taking time for yourself, to ensure you will not eventually burn out. This will be more difficult for some of us more than others. If you find yourself making excuses already, I encourage you to face any fears or stereotypes (I can’t lay down, my husband will think I am lazy. Oh, no I am too busy /important/productive to take a break.,etc.) head on. Examine the real, foundational reasons you think this way. )
Find what receptivity gives you energy, something you really enjoy doing… and schedule it on your calendar to ensure you will make time for it. This simple concept will help you find that STOP button on your treadmill of life. Plugging in your receptivity into your daily or weekly life will help you find a happier and healthier pace of life!
Have you ever felt like you cannot get off that treadmill of life? How do you slow down?
I’d love to hear your strategies and share them with my readers, which I will publish under “Meg’s Mail Bag” in an upcoming post.