Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. We live in a “I want it now”, “drive-thru”, “next-day delivery”, “immediate gratification” society. A sprinkle of these things now and then probably doesn’t hurt, but I am inviting you to consider a well paced life. How many times in the last day, week or month have you felt over-committed, overwhelmed, over-stressed and over-tired? If you are like most people, at least one of these feelings has made an appearance in your life recently. I have some thoughts about this:
- These feeling show up because of the choices we have made. I know, most people don’t like to hear this but it is true. You are choosing all day, everyday what it is you are willing to participate in as you create your life. You also are choosing your perception of the events that happen in your life. One cannot always control what happens to them, but we can control how we choose to feel about what happens.
- We lack clarity of our values. In the Lines In The Sand class that I teach we spend a big chunk of time clarifying our values because I truly think that our values are the foundation of our daily living. What are your top three values? Are you living a life that is congruent and aligned with these values? If so, your life has a calmness and a peacefulness about it. If not, your life will feel chaotic, disjointed, uneasy and a little crazy. Having solid values in place gives you wonderful guideposts to assist you in making good choices.
- Humans are wired to conform. It is the herd mentality which is a term used to describe how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain thoughts and behaviors. We seek likeminded companionship. For instance, if you are struggling with something in your life you are likely to seek out others with the same or similar struggle to kibitz and complain with because it somehow justifies your perspective. Not only that, you will blog about it, put it on Facebook and other social media outlets and obsessively focus on your situation. Generally this is a negative approach surrounded by gossip, unnecessary drama, and copious amounts of time wasting.
- Busyness has become a status symbol. It is as if people are in competition with one another to see who has the most chaotic and demanding life. We all have periods of crazy schedules (our choice), but very few of us have good reason to be busy ALL of the time. Busyness isn’t of high merit, it is the result of not being able to say no when we should, poor planning and NOT living within our means (emotional, physical, financial…). Being “busy” might make us feel more important in the moment, but it will not sustain us in the long run. We will inevitably come to realize that we wish we had spent less time in the fury of busyness and more time in living a mindful life.
I recall reading an article a few years back titled The 5 Things People regret Most On Their Deathbed.
The 5 Things are:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I would have stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
You can’t hurry yourself to happiness. So my friends, I encourage you to slow down and genuinely notice and appreciate the everyday miracles. Find a life pace that gives you peace. Time really does fly by, but you get to choose how you spend your time. Choose wisely so that you don’t show up at your deathbed with regrets.