"When you get into your car, shut the door and be there for just half a minute. Breathe, feel the energy inside your body, look around at the sky, the trees. The mind might tell you, 'I don't have time.' But that's the mind talking to you. Even the busiest person has time for 30 seconds of space." - Eckhart Tolle
"Beware the barrenness of a busy life." - Socrates
Are you the kind of person that each week or month packed with appointments and keeps up a very active schedule? You’re not alone. Sure, there are some young adults out there still sleeping 18 hours a day but many of us have moved into the faster lanes of life.
On the up side, we know that being engaged with life and people and applying our energies to many things is a critical part of living a happy and fulfilling life. However, without balance the schedule and activity can start driving the ship of your life. That may not be the kind of pressure and frenzy that life was meant to be. Do you know that type of feeling? It doesn’t feel great. Yet being deeply connected to doing and accomplishing can lead us to this less-than-ideal situation. It is a slippery slope to be sure.
It comes down to choice. Doesn’t it always!
The activities, the schedules, the appointments, the meetings, the menagerie of To Do items must serve your goals, satisfaction and happiness – not the other way around.
I love this first quote. This is the choice that faces us and how you can stay in the captain’s seat of your life. Can you choose to take 30 seconds purely for yourself and savor the moment? In fact, it is a ridiculously short amount of time. How could you NOT carve out 30 seconds?
There are so few instances in life where spending an extra 30 seconds on yourself would interrupt anything else it is a wonder we don’t all do this ten times a day!
Yet, I for one, know how difficult it is to set aside the pressures and apparent demands of the moment and choose that time to work for me. It took me over 20 years of training before I learned that the most effective meditation I could do was the one I could do every single day. It might be nice to sit on a hilltop for a week, but if you never get to do it then it is only a pleasant idea. As it turns out when you give yourself 30 seconds you can get a lot out of it. Importantly, it helps you exercise and strengthen your ability to choose rather to only react.
Socrates points out the ultimate hazard of being over-scheduled. A life of constant doing can leave little time to appreciate and enjoy the process or the milestones along the way. Of course a life of doing nothing doesn’t provide much to appreciate either. So be vigilant and seek both the fruits of being active and the enjoyment of being alive.
So, right now take 30 seconds for yourself. Just breathe. Feel everything around you. The entire expanse of your life is a warm coat. Wrap yourself in it and really enjoy it for a moment. Now you still have 20 seconds to just lounge around in that space. Do you feel the energy coming back into your day? Can you see the good things more clearly? Your choice. Always your choice.