Stopping and Savoring What Life Has to Offer
Years ago, I was the CEO of a nonprofit company. I was working eighty hours a week, and from those three years I have very few memories of life, social events or vacations, as my mind was always churning a hundred miles a minute.
I read a book called The Tao of Pooh, and realized I was the “buzy back soon” rabbit character—always in a hurry to get to the next thing. That set in motion changes that brought me to a place of great joy and satisfaction—a place where the magic moments in life are so abundant that I go to sleep full of gratitude for each day.
No matter what your “work” is, there is always a way to get clear enough to find and enjoy those moments. If you aren’t paying attention, then not only can you miss out on them, they may not happen! One saying I use for my clients is “If you don’t have time for a 15-minute meditation, you need 30 minutes!” If the words “too busy” are on your tongue a lot, you are absolutely missing out on some of life’s beauty.
Slow down! You don’t have to give up your job or even make a huge change to your life to slow down and become more aware of special moments with loved ones. Are you thinking about what you’re going to wear to work the next day while your child is talking to you about how their day at school went? Stop, take a breath, ground and center yourself and look into that child’s eyes when they are talking to you. See them in that moment. The next thing they say to you when they know you are listening could be one of those magical things you remember for years.
Multitasking is a fancy way to say “spreading your attention thinly over more than one thing.” It means everything you’re doing is getting less than 100% of your attention. This is okay for cooking while making a list of what you need from the grocery store, or petting the cat while you talk on the phone, yet when it comes to the more sensitive moments of interaction with your loved ones, give them 100% of your attention, or at least the lion’s share. Again, if your mind or eyes are on a computer screen or paperwork, you’ll miss the moment.
These moments are not the rare trips to Disneyland, nor the $100 tickets to a special show. They are more significant, like the moment your child learns the words to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the smile they give you when you hear them attempt a “knock knock” joke for the first time. It’s when the cat sleeps curled up next to the dog, or there’s a deer in the front yard, or the way the Christmas tree looks when all the other lights are out. These are not million-dollar moments, but they are magic, and you have to pay attention to the little day-to-day opportunities in order to fully experience them.