We live in this world of immediacy. We demand instant delivery and direct messaging. We're multitasking and fighting deadlines. A glitch in the system disrupts our lives and has us griping to the internet provider. And we all keep telling ourselves this is okay, this is the norm. This is how we live. As if somehow new softwares, savvy apps and workflow make it okay to go, go, go all the time.
Doing Stuff Vs Taking a Breath
It literally took the moon blotting out the sun for two minutes to remind some people this week that it's okay to stop. It took near total darkness to see the light.
I wonder sometimes if our attempts to maximize our time and output actually cheapen our experience. I wonder if fleeting attempts to squeeze more in drowns out pinnacle moments throughout the day that ought to be savored.
My daughter is two now. She's full of tremendous emotion. There's excitement, wonder, awe, frustration, confusion, discovery, clarity, trial and error. And I've seen her succumb to it all in moments of vulnerability that translate into small tantrums. Her pulse quickens and eyes well with panic that subsides to tears. There's rarely wailing or screaming but I can sense the paralyzing effect that grips her. My only solution, and the one that sticks, is to remind her to breathe. I inhale, slow and big to remind her how. We exhale together. Again and again for what seems like a small eternity that tears us out of the tantrum and centers us back in the present. And as I help her, she reminds me I ought to do the same now and again.
It's really that simple sometimes. Whether it's taking the family dinner out back under a sunset or walking the dog. I think most everyone I know could benefit from an intentional pause throughout the day. It's liberating to allow yourself a window free of streaming the next task. It's important to dial out the white noise of tasks unfinished.
Is the mental race really that different from the physical? When you run wind sprints you keel over and gasp for air. Muscles tighten, lungs expand and your body forces you to stop and breathe.
I think the soul demands the same.
Be intentional this week and seek opportunities to catch your breath. Slow down. Look around. Enjoy the ride. It'll be okay. Take your time. Just breathe.