New Year – New Approach?

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Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths ~ Etty Hillesum

Do you ever get the sense that from the time you open your eyes each day that you must be in ‘do’ mode because you are expected to be productive and in motion all the time?   

You obediently eat a healthy breakfast, get in a round of exercise before you head out to work. You make the most of your commute to work by checking in with others, returning calls, answering messages or listening to an audio book.  During your workday, you cram in the maximum amount of effort in the form of meetings, serving customers or performing the job you were hired to do. In the evenings you either socialize with friends or spend time with your family or watch television. A day in the life of humans in these times demands that you make the most of every minute.

The story goes that being productive in this way makes you a contributing human being, assures that you are of value and meet others’ expectations of what it means to matter and live a meaningful life.

In fact, each New Year, it is customary to review all that you accomplished in the past year, where you missed the mark and decide how you will reinvent your ‘To Do’ list for the coming year. Such rituals mark our progressive march to living a life that wrings out every ounce of energy we have to deposit into life ….but… what suffers in the meantime?

Part of being human means we get to live, breathe and reflect. It is as much our need and duty to connect inwardly as it is to be continually revved up around the external demands that often becomes our addiction to productivity.  There is time for balance if you consciously make it so.

Here are a few tips to introduce some breaks in the cycle of your everyday process. It might just be the single most important New Year’s resolution you make in 2021.

Try this when you decide it is time to step away from productivity and refresh:

  • Take a walk in nature
  • Serve yourself a snack
  • Take a nap
  • Meditate
  • Allow time to disconnect and daydream
  • Read for pleasure – find some beautiful poetry
  • Sip a coffee or your favorite drink
  • Spend some time doodling
  • Listen to your favorite music

Life is a series of cycles. We move through seasons, mark special moments throughout a year in birthdays and anniversaries. Our lives are attuned to cycles because we are intimately part of the renewal that is built into life. Perhaps it is time this year to introduce a new cycle by leaving space to rest – it matters as much (maybe more!) as being in To Do mode …

New Year …. New Approach?

 Be well and enjoy the year!

John

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