I watch my
young children. Their work is their play, and each moment of that play
is spent in the present moment. No worries about yesterday and no
expectations for tomorrow. Their world is in the "here and now", every
moment of every day.
always believed that adults could learn a lot from children, if only we
slow down long enough to really look, listen and contemplate. And I
believe that now, perhaps more so than during any other time in
history, we need to learn about how best to spend our time, indeed, how
best to live our lives, from our children.
Taking a cue from my children, I
have become increasingly aware of how I spend my time. And it seems
that the older I get, the faster the pace of life becomes. Sure my
responsibilities have increased, along with the hats I wear and the
roles I fill. And yet, somewhere within those hats and roles,
responsibilities and tasks, there is choice. Choice about little things
that can make a big difference on a daily basis. Choice about
consciously trying to live in the present moment as often as possible.
Choice about which messages I choose to accept from society, and which
messages I reject. Choice to give myself permission and freedom to
craft my own life in the way that best suits me.
How many things can we and should
be doing at one time? I saw a man driving while opening and reading his
mail. I have found myself listening to phone messages, while opening my
e-mail and gesturing to a co-worker to come in my office. Can we really
be experiencing the task at hand and living in the moment at this
much work is too much? I recently spoke with a woman who works 12 hour
shifts, seven days a week, with only every other weekend off; though
her sleep was compromised and her free time non-existent, she was
resigned to this lifestyle. Even if we love what we do for a living,
don't we all still need time to play?
I have been working on
implementing some of the many choices I have available to me on a daily
basis. I choose to continue to work on rejecting society's message that
a person's value is measured by what they do, how much they produce,
what they know, how they look, or what they have. I choose instead to
remind myself daily that we all have intrinsic value simply because we
"are", and the rest is insignificant. I choose to focus on one activity
at a time, consciously trying to live "in the moment" as often as
possible. I choose to slow down and breathe some every day. If only for
a few minutes, the chance to be a human "being" and not a human "doing"
is so refreshing and soothing.
So while society seems to be on
fast forward with faxes, pagers, cell phones, e-mail, fast food,
pressing deadlines, long work hours and short vacations, my children
and I invite you to light a candle, sit down, take some deep breaths
and give yourself permission to simply be...