Today It Was About Me

5588872236_fcf0856f51_m“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” ~ Maya Angelou

It wasn’t something I planned. It wasn’t scheduled. It simply presented and I invited it in. I took a mental break today. Within the sanctuary of my own home and property, I reacquainted with myself. It was an interesting combination of being self-centered and being self-aware.

Sure I had activities and deliverables that could have captured my attention. There may have even been a more prudent use of the day. But my heart spoke. And I always heed my heart.

I read. I napped. I played and exercised with Logan and Bailey. I soaked in the jacuzzi. I listened to some favorite music. I prepped a delicious dinner. I didn’t think too much. And surprisingly, it wasn’t a total waste of those cumulative moments.

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I’m still smiling about all of it. πŸ™‚

There’s a real danger in allowing ourselves to be entirely consumed by the next urgent task. If we never hit pause, we lose something important: space in which to think creatively, learn, consider problems and opportunities from a different perspective and perhaps, even dip our toes into unchartered waters.

This wasn't me. :)

This wasn’t me.

If the prospect of being at home wherever you find yourself is warming, here are three thoughts that might coax you into pausing more frequently:

  1. Sans intent. When you’re rushing to a solution or deadline, your mind will jump to the most familiar path. Yet when you allow yourself to look out the window for a few minutes and ponder, your brain will amaze you with new possibilities. It is this sort of unconscious creativity that leads to different perspectives. Think about how thoughts come to you when driving or in the shower. If you do create space in which to experience unobstructed thinking, be sure you do so with no specific intentions.
  2. Know when you need this. This doesn’t apply to dealing with inaction or procrastination. But If you know you are ready to stop, let go, and breathe, then a pause may well be in order.
  3. Simplify. When you have social commitments, shopping to complete and/or a home to keep up, focusing on yourself can be challenging. Be okay with saying “no” (even to yourself). Try not to over-schedule. And learn simple ways to take care of yourself. Being occasionally selfish is not a “bad” thing.

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75 thoughts on “Today It Was About Me

  1. I fully agree with your musings here, and understand why you were still smiling. Coincidentally I sang a very similar tune today when doing my daily writing load for NaNo. Unfortunately stopping is still about seven days away for me πŸ™‚

  2. ‘Me’ is all important though we keep ignoring this fact. Only when we feel nice about ourselves, when we soak in the bliss of self-attention, when we listen to our heart do we feel real relaxation – the best Thanksgiving gift to our body and soul! Good one, I liked it.

  3. Reminds me of a saying of my late mother: ‘Did you hear what happened to the horses in the French Revolution? They worked for 10 ten days without a break and then dropped dead.’
    Taking breaks is as essential as working!

  4. I hear this Eric! I’ve been sick for ten days now. And there have been moments when I just had to let myself not be bothered by what “needs” to be done. And just focus on doing what “I” needed. Why is there guilt attached to that????

  5. Yes, I call such pauses like “empty run”. It is always good, the chattering mind to take a break … only then can open that, which indeed is always there to fulfillment, but remains just mostly obscured by loud thoughts.

    Warm greetings from Vera πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for the reminder to do this!!!! I took an ayahuasca journey last year. As part of the preparation, there was a crazy clean diet for three days and a day that you described above. I felt insanely great during and after the preparations. I told myself that I would do this whether I took another journey or not. Over a year has past and I have not. Time to do so! Great post, my friend.

  7. I just took a full hour out of life to sit, remember, and be alone. I feel so tired after it, but I know by the end of the day it will be time well spent, and my batteries will feel recharged. What a coincidental post!

    • Our lives don’t need to be in a constant state of “doing,” do they, Barbara? When we focus so much of our energy on doing, we not only deplete ourselves but we deprive ourselves of opportunities to reflect and appreciate. Here’s to your awareness and productive practice!

  8. Somehow we’ve created a world where nothing less than constant goal attainment is acceptable. I’m as guilty as the rest of us when it comes to feeling like I’ve let myself down because I relaxed.

    • And I love that you’ve titled it! I have actually asked Santa for one of those waterproof ‘white boards’ that can be hung in a shower for the express purpose of capturing those ‘shower only’ nuggets. πŸ™‚

  9. It is easy to get caught up in the daily routine of life, but taking a break is very important for us and for those around us. We all need that downtime to relax, enjoy our families and the day that we’ve been given.

      • Interestingly enough…I actually seemed to disconnect from the world for a while (meaning just sort of take it all in)….watching people shuffle from here to there and in such a hurry…..I had to wonder what in the world was so important that they really never looked at other people or stopped to chat. I wondered if I too was caught up in so many little tidbits and missing the bigger picture. A good perspective to have I think.

  10. Eric I love your time out day, we all live in such a busy world sometimes we need to have what we call, a mental health day…..this for us is a chill out day where we just hang at home and do nothing special. Yet sitting and watching the birdlife always makes me feel good. Kath.

  11. Very well stated Eric, thanks for sharing. Sometimes, the most important thing we can do is put away the task list and pull out the personal rejuvenation list. Taking time to just “be” is so much more productive than we give it credit for. Thanks for bringing this important fact to light πŸ™‚

    • Arrggghhh… lists! A bane of my being. πŸ™‚ I’ve pretty much minimized them as I find they often exacerbate the endless doing. Simply being or to Kath’s above comment: doing nothing – can be (and we know, is) highly productive. Thanks for reminding us of this, Dave. Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. I agree wholeheartedly! Sometimes the best moment of creative energy come out of just such a day. I also like to sit in rooms of my house that I rarely use, and just look around, and think a bit. I also like to get on the floor, at my grandchildren’s and cat’s level, and see as they see.

  13. Eric.. this sounds like my week… πŸ™‚ as I have indulged in ME All week.. just doing the things I want to do… Its a great feeling isnt it.. I read, knitted, listened to music and meditated… It does our soul good to please ourselves from time to time….. Here’s to More! πŸ™‚

    Have a relaxing weekend.. πŸ™‚ Sue

  14. Bravo! “Self-care” is a term / concept that came to mind as I was reading your post … and “self-care” may not be in the realm of what you are thinking about … This is a great post, well written, as usual, Eric. One of the several pieces that I take away from: ” … unobstructed thinking … no specific intentions.”

  15. I always have a lot of “me” time. πŸ˜€ I hope that doesn’t sound so naughty. πŸ˜€ I’m so much of a happy-go-lucky guy. It’s just that when I remove my working uniform, I allow myself to be free of any attachments. But yeah, we just need to be reminded to have too much “me” time. πŸ˜€
    From your suggestions, I like the “Be okay with saying No.” I need to learn that too.

    • Bravo, happy-go-lucky guy, for creating and enjoying your “me” time. πŸ™‚ Consider creating all you need!

      As for learning to say “no” and becoming comfortable with said expression, it is said to be one of the most difficult words for we humans to utter. Good luck experimenting with this.

  16. Pingback: #400 « The Sophomore Slump

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