Meet Cohen. He’s learning how to write his letters and by stringing them together make words. He worked so hard on the “word of the day”…T-shirt…but came up one letter short, as you can see.
His teachers didn’t have the heart to tell him otherwise so he stood proud for his picture and a new “word of the day” was shared. T-shit became a much repeated word through the hallways and around dinner tables. It made people LOL and get tickled to no end.
There’s another word that we hold up proud, smiling for the camera, acting like we’ve got it all together…
We boast of our busyness. The vibration of our vernacular becomes this when asked the question How are you?
I’ve been so busy.
Work is busy. Home is busy. Life is insane.
We wonder why we can’t get it all done. We wonder if there’s something more to this life than this pace we’re keeping.
Don’t get me wrong, with five kids who all played sports and who, at one time, were at four different school campuses, I get a fast pace. There are seasons of busy, but when spring turns to summer, turns to fall, turns to winter, year after busy year, something’s gotta give. That something is usually you.
Keeping up an insane pace and never slowing down will eventually affect the health of our marriages, the health of our families, the health of our households and our own mental and physical well being.
We are available 24/7. We are always connected via some type of screen…smart(?)phones, iPads, computers, TV, video games….all of which keep our fear of missing out at bay. Or does it keep the fear factor at an all time high as we are able to watch the news all day and all night, if we choose?
Did you know that we are struggling more and more to read and comprehend books? We are fast becoming skimmers of articles and get bored quicker now more than ever before. We can “ok google” something and get instant answers rather than spend (waste?) time researching it. Because we’re just too darn busy to do it any other way.
Being “on” all the time isn’t good for anyone. I realize different personalities thrive off of different paces…some faster than others…but we ALL need rest.
…by the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work. (Genesis 2:3 MSG)
Rest is a gift that was given not a burden to bear.
Our bodies need rest. Our brains need rest. Our souls need rest.
So what do we do?
How do we slow down the PACE?
Like Cohen, we are one letter shy. A simple “e” inserted between the first two letters of pace gives us the word that is most desired….
That’s great but what does that even look like?
#1. Turn off all things screen related (once you finish reading this of course…) for a designated time each day. Or give yourselves an allotted amount of time to check emails, social media etc. If your job requires screen time for goodness sakes stay off it when you get home. Don’t allow screens in your bedroom. That’s an area designated for sleep or…well you get the picture.
And the world won’t stop turning. 😉
#2. Meditate/be still just a few minutes a day. It’s a great way to clear your mind and retrain your brain to think more clearly. There are some great apps if you need someone to guide you…I use Headspace.
#3. Walk outside, put your feet in the grass, look up at the stars, put your line in the water or your hands in the dirt, get connected with nature, which also connects you with the Creator. Breathe in deeply; enjoy the simplicity of just being.
Nature itself is the best physician. (Hippocrates)
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. (Lao Tzu)
#4. Read a book. A real one. According to an article in Scientific American: evidence from laboratory experiments, polls and consumer reports indicates that modern screens and e-readers fail to adequately recreate certain tactile experiences of reading on paper that many people miss and, more importantly, prevent people from navigating long texts in an intuitive and satisfying way. In turn, such navigational difficulties may subtly inhibit reading comprehension. Compared with paper, screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder to remember what we read when we are done.
I love my kindle but sometimes a paper and ink book is just what my senses need.
#5. Have a real conversation with a real person. We’ve lost the art of conversing “the old fashioned way”…face to face. We’ve stopped the practice of sharing and listening, watching for body language and tone of voice, of seeing emotion on a face and the touch on an arm. Get a coffee or lunch date on your calendar and enjoy some time with a friend.
T-shit and I will be waiting to hear how you string together creative ways of inserting the “e” into your pace so you can experience peace.
Fiercely for YOU!