How do we do and experience all the best and most meaningful things while at the same time understanding that we would do them all better and more wholeheartedly if we took more time to slow down and be still?
I know I’m in good company attempting to wrestle with this paradox day in and day out. I don’t have any simple answers for how we realistically find the sweet spot between working, creating, resting, playing, dreaming, etc., but as I experiment with my time and start giving myself permission to be more aware of my needs in the moment rather than driven exclusively by plans and schedules, I realize I have more control over my life and my experience than I imagined.
For me, understanding the available potential to reallocate my time and energy has come from making small changes like taking walks at lunch and doing paperwork later, taking breaks from technology and being more present in the here and now, or letting the chores wait a little longer and admiring my back yard a little more.
Through these small liberations of my time, I am coming to understand my responsibility for the fact that I do get to be in charge of how fast or slow, simple or complex I want my life to be.
There are weeks, months and years that are harder than others to really believe this. When life feels hard and exhausting, it’s compelling to think everything is happening TO us, and that we are merely trying to keep up in its wake.
When persistently overwhelmed we often become defeated and hopeless, so entrenched in being led by external circumstances that it’s seemingly impossible to believe that it could feel or be any different. The reality is that it can be different, but only if we are willing to make the changes in our lives for it to be different. Sometimes we are too scared to even consider those changes or we don’t want to be the ones accountable for the hard choices, the steps into the unknown, or to disappoint or let down those whose ideas for our lives conflict with our own.
But see that’s a choice too. The choice to continue the status quo even when it’s breaking your heart or your spirit is indeed a choice—conscious or not—and quite frankly nothing is worth that price.