Finding time to "stop and smell the roses" a piece of advice that many of us have heard so often that we probably hardly hear it at all anymore. But like so many so-called clichés, this saying harbors a great deal of wisdom. So, if you have paused in the course of your busy day to read this article, congratulations! You are taking the first step toward giving yourself a wonderfully simple and transformative time gift.
It can be a challenge, finding time to be mindful and to connect with our moments. Even when we think that we are giving ourselves self-nurturing gifts, how fully do we actually let ourselves experience them? Are you distracted by a thorny computer issue while you meditate? Worried about the shopping while you walk in the woods? Glancing at your watch while you have coffee with a friend? As the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once wrote:
"Most [people] pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."
I certainly don't suggest adding "Be Mindful" as something to check off on your daily schedule or To Do List. What I would suggest, however, is that we provide ourselves with a pathway for bringing ourselves as fully as we can to each of our moments. That’s because time’s flow is steady … some days you might experience it as relentless! No matter what our lives hold, time doesn’t slow or stop for any of it.
Add to time’s steady flow the accumulation of our own individual goals and tasks, and you can see how the moments can easily slide by almost without our realizing. With schedules and to do lists filled to the brim we may suddenly "come to" and a day, a week, or a month has gone by. That's a very disorienting feeling!
The lesson? If we want to appreciate and be present, we need to slow down … time will not. So, how can we do that?
Here are 3 tips that you can implement right away, to transform your experience of time.
1. Include pauses in your daily routine. If you are going to smell the roses, you have to STOP. For starters, these pauses needn’t be long … although the nourishment you gain is enhanced and deepened the more time you spend! You may begin with the briefest of pauses and expand into a meditation practice – the size and shape of what you do is entirely in your hands!
2. Find a “mantra” or saying that works to bring you to yourself. It can be anything – a word, a sentence, a gesture, a visualization – whatever helps to bring you fully into this moment.
3. Give yourself an end point. If you are going to be doing something like meditating, then knowing when you will stop relieves you of worries about time and helps immensely with letting go and being present. I strongly advise using some kind of a timer so that you can really let go.
BONUS TIP: If you are not in a place where it’s possible to take time to do this, simply taking a deep breath and using your mantra can be enough to “bring you to yourself.” The more you practice when you do have the time, the easier it becomes to give yourself this gift, even “on the fly.”
In addition to the sheer pleasure they offer, these moments are very, very practical. Don’t let yourself slough them off as “trivial” or “self-indulgent” or “unproductive.” Though they give pleasure, these pauses have a deeper and more far-reaching meaning than “mere” enjoyment. When you pause and connect, you can get your bearings and refocus. Think of your stopping points as buoys marking your course as you sail through life ... without them, you might easily end up lost at sea!
When you stop and breathe, you are connecting with yourself, your values, your moment ... replenishing and re-energizing yourself before you continue on. There is no greater gift that you can give yourself - and the great news is that you can do this while you smell the roses … or do the dishes … or anything! How do you stop and get your bearings? I'd love to hear!
What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up for your FREE Finding Time Success Kit. It puts 3 key tools for your time success right into your hands! Claim it for yourself and see how you can recharge your energy, reduce overwhelm and frustration, and come to learn that 24 hours really ARE enough!
Let's explore time together ...
Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula’s connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.
Always fascinated with time’s ability to hold the most profound and the most mundane moments simultaneously, Paula’s passion is helping people understand time through the gateway of their hearts. Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.
To learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.