Take a break from the crazy world

Author Amelia Bishop shares this insight in her book, The Gift
and The Giver,

Sometimes our days become so clogged with activity that there is
no breathing room or ‘being’ room.
Author Amelia Bishop shares this insight in her book, The Gift and The Giver, “Sometimes our days become so clogged with activity that there is no breathing room or ‘being’ room. Without the fresh air of uncluttered time, a few islands for refueling, we become race cars rather than persons, ricocheting around the oval of one day and plunging into another. The tyranny of the urgent gobbles up our days.”

Indeed. We live in a 24/7, techno-gizmo, wireless world of wonder – with seemingly no escape from its demands. Surely Alexander Graham Bell would be awe-struck and horrified at once to see what has happened over the last century since his telephone patent was granted – e-mail, pagers, faxes and cell phones squeezing productivity into every minute. No wonder we’re cranky and overwhelmed at times. Even Bell lamented at the jangling interruption of his own device.

Nonstop, frenzied motion and routine stifles creativity and keeps us from designing the future we may most desire. Just as an artist must capture detail, he must also step back to view the entire canvas or lose perspective. The same is true for us.

Stephen Covey fans recognize this vital concept as “sharpening the saw” – depicted as the seventh habit in Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” He recommends renewal on four levels: physical (exercise, nutrition, stress management); mental (reading, visualizing, planning, writing); social/emotional (service, empathy, synergy, intrinsic security); and spiritual (values clarification, commitment, study, meditation).

Consider these suggestions to actively seek solace:

• Soak up nature’s elixir. Sit quietly near a body of water. Hike to the woods, linger and listen. Drive to the mountains, spread a blanket and gaze at the scenery. Choose a preferred spot and fix it in Technicolor in your mind’s eye for future reference.

• Savor your favorite childhood snack; take pleasure in every bite. Think of a happy time when you were a kid. Feeding the spirit also supports survival.

• While time stands still, contemplate the virtue of doing nothing. Recite a phrase, scripture or poem that holds special meaning. Be open to inspirational thoughts.

• Listen to classical music; put on Johann Pachelbel’s Kanon. Get comfortable, kick off your shoes. Dim the bulbs and light a few candles. Imagine the most wonderful, peaceful existence possible for yourself.

• Set aside an evening or two each week to turn off the television. Ponder the connection to the world around you. Silence is the doorway to undiscovered thoughts and inner potential.

• Attend different types of religious services to observe how others connect with the Divine.

Somehow, spend time away from the dictum of business and busyness as usual. Achieving peace of mind can make a difference in satisfaction, happiness and quality of life. Besides stronger personal power, inner peace is linked to a healthier body, greater energy, and a sharper mind. “We all need a certain amount of fallow time … watching the grass grow, sitting on a hillside, staring out the window daydreaming. When we don’t have it, there is a deeper intelligence that won’t come forth.” – Sue Bender.

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