One of my commitments, as part of my LIFE theme this year, is to take one day a month for reflection. So this weekend, I took a time out. It seemed a good idea, as I had dental surgery on Friday, and needed to pause and let the healing begin. My intention was to rest, reflect and relish my time alone over the weekend. What surprised me was that, even though I was not feeling well enough to do much, it was somewhat hard to get out of work mode and into reflection mode. A stack of work was calling to me. Reading leadership books, HBR articles and professional blogs was on my “to do” list. Even the baskets of laundry, dirty dishes and dust bunnies were distractions that needed to be set aside for a day. It took some internal convincing of my “doer” side before I was able to let go and just “be.” It felt luxurious to have a day for myself.
My morning quiet time stretched to over an hour. I meditated, wrote in my journal, sent a few notes to friends. I watched the osprey, ducks and geese. I spent some time dreaming of an upcoming trip to California, and how fun that will be. I listened to music. It was a day for pleasure reading, clipping pictures from decorating magazines, lingering over a cup of tea, perusing Pinterest boards. I talked with my thoughtful sons and Jim, when they called to check on me. Light spins on my stationary bike and gentle yoga punctuated the more sedentary activities.
I am reflecting more on what I want in my life: relationships that fulfill me, work that stretches me, a calendar with more white space, mindfulness and purpose, laughter and fun, wise use of my time, and feeling strong (to name a few key things). In order to live into my intentions, I need to practice building my ability to let go and relax. I’m pretty good at the periodic pauses during my days to breathe and center. And, I really enjoy getting away on vacations and detaching from email and the phone. It is the in-between, just-one-day times that are tough for me to set boundaries around. Yet, those days are essential to balance and well-being. I am learning to appreciate those times for both the richness and the simplicity they bring to my life.
Are there practices you want to build into your life that will refresh and recharge you? What are the obstacles that you encounter in doing so? What small steps can you make to move toward the change you want to incorporate? If I can support you in identifying and implementing such practices, please ask. Meanwhile, have a beautiful month…and find times to relax and enjoy Spring.
Sharon Keys Seal