Abigail Thomas is one of my favorite authors. I read “The Three Dog Life” some time ago, liked her style and what she had to say, and I decided to read all her books.
“Thinking About Memoir” is another one of hers and as I was reading through it the other day, I couldn’t help but think of how our personal stories evolve.
We go on living our lives, going through the motions, dealing with unexpected events, checking off our to-do lists, and crossing paths with each other. Somehow morning turns into evening and we don’t know where the hours went. Much of life’s richness goes unnoticed.
There is a treasure to be found in everyday living. When we live in the past or constantly agonize over the future, we forget to recognize and appreciate the fullness of our lives.
When I stop and think that the present moment is all I have and allow myself to become absorbed in it, my mind becomes still and quiet. I’m at peace, I’m focused, and I accomplish all I need to accomplish on time.
Time seems to stretch and slow down when we live in the moment. Everything becomes clearer and more meaningful. Approaching each day with a fresh perspective gives a certain depth to our experience. We can see an opportunity to learn and grow in all that happens.
Next time you catch yourself feeling out of breath and anxious, try the following.
- Step back from the situation either mentally, physically or both
- Take a few deep, cleansing breaths and feel your heart rate slow down and your body relax
- As you feel calmer and more centered, take a look at the situation from “a distance” and,
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is really going on?
- What’s making me feel out of control?
- Am I being unrealistic about this?
- What do I want to get out of the situation?
- What is one thing I can do right now to help myself?
- Is this a time to act or a time to step back and disengage?
- Who can I ask for help?
- What would help me make the best decision right now?
- Do I need to change the way I think about this?
When you’re ready, go back and look at what’s right in front of you. Stay focus and relaxed. No problem has ever been solved while being overwhelmed. When we’re overwhelmed and anxious, we can’t think clearly and our decision-making ability becomes compromised.
During times of chaos and overwhelm, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take a step back and become grounded. This way, we can give ourselves the space we need to see what’s going on and be mindful of what to do next.