Life is ever changing filled with to-do lists, projects, family, children, work, play, birth, death, life, sickness, happiness, love, leisure, health, and hopefully some lollipops and kisses…
Which pieces are you missing? Which pieces have taken over your life? Which pieces have left you without peace, contentment, or joy? Today is the perfect day to sit down and take a truthful look at your life. There is an old saying that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” I may not agree with that quote; however, I do think it is a good thing to examine one’s life on occasion. Today might be just such a day.
Many people believe that they are great muti-taskers and that it helps them get done much more than the next guy or gal. However, multi-tasking has been described in the recent research as “a road map to disaster” and leads to: confusion, tension, mistakes, madness, melancholy, missed steps, forgetfulness and much more. Some days when I try to multi-task I feel like all of these things are happening to me simultaneously! How about you?
There is the most wonderful book on the planet written by a brilliant woman, Christian McEwen, entitled World Enough & Time on Creativity and Slowing Down (2011). She writes about this subject beautifully in her book and she calls it “Hurry Sickness.”
Such “hurry sickness” (the phrase originates with Dr. Larry Dossey) speeds up our heart and breathing rates, leading to ulcers, hypertension and high blood pressure, along with a growing dependence on alcohol and cigarettes. The Chinese ideogram “busy” is made up of two characters, “heart” and “killing,” and this is accurate: the new emphasis on speed and efficiency is quite literally, damaging our hearts. Computers operate in nanoseconds, and we try, vainly, to keep up, like an old dog panting along behind his master’s sports car. But a nanosecond is only a billionth of a second, and humanly cannot be experienced, so our effort to synchronize ourselves is doomed to failure. Are we happy nonetheless? Are we enjoying ourselves? We are moving too fast to come up with an answer (page 21).
She is right you know. When was the last time you can actually say you were “happy”? When was the last time you laughed so hard tears rolled down your cheeks? When was the last time you laughed so long that the muscles in your face actually hurt? Is it so long ago that you can’t even remember?
McEwen goes on to write:
Consider a world without sidewalks, a world where loitering is forbidden and musing is seen as a synonym for befuddlement or confusion. It’s a world stuck in fifth gear, a world where there is no time to look forward or backwards, only the bleating nanosecond of the present. It is becoming, alas, the world in which we live (page 21).
In our Buddhist and mindfulness training we learn to live in the now moment where wellness exits, where we make time for the simple things, where we do one simple thing at a time! “Oh, what a relieve it is” as they say in the Alka-Seltzer commercial. And why do we remember that line so easily and quickly? Because our lives are so frenetic and busy we always have a packet of it in our purse, or desk drawer, or medicine chest!
So here are a few suggestions to help you live a piece of your life in peace and tranquility:
Make time for the simple things:
Doing these things will create simple wellness in your life!
Do one simple thing at a time:
When walking simply walk
When eating simply eat
When listening simply listen
When looking simply see
When feeling simply feel
When cooking simply cook
When living simply live!
Peace of Mind: The wealth without which you cannot really be wealthy.
This I wish for all of you! Namaste, Shokai
 McEdwen, C. (2011). World Enough & Time on Creativity and Slowing Down. Bauhan Publishing: Petersborough, NH
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