Fender Bender Clear Sign I Need to Slow Down
I collect quotations. And the one I’ve needed recently is:
You are in one of two places. You are either in the current moment or you are nowhere since the past and the future do not exist. Baron Baptiste
Baptiste is the author of a yoga book called “Journey into Power.” In his yoga lessons, he sprinkles tidbits of wisdom like the one above. Many of them encourage you to appreciate the moment and to live in it. (The book Silence on Fire, which I review in another article expands on this idea. I will be reviewing Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now and A New Earth which also cover this topic well.)
In the past several weeks, I over committed myself. I exercised inconsistently and made little time management adjustments even though my wife returned to work after six-months on leave. If I apply Baptiste’s quote, I have to admit I’ve been nowhere. I have allowed my mind to crazily race about. It mentally reviews my to do list over and over again. It repeatedly runs through tomorrow’s schedule of meetings. I’m either planning, planning, planning or worrying, worrying, worrying. It never rests. And I’ve been feeling this knot in my stomach more often than I like.
This week while rushing off to a funeral, over focused on mobile phone conversation with someone needing job hunt advice, I whipped out of my driveway without looking back. I ended up rearranged the front passenger side fender of what used to be a really nice Mercedes Benz. No one was hurt and both cars were able to drive away on their own. But my distracted, high-speed, out-of-control mode led to an unnecessary accident. Enough!
It’s funny how for the last several days, maybe even weeks, I’ve been telling myself to slow down. I’ve been over worrying about things I cannot really change. My head’s been traveling everywhere when it could have been right here with me. And I have likely been missing out on being present, and I mean really present, to my wife, kids, and friends standing right next to me. So effectively, I’ve been nowhere.
I like to compare this crazy mode with working out too much. When I train marathon runners, I stress the importance rest days. Skipping them is unacceptable. It is on those days that the body recovers from the stress of workouts. On those days the muscles grow and strengthen.
When I’ve been on my maddening no mental rest mode, my mind and everything else never rests. Life passes me by and even thought I get a lot done, it seems joy-less. And worse yet, I don’t get the benefits I’ve seen myself get from rested thinking. That’s when creative ideas pop into my head. I’ll be taking a relaxing walk and out of nowhere, the answer to a problem appears. I have confirmed it over and over again, yet I will go back to my crazy mode unless I work against that tendency.
So starting this week, I’m returning to:
- Praying a daily novena and rosary. I talked about that in an article I wrote a while back. Daily prayer, spiritual reading, or quiet meditation counteracts my chaotic thinking.
- Exercising three to four days a week. I find that exercise like nothing else reduces my stress levels.
- Practicing yoga for physical and spiritual fitness. That so frequently leads me to increased mental and spiritual awareness.
- Carefully, not obsessively, reviewing my to do list to make sure it isn’t so full.
I hope you do so as well.