Looking around, it is hard to ignore the pace of the world. Drivers in Johannesburg, mums in carparks, people at the grocery store – going at breakneck speeds! Or is it me? Everyone is in a rush to get somewhere. Yes true. However, I can’t help but think how do we put the “brake” on? What’s the rush? By the way, questions that I ask myself all too often!
Sometimes I also wonder if people are completing the proverbial “to do” lists and going through the motions. One thing is for certain, as human beings, we treat time, as if we have an endless supply of it! Sadly, and only when it’s too late, is there the realisation, that our time here if finite, as in – there’s an end date. Which comes all too soon. Depressing, but true. Face it.
And the impact of all this rushing around on health is huge! Stress comes with health consequences – heart disease, high blood pressure, endocrine disorders, poor lifestyle habits, and lack of sleep are some of the consequences of the “busy” lifestyle that is becoming the “norm”. Yet, the awareness of this, must surely want us to make a shift, to change and make our time meaningful and purposeful? To age in a healthy and wholesome way. And possibly delay the end date – a bit?
So, how do we get some space, to pause, or slow things down?
By finding meaning in what we are doing. Asking “Why is this important” , and “Can I be fully present while doing it?” Meaning adds the purpose to the moment. If there’s purpose, connecting with the moment by adding presence and undivided attention, is easy – resulting in an honoring of what you are doing. The purpose does not (necessarily) have to be a grandiose one, of changing the world, solving world hunger or curbing global warming. While, having these would be great too, the meaning can be as simple as watching the joy of your 8 year old on the soccer field, relishing the breeze of a warm winters day in JHB, giving full attention to a conversation. Indeed, its the small things that are the big things. Presence and attention brings awareness, of how you spent that time. You remember your day. And are not pushed to agree that “time is going too quickly!” – the famous line that we hear daily! In this way, you may also be choice-ful about the stuff you actually do, by actually doing less.
So, stop ticking the boxes in a mindless and robotic way. Take time to be discerning about how you spend one of the most precious gifts – your time. Add meaning, to reduce stress. A purposeful and present life – its the dash between the start and end date.