Thursday, April 28, 2011

Less is More : The Power of the Mindful 15

Yes, I am one of those people. The ones who plan a TON of stuff, fantasize about how much they are going to get done, do only a fraction, then feel horribly guilty about their lack of efficiency. Well, at least I was one of those people . . .

Looking back even to a few months ago, this was my treadmill. Exhausted, I decided to jump off and just think about things for a minute. Or maybe 15 minutes. Hmmmm, 15 minutes, that sounds good. I decided that what I was doing was crazy. Not only did I feel guilty and exhausted, but I also felt very frustrated that I wasn't venturing an inch closer to any of my goals. And I have a lot of goals- finishing (grad school), having a svelte body, clean house, pure soul, sharp mind. You know, just like everybody else.

The problem, or I should say reality, is that one of those goals, i.e. finishing grad school, takes up most of my time. For whatever reason I did not want to admit this, and just tried to plow through everything else as if I was some super-creature who needed no rest or repose.

So, enough. About three months ago I decided to finally take a gentler approach. I constantly said to myself, "Any minute spent on ______ is a step toward my goal". Through trial and error, I have found that 15 minutes is an optimum time for me to spend on whatever I am doing. My mantra is "Slow and steady, this is not a race" and I constantly remind myself that it is time to be gently mindful of the task at hand. Working towards goals that are important to us should be a joy, not a chore!

This new perspective has begun to yield results- although I need a little more practice making baby steps, I have made a substantial amount of headway in some of my domestic and fitness pursuits. Yes, I know, my realization is by no means new or original, but why not give it a try? I am sure you will also end up more efficient, productive, and most importantly, happier for it. And if I can do it- you can too! 

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours” ~ Swedish proverb

May all beings be happy!

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