Take Time to Breathe

I have a confession to make. It was hard for me to write this. I knew what I wanted to write about, had the concept and examples, but when I put pen to paper, the words would not come. I prayed about it and sat down again to write. I tried to do one of those free-flow writing sessions where you sit and just write about a topic. You get it all out and then edit, edit edit. And you know what, it worked. I was writing and the words were getting down onto the page.

Happy to finally be moving forward I took a moment to look over what I had so far. If you want to know what scattered thoughts look like, this was it. Everything was everywhere and nothing was connecting. I know the point of the exercise was to get the words out and, believe me, that’s exactly what happened. Every. Single. Word. Finally I put it aside and prayed again. This time instead of jumping right back on the horse, I waited…and listened.

The answer came in the form of a phone call from my cousin Latonia. I’ll save you the details of the conversation, but I will tell you she gave me something to think about. She said “everything happens when it’s supposed to happen. You’re forcing yourself to write and it’s causing a block. God will give you the words, just ask Him (which I had been doing). You’re also trying to do a lot and you’re not giving yourself a break.”

First, Breathe

Basically, I am doing exactly what I’m going to tell you not to do. Overworking and overextending myself. When we hung up I sat down and took a mental account of what I was working on right now. Off the top of my head, in addition to a full-time job, I’m also restructuring my aromatherapy business, writing aromatherapy reports and courses, keeping the blogs updated with fresh posts, managing my social networking connections, researching aromatherapy topics, researching various biblical topics, lending an ear to friends, attending workshops, being a caregiver, purging years of stuff I’ve accumulated, attending family events and trying to complete family tasks. All of this while working to bring forth this new journey the Lord has given me here.

No wonder I can’t think! There is no room for my thoughts to get in or out, resulting in a murky mess. It is the perfect storm of too much to do leading to too little done. Have you been here before? It also makes getting distracted at any given time so easy because your thoughts are bouncing from task to task (always before one task is completed).

As you start this journey, I start this journey. I’m not going to suggest you do or try anything that I haven’t tried or put into practice myself. Not everything will be a perfect fit for you, but you can take those nuggets of wise and tailor them to you and your situation. At the very least, give the coming suggestions a try before you write them off.

Take a Moment Now

It’s time for you to be your own personal Task Accountant. You’ve seen my crazy list of tasks I am trying to accomplish all at the same time. You need to do the same thing and take account of everything on your plate now. Not what you’ve already crossed off the list, or what you plan to start doing 2 months from now. Try to focus only on what you’re doing now.

Getting started:

In the course of your day, stop and buy yourself a bouquet of flowers. It can be any size you want, just make sure it’s fragrant and colorful. Take time to pick a flower bunch that catch your eye and appeals to your senses. If you don’t already have a vase to hold it, stop and get one of those as well. Once you get home, find a quiet space to place your vase of flowers. You want to select a place that is near a chair or at least in your line of vision when you sit down.

Once you’ve gotten your dinner taking care of and tasked completed, get yourself a cup of herbal tea, pen, and paper. Close your eyes to calm yourself and say a prayer that the Lord reveal to you all that you are doing right here, right now. Write it all down. Every small thing along with all the big ones. And, be honest with yourself. If you say a prayer to have it all revealed to you, write it down no matter how trivial it may seem to you. There is no time limit on how long, or short, you spend doing this. Just make sure you don’t rush through it. This is a great exercise because a lot of the time we are doing way more than we realize.

Now, here is the hard part. Once you have completed your list, put it away. Don’t stare at it, turn it upside down and sideways, hold it up to the light, just put it away in a place where it won’t get lost. Take a breath and enjoy your tea and the view of your beautiful bouquet of flowers. This week find another moment to enjoy something you like. It could be a stupid movie, a good book, knitting, working out, walking, whatever you like, find a moment to allow yourself take a breath and exhale. And, don’t forget to enjoy those fresh flowers!

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