Meditations on Meditations (Or: Don't Forget To Balance Mind, Body & Schedule)

We all have so much to do, and often get quite stressed, anxious or just worn out to the point of being burnt-out. We tend to 'admire' those who take on too much, or who overwork habitually. But is this living? Or is this a way to overload and rush through our lives so that we notice none of it? To be so exhausted that we disconnect, or tune out, depleted of energy and robbing ourselves of joyful moments? We all know that too much stress is unhealthy, but our American lifestyle mindset is full of things we say we "have to" do, when it  is just not so. Simple beauty is all around us. Happy moments are always available. So often we just let them escape us, because we've focusing on the wrong thing. TRUTH: you have all the time you need to do all you have to do. START NOW: create grace, patience. Become aware, calm, present. Start today to think differently. Stop, breathe deeply, slow down, take notice. Remind yourself to truly listen when someone is talking to you. Give hugs. Smile more. Try to teach yourself to learn to relax; whether you meditate or pray, or work on your awareness of 'being in the moment', instead of in the future or past. Do more things you enjoy. Get off the computer, take a quick walk outdoors. Do yoga, tai chi, qi gong or a dance or exercise class.  Go to a spa, or create your own at home. Spend time with friends and family just having fun. Offer kindness without expecting recognition. Whatever you do, have the intention of slowing down, taking notice and of enjoying. We all need to learn to stop rushing and truly LIVE life. In the words of Appollinaire; "Now & then it's good to pause in the pursuit of happiness... and just be happy." It may take some effort to break our 'rush' habit, but from it comes more caring, understanding, peace, love and compassion in the world.  Think you can fit that in?