“What is life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?” asked the poet W H Davies in his poem “Leisure”. This poem (which many of us learnt in school) was written in the first half of the 20th century – a time when the pace of life was in any case more mellow and gentle than it is in today’s culture.
In those days the internet didn’t exist. Neither did email, mobile phones, texts, or social media. There was no television. There were no computers. Letters were only sent by post and urgent communications were made via telegram. There was no on-line shopping, no internet dating, no junkmail, shops closed on Sundays and most of them had a half-day closing mid-week. We didn’t get the information overload we suffer from now. One half of the world could easily be ignorant about what was happening in the other half unless they read the newspapers, but even then, the news was never as up-to-date as in today’s instant bulletins. We didn’t live in a ‘Global Village’, and the world hadn’t speeded up to the extent that it has today.
And yet, despite living in a period when life was less hurried, Davies could still lament our loss of connection to nature, peace, calm and the benefits of quiet contemplation and reflection. What would he think of it now, I wonder?
Are you aware of how easy it is to get swept along by the frenetic rush to do this, go there, and get all your boxes ticked? Are you beset by deadlines and lists of things to do and in many cases, having to get them all done yesterday?. Do you find yourself wondering where time has gone (e.g .OMG! – we’re almost in MAY!. It’s very nearly half way through the YEAR!!! ) Does this ring any bells for you?
Once upon a time I used to think it was only the elderly that found time was passing too quickly! But not any more! I have contact with students and clients in their teens and early twenties who say the same thing! Today, pretty well everybody has too much to do and not enough time to do it.
So, what’s the solution?
Well, those of you who have either been receiving my Newsletters for a while or who have read my self-help book “Finding the River” will know that I’m constantly talking about the need to press the “pause button”. By that I mean that we need to build into each and every day a specific amount of time where we simply STOP and BREATHE – if nothing else!!!! In other words we need to give ourselves a chance to still our minds.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re 17 or 70 years of age, our culture is too fast and speedy for our health. Our bodies and minds were not designed to withstand the pace at which this culture drives us because it simply isn’t natural. And we can’t just rely on our nightly slumbers to give us enough rest to restore our energies.
Stress has become such an everyday occurrence in our lives that many of us have come to think of it as ‘normal’. It’s almost as if we don’t notice it! But even if we don’t realise what we’re doing to ourselves – we still suffer from it!! The latest medical research has found that stress underpins 90% of all illness and disease.
The good news is there are loads of simple ways you can help to combat stress and you don’t have to go and live on a desert island in order to be able to do them! So here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Give yourself a Media Break (i.e. no tv, radio, newspapers, internet, social media etc for a short period of time. Include phone calls as well!!) This could be for a morning or an afternoon only – or for a whole weekend – or longer!!!
- Give yourself some Reiki and enjoy the restorative and relaxing benefits this simple healing technique can give you.
- Take time to savour the sweet freshness of the air that comes after these April showers we’re having
- Tap away your worries and anxieties with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- Turn your face to the sun when it shines and enjoy its caress.
- Spend some time in Nature – go for a walk in the park, or sit in your garden (if you’re lucky enough to have one)
- Meditate – there’s lots of different ways to do this. Join a class. Listen to a meditation CD – (You could try listening to my CD of Guided Visualisations and Healing Techniques from “Finding the River”
This is just a start – but we all have to begin somewhere! Give it a try, and let yourself rediscover the simple pleasure of being able to ‘stand and stare’