Making the Most of the Gift of Time

We all have times when we need to take a step back; in fact, we just feel we need a few moments for ourselves. A sadness or frustration seems to overtake us, and we need time to realign ourselves.

Never fear; this is within the range of normal. In fact, we should allow ourselves to notice how we feel, realize how those thoughts and feelings are impacting our bodies, and accept them for what they are. This is being mindful of our reality.

Stopping and taking a bit of time does not mean wallowing in a sea of depression and upset, but facing our feelings and realizing what has led to them. By doing this, we are no longer ignoring “the elephant” in the room. We are acknowledging how we feel or what we think about things, and accepting the reality. Then, we have the option of continuing to accept that current situation, or doing something to change it.

Accepting and understanding past events

When I started practicing mindfulness, I was surprised to discover the number of life instances that I found myself working through…events from the past. Apparently, I had just tried to ignore my feelings about that first day when I had walked into preschool wearing the patch on one eye, the comment made by my peer in the elementary school classroom, or the myriad of emotions I was experiencing when I hadn’t protected my personal boundaries as I grew older.

All of these instances came back to me, and, unlike my original responses to them, I now took the time to really consider how I had felt and what I had thought, and the result was nothing short of magical. Once I had faced those realities, I was able to let them go. Nothing changed; neither I nor anyone else changed what had been said or done in the past, but facing and accepting those experiences allowed me to release them.

Now, when I have an encounter, I allow myself the time to realize how the experience is being processed in my heart, soul, and body. I notice if I feel…something…and give myself the time to understand what I’m feeling or thinking, and why.

Taking time for yourself each day

This doesn’t take so much time that it slows down my day. I’m still able to exercise, spend time with friends, meet with people, and complete any number of items on my “list” for the day. In fact, we all have the time necessary to do something like this. Whether taking the time from looking at social media, mindlessly trolling the internet, watching television, or listening to the radio, we all have time and could carve out one minute, five minutes, or even twenty.

The time is there for all of us; it’s just a matter of doing it.

Mindfulness solves nothing, but the benefits can be extraordinary. I’m glad I found this practice, and realize that I am worth taking the time necessary for my overall health and well-being. Whether sitting formally for mindfulness, noticing how I feel when walking to my car, when I’m standing in line at a store, or even in the shower, now I take the time to notice ME. And I’m glad I do.

Dr W

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