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The Gift of the Pause

Are you as overwhelmed as my milkweed?

There's a lot going on in the world and the chaos of it all affects us differently. How it affects us, and the degree to which it affects us, largely depends on our inner resources. The caterpillars would get to the point of fighting one another for food, but I have more milkweed so they won't need to. It went from the 70s to the 40s a few nights ago, which likely would have killed them, but it didn't come to that because, well . . .

They're going to need some inner resources to get them through to butterflyhood, and I can't help them with that, but I can craft their environment to improve their chances of survival.

Mindfulness is a wonderful, science-based way of resourcing yourself inside, and no one can do it for you. Meanwhile, there's so much you can do to craft your environment and improve the chances that you won't get overwhelmed and miserable in the first place.

Your Habits of Consumption of All Kinds

What we consume from the outside world--what we put into our minds and bodies--affects how we feel mentally, physically, and emotionally. This includes the news, social media, the types of shows we binge, as well as the food we eat and the liquids we drink.

Give Yourself Permission to

Try This 4-Point Experiment At Home

1) The news isn't going anywhere, Twitter isn't going anywhere, and apparently Parler literally has no place to go, which is probably best. I don't know what your screen time is, but whatever it is, see if you can back off of it by 50%. If WHAT?is your reaction, maybe 25%. 10%?

2) While you're at it, see if you can do one thing at a time. When you eat, eat. When you are writing an email, do just that. FINISH the email and send it (assuming it's not one of those write-it-with-the-intention-of-not-sending-it things). If you're reading an article or a book, see if you can do it without interruption. NEWSFLASH: Humans aren't good at multi-tasking, yet we are in environments that increasingly vie for our attention. We can do multiple things at once--that's not the problem. The problem is that the kind of parallel processing that computers do, where nothing suffers, isn't something we can do. When we put our attention on two things, both suffer.

3) The easiest way to see the effects of your consumption habits is to do examine your daily habits (i.e., your priorities) with something like this exercise. When you are in a state of overwhelm, it's because you don't have a priority; everything looks the same. When your intentions become your priorities, overwhelm fades away.

4) Finally, give yourself a break. I created The Gift of the Pause, a 6-minute guided meditation that you can download and use--not just when you're overwhelmed--but at the start of the day to remind yourself to pause.

May you be at ease . . .



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