How Many Times Today Did You Feel in a Rush?

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
How Many Times Today Did You Feel in a Rush?
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Roger Landry, MD, MPH, on my weekly Philadelphia radio show, Health Quest: Making a Difference in You Life . We discussed his book, Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging.

Much of the book contains advice that you would expect. Dr. Landry poses 10 questions for the reader to answer and then, based upon your answer, he provides tips that facilitate your quest for a longer life. As you would imagine, Dr. Laundry discusses eating properly, not gaining too much weight, and exercising regularly or, at the very least, the need to keep moving. Nothing new here.

What got me were the following two questions:

1. How many times today did you feel in a rush?
2. How much do you worry?

Hummm…

My first thought was that those two questions were unlikely to be related to longevity. In my opinion, they are simply related to living.

I checked the questions a second time to make sure that I had not misread them. Perhaps they really said:

1. How many times today did you have ample time to do what you needed to do?
2. When during your day do you not worry?

I started to think about the answer to Dr. Laundry’s first questions.

I realized that I feel rushed throughout my entire day… every day.

I rush to get up, get my kid fed and to school and with all of the paraphernalia that is needed for that day. I rush to drop her off at school on time or at least to close to on time.

I rush to get to work (the traffic on the expressway usually does not help). Some days I rush to a meeting for an organization that I am a volunteer for. Other days I rush to my 88-year-old mother’s home to take her breakfast and some groceries and then on to work.

I rush throughout the day to stay on time but I am often 30 to 60 minutes behind so I rush to catch up. I rush at the end of the day to complete the never-ending stream of paper work.

Then, it’s time to rush to get through rush hour traffic to get home, feed everyone, go to soccer practice, get a snack after soccer, check homework (or at least yell, “Did you do your homework?”), and finally go on line to answer those last emails that I did not get to before leaving the office.

Then it’s time rush to bed, to get enough sleep to do it all again the next morning.

So, Dr. Landry, as a woman with a career, a wife, mother, daughter and volunteer, I feel rushed all the time.

Even before reading Dr. Landry’s assessment, I figure that I shave years off of my life with each over-scheduled day.

As I suspected, the book explains that I am at high risk for chronic stress, which may lead to heart disease, depression, some cancers, gastrointestinal disorders and dementia.

Yikes.

I guess I’m doomed.

But, more importantly, Dr. Landry explains that rushing affects one’s quality of life and relationships.

He points out that most stress is self-induced and something that we can control through lifestyle decisions.

Lifestyle decisions… the ability to decide one’s lifestyle.

I think the lesson here is to not only try to plan my days and nights a little better and perhaps say, “no” more often when asked to “do one more thing” but also to create a strategic plan for my life and stick to it.

On to the next question, “How much do you worry?”

Humm..

In my case the answer is, “Most of the time.”

I worry about everyone and everything that I love, so that would include my children, my husband, my mother, my dog and my friends. Additionally, I worry about my patients, my employees, the future (will we have enough for retirement?), our world, the environment, the poor, and those who do not have the opportunities that my family has had.

Before I read his answer to this question, I know that I’m now doubly doomed.

Sounds like I can forget about even making it to age 60.

Dr. Landry points out again that worry is associated with high risk for a long list of stress-related disorders.

He goes on to write something that I find very helpful: “It is essential that we all learn that when confronted with a difficult situation, we fix it, walk away or accept it. There are no other solutions.”

That makes a lot of sense and something that I am going to try to begin to integrate into my life.

Fix it, walk away or accept it.

As a member of the “you can have it all (family and career)” generation, the sandwich (caring for children and parents) generation, the baby boomer (aging but redefining aging) generation, the book has helped me to be more thoughtful about my schedule, my diet, my exercise habits, my stress level and my happiness.

Live Long, Die Short.

Please note: I have no financial interest in the book or with Dr. Landry.

Do You Have 10 Minutes for God? A Practical Way to Pray for People Who Think They’re Too Busy
In my work as a spiritual counselor and adviser, I encounter all too often people who do not pray, pray inconsistently, or who don’t know how to pray. A common excuse is that they “forget,” like forgetting to floss or balance the checkbook. Some haven’t thought about God in such a long time that they feel it’s useless to start praying now. Others think that going to a house of religion such as a church or temple is the only way to pray and they haven’t the time. While I would never discourage anyone from participating in religious service with a congregation, it’s not about a place — it’s about a purpose. Please know that God is patient and always accessible to you no matter your environment or circumstances.

When I ask my clients if they have 10 minutes a day for God, they all invariably say yes. But saying you will commit to the intention and actually manifesting the intention are two different things. This process will require self-discipline in order to be conscious and aware enough to make time to be with God on a daily basis. I recommend that this prayer time be the same 10 minutes every day in order to develop a good habit and make the time fit within the flow of your typical daily routine. Some people choose to pray as they are awakening to a new day, others pray at bedtime, and still others pray during their lunch break. Personally, I pray throughout every day so that my conscious state becomes almost a perpetual meditation.

Here’s a way to pray that I have found useful and effective. It may be used as a starting point from which to expand your good thoughts and intentions. I want for each client of mine to understand that praying isn’t a quickie recitation-by-rote-and-you’re-covered. Nor does prayer require great expanses of time that make it unrealistic or insurmountable. The significance of the prayer lies in the thought and emotion invested in it, not necessarily the amount of time.

Nearly everyone can relate to the metaphor of throwing a stone into a pond or lake. I use this universal experience to illustrate how to enact the prayer. As the stone breaks the surface of the water, it creates a series of concentric circles that gradually expand outward from the point of contact — we call this the “ripple effect.” And so, start low and go slow by praying from smallest to largest. I encourage my clients to think of themselves as the stone by starting the prayer with what is most familiar and what they know best: themselves.

As the stone, begin the prayer not by praying for what you think you want and need but by expressing gratitude for what you already have. Too many of us take too much for granted. Not one of us is promised another day, let alone another moment. I recommend praying selflessly. I suggest offering appreciation and thanksgiving for all the gifts and blessings and privileges that have been bestowed upon you on this day of life.

Strip it down to the bare essentials, for example: Thank you for my eyesight to take in the beauty of all I survey. Thank you for my legs to carry me whereas others are less fortunate (think of athletes running last year’s Boston Marathon who lost their limbs in the blink of an eye). Thank you for food and fresh water to consume where such commodities are scarce for others. Thank you for employment where others are struggling. Thank you for a place to live where others haven’t a place to call their own. Thank you for prosperity, which may not come in the form of money but in an exchange of goods and services. Thank you for presenting me with opportunities to be a better human being today than I was yesterday. Thank you for granting that I might employ my gifts and talents to render service to others.

These are merely a few examples of expressing gratitude. Of course, you are welcome to tailor these expressions however it best suits you. Finally, request that divine guidance might be impressed within you to assist you in making proper decisions and to inspire you with creativity and ingenuity.

Next, the first ripple created by the stone’s impact symbolizes those closest to you, perhaps those with whom you cohabitate, such as a roommate, a spouse, your parents, siblings or your children. Pray for their health, safety and well-being. Pray that you might be of service to them. Pray that they will find the spiritual strength to manage whatever may come their way, and to respond in a manner that is right and true and good and kind.

The second ripple might include persons beyond your immediate group of loved ones, such as extended family, friends, coworkers or neighbors. If they seem too many in number, alternate on whom you wish to focus on this day.

The third ripple might include anyone in your community with whom you also have an emotional connection.

The fourth ripple outward from the stone is a global one that might include other human beings unknown to you but of whom you have been made aware by national or international news such as the child who had a stroke of brilliance and is making a difference in the lives of others. Or the people of a foreign nation who suffer from the daily fear and anxiety of violent warfare.

The fifth ripple may be for the souls of others whom you have known and loved and lost, or those to whom you are indebted such as anyone who has sacrificed their lives by rendering service to others. Again, you may wish to be selective depending on how you feel guided.

The sixth ripple — and the seventh portion of the prayer — is reserved for God. God bless God. God bless the angels who have been known to take human form to intervene and avert a tragedy, and then vanish without a trace. God bless every good thing that God embodies in our lives.

If this seems like too much to do or remember, begin with just the first one or two steps. Or create your own sequence based on the examples here.

Personal experience has shown me that being conscious and aware of expressing this prayer — or any similar mediation — results in attracting to me positive people and positive circumstances while minimizing the negative. You may also find yourself better equipped to manage a crisis by drawing upon the spiritual reserve you have established as you would make a withdrawal from a bank. I have found my altruistic appreciation is reciprocated tenfold — often when I least expect it. This doesn’t happen in a manner that is grandiose but in simple, subtle ways that answer my questions or provide for my needs in the moment.

I wholeheartedly believe this empowerment can manifest for you as a byproduct of practicing a daily prayer. But that’s not why you do it. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, and I see this prayer as one response to practicing our humanity.

The Illusion of Logic
We spend so much time trying to get everything just right and attempting to put pieces in all the right places. Our minds tell us that if we do A, B, and C, then a particular outcome will happen. In many instances, this is true.

However, think of the thing that keeps escaping you. You do everything in your power and still cannot yield the results you believe you deserve. You have logically approached the situation and can’t understand why you fall short.

You might be asking yourself questions such as:

“I’m doing all the right things, so why am I not losing weight?”
“I’ve done all the preparatory work, so why isn’t my business taking off?”
“I’ve done the inner work and feel ready for a relationship. Why can’t I find my soul mate?”

Perhaps it’s because you fail to acknowledge a missing part of your carefully crafted formula. Take a look at the world around you. There is organization everywhere: the pattern in the center of a sunflower, the rhythms of our solar system, our trillions of cells working in a concerted fashion to run our bodies, and so on.

Remember that there is an organizing power that has absolutely nothing to do with your efforts. Call that power by whatever name you feel comfortable with, but its ubiquity can’t be denied.

All the strategizing in the world can never equal the ingenious nature of the universe. Strategy does not create quantum leaps. Strategy does not dictate synchronicity. Strategy has no access to the unknown. Strategy is linear.

Of course, we wish to use sound judgment when creating our day-to-day experiences. However, when we act as if our course of thought is the sole factor, we miss the opportunity for something greater.

We have to keep in mind that our logic is limiting because our vision is limited. Logic is a derivative of perspective. Believing that personal perspective is primary can be a detrimental stance. As a result, an adherence to rigid rationale leaves no room for infinite possibility.

Organizing power lives beyond such limitations. Its elevated level allows for its unrestricted view. Quite simply, the higher something is, the more it is able to see.

So remember that when you are using airtight logic to get what you want, poke a few holes in it to allow this other force to breathe. Allow the magic of the universe to weave its way through the fluid foundation you have built. Remain flexible as to how things are “supposed to” happen. There’s something bigger at play. Leave space for that universal assistance.

Are you leaving space?

What are the areas of your life where you tend to exert too much control? Do you believe that an organizing force exists? If so, do you trust it to address your concerns?

Remember, universal wisdom is beyond your idea of logic.

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