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Thanks for checking in. We all know life can be EXTREMELY complicated. I blog about recognizing and removing the barriers that sabotage our living well. 

- Nobody had perfect parents, so we all have issues.
- We struggle to keep up with work, personal goals, staying healthy, and all kinds of relationships.
- Our minds are busy, and they seem to often work against us.
- At the end of many days, we're disappointed about what didn't get done, how we failed, what we should have done.

So I blog about increasing personal awareness and finding balance so we can cut ourselves some slack. Let's stay grounded as we move forward in manageable steps. Perspective is everything, and I try to see around the corners so we can leverage what we've already got into more of what we want.

Follow me and give me feedback. You inspire me, and I'll try to inspire you. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Emergency! Time Pressure!!!!!

Deepak Chopra wrote, “In medicine we realize that people who don’t have enough time are probably going to develop health problems. The discovery of Type A behavior, for example, revealed that heart attacks were linked to a sense that there’s never enough time. …” Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.

It scared me when I read that. I totally identify. I was not surprised to read Deepak’s words, “It’s no accident that the word deadline contains the word dead.” When I wrote grants for a living, I would have to go directly to bed after meeting a deadline and stay there for a couple of days because I was simply done. After 15 years of that, I changed careers and never looked back because I felt like the deadlines would send me to an early grave. I don’t even like to hear the word grant at this point.

Something deep in my soul knows that the chronic rush so many of us feel is unnatural. We know it's not good for us, and it doesn't feel good while it's happening. Whether you work out in the world or work at home, there is this underlying, nagging feeling of what comes next, and will I have enough time, and I don't want to be late, and when am I going to do x and y?

So what’s the solution? I thought about summarizing Deepak’s recommendations, but they are a bit too metaphysical for simply trying to make it through the day. His website, however, is worth the visit: http://www.deepakchopra.com.
Linear time is simply what we’re stuck with (on this plane anyway). We only have so much leeway. So this weekend, I tried to come up with ways to save my heart—which has a tendency to race and rebel when under emotional time pressure. Since I want my heart to last for as long as I want it to last (a very, very long time), these are my intentions:
q       Make a daily list with the most important things at the top, and try very hard to fit in the things that really matter. So today at 4 p.m., I simply stopped what I was doing, locked the classroom, and drove to the track to get in my three-mile walk. I refused to think about the condition of my desk because that would have taken me out of the present moment. The condition of the desk will be in my present moment tomorrow when I walk into the room.
q      Prepare only two items for weekday dinners (plus I will always have a chopped head of lettuce, so it can be a third thing if desired.) I have this ridiculous, early twentieth-century habit of sometimes making separate dinner items for each of us—e.g., pork for my husband, chicken for me. I lost that habit today when I realized I must suffer from some form of mental illness. Two dishes—max.
q       Keep centered in the face of chaos. If you are exposed to people-- any people, there will be stress (kids, wives, partners, husbands, parents, family members, coworkers, etc.). People will always have their own agendas, and sometimes will have agendas for us. Everybody basically wants what they want. Sooooo, I’m going to remember my agenda and think long and hard before I respond to the desires of others. Deepak says to have an inner smile and take three deep breaths before responding (something to that effect). Doesn’t that seem like a wonderful way to handle people who are trying to steal our time? Because if we aren't mindful, we will run out of time without having done anything that we want to do.

I suggest that you come up with your own plan. To coerce you into doing so, I’ll leave you with a final quote from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. “When heart patients are given demanding tasks under a deadline, a significant number grow so agitated that their heart muscles actually suffer ischemic or “silent” heart attacks (damage without any sensation or pain).”   Jeeze!!!!!!!!!  (But to make you a bit optimistic... I've read that we can heal practically everything-- even the most caustic and devastating illnesses with the proper attention and focus.)