Life for Yourself
How many of us race through our lives planning for the future or being haunted by the past? Do you find that your life is spent making plans for the week ahead, the holiday or work deadlines, are you planning so far ahead that the day you are living in just seems to disappear?
Here we are, hurtling towards the end of another year and I thought it might be a good opportunity to reflect on how you are getting on. Can you get to the end of each day, lie in bed and be happy with the way the day went or do you ruminate about things and plan ahead or focus on regrets? Do you have problems sleeping? With your mind so actively involved in being anywhere other than the present is it any wonder you start each day exhausted before you even get out of bed, maybe you rush around trying to get the children ready for school, check your phone or emails before you even shower, take calls every minute of the day.
I see clients who are so busy trying to fix things that happened or could happen they completely forget that they have lives to live, they forget to stop and look around, enjoying the moment. Unfortunately, there are also clients who may not have long to live and they relish each moment, certainly they look back and have hopes for the future, but there is something about inevitability that seems to make people stop and smell the roses. Why is it that, as human beings, when we are closest to losing something we stop to think about what we have to lose; what were we doing for it to have reached that point, when did we stop paying attention?
I am going to suggest something that might help you to live in the day – are you ready for this? – quite simply, switch off your phone for 30 minutes each day and just be; that means get out of the office (yes, really!) go for a walk, look around or just sit somewhere on your own and listen to the sounds around you (not your iPod). Don’t be tempted to go with someone else, this is your time don’t spoil it. There may be some of you reading this and thinking, I can’t just switch off my phone, what if I miss an important call, what if something happens? Crikey, I’m exhausted just thinking about how chaotic your life must be if you can’t give yourself a tiny bit of space. Is this really how you want to live your life, do you always look at the negatives and expect disasters to strike at any minute unless you are able to completely control everything. Take a breath and give yourself some time.
Sometimes the hardest thing to hold onto is peace of mind, but you need to recognise it and cherish it in order to keep it, because once it’s gone …...
Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Darling Magazine, Wimbledon, SW20
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.