Do you have a quiet, zen sort of space or place where you can pause, so you feel like you are in your own world, like in a bubble? Protected from the noise of the world? Where you get mentally organized, focused and calm. Invisible, in a very good way.
My best “bubble” is around me when I travel. A plane trip is the best. Others are:
- in the car (when I’m driving alone);
- somewhere with little or no internet access;
- behind the lens of my camera;
- museums, where the ingenuity, colors and shapes draw me into their space.
- and certain music can do the same, if I listen with headphones.
Pause during the day …
It’s that slice of morning time when I’m the only one awake.
During the workday, it’s the physical breaks I take to rest my mind and get myself out of the desk chair.
The “era of endless”
With the “era of endless” upon us … “everyone is bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day … compared to
The dam has broken. Information constantly flows towards us. We need a break or we’ll be on constant overload. What kinds of good decisions are made when on overload? How present are we for family, friends, colleagues? What mistakes do we make in our work, not realizing it?
Rather than think we can build the dam as strong as it once was, we need to let the water flow. But we can create ways to float above the rushing water. We can slow it down, or to use my metaphor, climb into your own sort of “bubble.”
It IS endless. Sometimes I think we secretly believe it may actually have a limit or an end to the cycle. The more you try, the bigger and faster it seems to grow, endless and often frustrating.
And when I do try to keep up with what I think I *should* read, how much less I retain. How little detail I observe when I am forced to skim instead of read. What do you find?
- Don’t try to read everything interesting you see on social media or on the internet of everything.
- Don’t try to be everything people expect.
- Don’t try to tell people everything you know in you meetings, conversations or presentations.
Too many of us are overwhelmed, overloaded and over wrought.
- Pay attention.
- Catch yourself wandering and lean in, instead.
- Choose what you allow onto your to do list, schedule, list or into your life.
- Respond instead of purely reacting. Breathe, pause, then speak.
- Take back some control over your days and the situations you will be in.
- Think about managing your environment as a form of protection and self-care.
Pause for the “sake of life”
And once we’ve figured out this piece, of protecting ourselves, then we take on the bigger issue, articulated by one of our industry’s luminaries:
Pause, using the STOP method
In a fairly new book, Dr. Stephanie Moulton Sarkis assesses alternative, non medical strategies for managing ADHD. Mindfulness – pausing – is one strategy which in some fashion works for people who try it.
She shares the STOP framework. STOP is an acronym that can help you practice mindfulness during your day (Zylowska 2012):
S = Stop (pause) for a moment.
T = Take a deep breath.
O = Observe mindfully in the moment (notice your body sensations or what you are doing).
P = Proceed with relaxation and awareness.
The “Proceed” step is your chance to change your actions.**
- Choose where and when you have felt most at peace, calm, and focused. If you think hard, you will find something from your past.
- Use the STOP process as a place to start.
- Make that your first attempt.
- Make it short.
- Do it again the next day.
Let me know how it goes, if you’d like.
**Stephanie Sarkis, Natural Relief for Adult ADHD. page 107, Kindle edition.