A friend of mine works part-time as a coffee barista for Starbucks. On one of his many busy mornings, he looked up to once again see what seemed like a never-ending snake of caffeine-deprived eyes eagerly scrutinizing his every move. A familiar feeling of panic consumed him. And then, a fortunate moment of grace occurred, as he remembered to focus on his breath.
With full awareness he realized that he did not have 22 cappuccinos to make – he had only to make one. At that moment, the Starbucks Rule – as I later named it – was born.
How many times in my life have I watched my crazy mind jump from one item to another on my never-ending list of things to do? I well know that time management people always say to prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Well, sometimes I feel that I don’t even have time to prioritize the list! My monkey mind is having a wild time swinging from one thing to another – all the time preventing me from doing anything!
There are a few trusty things I can turn to when I’m feeling like that; close my eyes and breath, get up from my desk and go for a walk outside, drink a cup of tea while doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes I can just “talk myself down from the ledge” by enlisting the Starbucks Rule.
However, I find that I am less likely to even get so wound up if I include a variety of practices in my life on a daily basis. What works for me is morning meditation, plenty of sleep, a hearty breakfast, outdoors daily exercise and regular bodywork (including self-reflexology before bed).
With reflexology, I like to massage in some rich shea butter and work the bottom of my feet, with lots of focus on the central nervous system (brain and spine), diaphragm and adrenal reflexes to restore homeostasis. That always guarantees a deep and restorative sleep.
What sort of strategies work to keep you sane and balanced in your crazy life?
John Guinta says
Yoga and regular exercise coupled with periodic backpacking all help me maintain my physical body. Meditation and playing a musical instrument help me focus inward. Working in my garden, growing and eating organic food helps me focus outward to the natural world around me. Trying to limit my exposure to unnatural light and not watching television also seems to be beneficial to my serenity.
Karen Ball says
You are the master at this John!!
Diana Khoury says
As a solopreneur, it is easy to feel like I should be working all the time. To keep myself grounded and sane – and productive – I do yoga twice a week and go for walks in the afternoon when the weather permits (hey, I live in Seattle so we take what we can get weather-wise). I am constantly amazed at how physical movement serves to stimulate my creativity and help me stay grounded. These activities also help me organize my thoughts, relieve stress, and release energy that I am holding onto for others. I schedule them into my week as I would any other appointment, so that my self-care stays a priority and does not fall to the wayside. I benefit, and so do my clients.
Karen Ball says
Diana – I think you hit the nail on the head when you say you schedule your self-care. If we don’t make those “appointments” as important as all the others, we’re doomed.