Are You Leap-Frogging from Vacation to Vacation? Try Lily-Padding...
It's summertime and chances are you can remember a summer vacation when life moved at a slower pace. It felt so good to just enjoy the days and nights. No pressure from school schedules, work schedules, volunteering and more.
Vacations serve an important purpose ? time to recharge our batteries and more. I see many clients living from vacation to vacation, weekend to weekend or day to day leap-frogging between time off. If you're always looking ahead to what time off is next for you, you may want to learn how to lily-pad!
Lily-padding is the art of enjoying where you are in the moment. Not just a resting place and not just the place between vacations, it's your life every day. And you get to choose how best to use it. If you're a seasoned leap-frogger, lily-padding may seem like sitting on your own hands. With practice you can learn to enjoy exactly where you are and what's available to you in the moment and everyone gets the best of you.
I can hear the objections already! So just stay curious about lily-padding. Here are 3 strategies to get you started:
1. Start with the belief that things can change.
Before the Berlin Wall came down how many people could even imagine it not existing? How many accepted that it would be there forever? What's your Berlin Wall? Try this ?' I'll see it when I believe it'. An important twist on 'I'll believe it when I see it'. The first version invites you to see things differently, to envision your life as you want to see it. It encourages you to take action. The second invites you to wait and see what will happen. Life on the lily-pad isn't about doing nothing.
2. Out with the old to make room for the new things to come into your life. Pay attention to what in your life you just tolerate. Make a list. What are you saying yes to that doesn't feed your soul. What would you like to have instead?
3. Practice being in the moment ? try some meditation.
Previously associated with hippies and yogis, meditation is mainstream and there's good reason for it. Just as daily exercise strengthens and trains your body, daily meditation trains and strengthens your mind. And the benefits go well beyond the minutes you spend in your daily practice. Over time, meditation 'exercise' builds your capacity to detach from the emotional reactions that cloud our thinking. With practice you can deal with stressful situations with very natural composure. A recent study by Richard Davidson , at the University of Wisconsin, identified that regular meditation is not only good for your mind, but great for your health too. His research found that regular meditation supports a healthier immune system, reduces anxiety and increases positive emotions.
There are a myriad of teachers, books and online resources to get you started. My introduction was to a simple breathing meditation. Get comfortable then concentrate on the breath going in and out of the tip of your nose as you breathe regularly. Initially I couldn't sit for more than a few minutes, peaking at the clock to see if I was 'done' yet. Every time your mind strays from the breath, you notice this and gently pull your attention back to the breath. Eventually, you'll spend less time thinking and more time being. Like any sport training it all seems so stilted at first until you hit that perfect drive, ski the flawless run or swim 800 metres with ease. Keep at it and eventually it's second nature. You may want to try a few different techniques before adopting your own daily practice. The thing is just to start somewhere.
The world needs more lily-padders. What will you do to get started?
Need support to get started? Visit http://www.avirtualretreat.com/inspirations for a free guided meditation. Debbie Kemp and Cynthia Wright offer resources and support to help you move from stress-full to stress-free.
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