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Need Time to Chill?

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Need Time to Chill?

Listen for the mindfulness bell.
Karen  Horneffer-Ginter
Karen Horneffer-Ginter More by this author
Aug 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

When we’re on the go and engaged in the tasks of everyday life, it often feels counter-intuitive to take a break. Our doing has a momentum of its own that doesn’t always like to be interrupted, especially when we’re in the mindset of getting things accomplished and moving through our to-do lists.

When we’re committed to living in a conscious way, however, inserting breaks within our daily routine becomes an essential strategy for staying connected to our wisdom and our intentions. It allows us to remember what matters most by motivating us, both literally and figuratively, to lift our head up from our busyness and see the larger perspective of life.

In recent years, more and more attention has been given to the importance of bringing our spiritual practice from our cushion and mat right into our everyday lives. This raises some interesting questions, such as how can we best be mindful as we move through our routines at work and at home? How can we remember to stay present with the intentions, affirmations, and prayers that we might have spoken earlier in the day?

Taking a time-out in the midst of our day can serve as an ideal mindfulness bell, not only offering a much needed break, but also bringing our attention back to our priorities, and helping us stay present with our intentions throughout the day.

Often, half the challenge of taking a break—along with remembering and choosing to take one—is figuring out what to do with our time. Usually, the break activities we’re most in need of are the ones that reflect the opposite of what we’ve been doing too much of.  If we’ve been sitting at our desk, we need to get outside and be active.  If we’ve been exerting physical energy, we need rest; if we’ve been serious, we need playfulness; and if we’ve been focusing on people and details outside of ourselves, we need to bring our attention back within.  

It’s helpful to brainstorm a list of activities that can serve as a break.  The image above presents a visual stroll through 50 possibilities that are discussed in my book, Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit.  Use this as a catalyst to come up with your own list and to experiment with what best supports you in your daily and weekly life.  It’s amazing that such simple acts as taking a walk, breathing deeply, noticing nature’s beauty, and offering kindness can help us stay connected to what matters most in life.   

About Author
Karen  Horneffer-Ginter
Karen Horneffer-Ginter has been practicing psychology and teaching yoga and contemplative practices for over 16 years. She has also taught graduate students and health care professionals, along with directing a university-based holistic health car Continue reading