Learn How to Linger
I like routines. They help me both mentally and physically stay on track with the things I need to do every day. I have morning and evening routines that pretty much never change, and while the middle of my day is a little more flexible, I pretty much keep to the same schedule. The other day, though, I broke my routine.
I normally meditate in the morning, but I took time in the afternoon to do an extra visualization that took about an hour out of my day. I'm so grateful I did. Taking the time to stop and breathe and let my mind and body relax may have taken an hour, but I was so much more focused and efficient the rest of the day. Not only that, but I felt cleansed and relieved of all the stress I was feeling, and that is something that's definitely worth giving up an hour for.
Today we've all got laptops and tablets and smartphones and smartwatches and bluetooth and all the other gadgets and gizmos that give what we want at a moment's notice. We live in a time of instant gratification and nonstop action, and we've collectively forgotten how incredible it can be to simply stop and linger every now and then.
You don't have to take an hour or do a meditative visualization to receive the benefits of lingering. The next time you water your plants, talk to them. Spend time with them. Thank them for cleaning your air. Or take a minute when you wake up every morning to enjoy the sunrise and set an intention for the day. Linger over your meals. It seems like for so many people food is nothing more than a distraction from the day's responsibilities, but that's no way to nourish yourself. You're feeding your body, you might as well take the time to feed your soul, too. Enjoy every bite. Savor the joining of flavors. Start seeing your meals as gifts rather than as obligations.
Stress levels are so high these days it's a wonder we don't all keel over. Give yourself permission to take a break every now, and then and relish the stillness wherever you can find it. Every day is full of new opportunities to linger; take those opportunities. We shouldn't have to merely get through each day; we should relish them. I'm not saying you have to love the times when you need to fill out spreadsheets or pick up your dog's poop or deal with Ben from the office who is a total dick. I am, however, saying that there is beauty all around us. We just have to take the time to see it.