A Pocket of Un-Hurry

A Pocket of Un-Hurry

(Pictured: Fable, local expert on the art of un-hurry.)

How we do anything becomes how we do everything. If you, like me, find yourself in a flurry of busy-ness much of the time, trying to fit as much as humanly possible into every minute of your days, consider carving out a pocket of un-hurry for yourself.

I get it: there’s so much pressure to do more, be more, and you’re doing your best to meet the demands and needs of your life. But here’s the thing: at some point, RUSH becomes our only speed, and we get stuck in that gear. Time scarcity infects our mindset. We transfer a frantic energy to every moment of our waking hours, injecting a false sense of urgency into everything we do. We never get a break from it.

Pause for a minute and ask, when is the last time you did something slowly, on purpose? Lingered. Dallied. Took your time…instead of feeling like you were borrowing time. Has your patience with yourself and others evaporated? Do you notice a tight, rushed feeling in your chest even when you’re supposed to be relaxing?

If this resonates with you, consider claiming and designating a small part of your day, a particular activity, where you will downshift, on purpose. You need only a handful of minutes for this to create a positive effect.

In this container of time, promise yourself: you will not hurry; there will be no rush. Maybe you’ll leave for work with enough time to stop and get your favorite coffee, and actually taste and enjoy it. Maybe as you’re doing the dishes, you’ll let this task take whatever time it needs, allowing yourself to be present to the smell of soap and the feeling of warm water on your hands.

Whatever activity you choose, narrate the experience to yourself. Your brain will need some reminders as you shift gears. Tell yourself that just now, there is no hurry. Let those words sink in. Let your brain and your nervous system feel the pleasure, the exhale, of deliberately slowing down. Welcome to your pocket of un-hurry.

Outside the Overwhelm: There Will Be Flowers

Outside the Overwhelm: There Will Be Flowers

Welcome back. Today I’ve set out some flowers for you.  In this space there will be flowers — lots of flowers. Because they’re beautiful, of course…but they are so much more than that.

I don’t think of flowers as a splurge or an indulgence – I think we need them, just like we need art and music.  We need reminders that life is beautiful, in the midst of all the chaos.

It’s not only their beauty that inspires us – it’s their transformation.  Just weeks or months ago, they were seeds.  Scattered randomly, inert.  Buried in the cold, dark earth.  Seemingly powerless…but stirring inside. Not yet knowing light, but able to imagine it enough to move toward it. Did their need to break open feel like pain or hope, or perhaps the pain of breaking itself compelled them to hope? What else could they do but grow?  And so they did.

They trusted their yearning, their will to grow, and became something magnificent, astonishing, unrecognizable to the selves they once were.  Their life cycle is half hardship, half glory — and all too short – but they give themselves to all of it, moving bravely through its seasons.

Here, outside the overwhelm: what stirs there inside you, if you quiet yourself enough to listen?  What would you like to become in the weeks, months and years ahead, if you allowed space for your own yearning? What light compels you to grow?  This is so worthy of your attention.  You are so worthy of your attention.

Flowers are gestures of care, tokens of love.  Let’s have lots of them here.



Welcome to my Blog:  A Place Outside the Overwhelm

Welcome to my Blog: A Place Outside the Overwhelm

Welcome! I want to give you a little tour of this corner of the internet where my blog will live.

In this space, the lighting will be low, and the chairs will be overstuffed and comfy.  This will be a space of tranquility. Come on in.

“Throw off your tiredness,” as Rumi says, and let yourself sit down — with an exhale.
Imagine there’s a cup of peach tea, warm in your hands, and it smells so good you can’t help but breathe it in.  That may be the first full breath you’ve taken today.

This is a place to come by, settle in and collect yourself, and perhaps find something to take along with you: some inspiration, connection, a tool to pick up and guide you along the way. I hope you’ll some find wisdom here, not because I purport to be any purveyor of wisdom, but because this is a space where we can be curious together.   I’m a fellow traveler…and this blog will be a place where we can stop, take a rest, and share our field notes.

I’ll start with the words most impactful to me in my own life, and foundational to my work as a teacher, counselor and a coach.  This quote, attributed to Viktor Frankl by Stephen Covey, reads:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

The space referred to in those lines, between stimulus and response, may be counted in temporal terms as a millisecond, but its depths and possibilities are endless.  In it, you can find much of what you’re longing for:  a sense of control, connection to others, meaning, purpose.  This critical space, and our power to choose how we want to show up for it —  is offered up to us over and over each day.   Yet so often we step right over it or attempt to reach past it, our eyes trained on all the madness out there that we can’t control.

To hold space, and create a place for you, so you can find your space: that is what I hope to bring to this coaching practice and to this blog.  I want to create space outside the overwhelm, where you can find a microdose of calm.  Space to reflect inward and attend to the most important elements of your human volition:  your thinking, your emotions, and the actions you take.  Space from which you can ask the question, “What is life asking of me?” and create your own unique answer.

So consider yourself a welcome guest in this place, outside the overwhelm; beyond all the tasks, the needs and demands, where you can find your space.  I hope you’ll come by often.