As soon as Chris said this I felt ‘yes’ It is the story of my life and the way to get rid of frustration at how slow things can alter when I work so hard. It has given me a positive attitude that the small changes I make that end up creating a strong path towards my goals.
It also crystalized my thinking to seeing that the small changes I make are actually powerful advances. The most important thing is to know what the goals are, and once there is a sense of direction every step forward is taking ground.
The decision to be intentional about changing any area of our lives is a huge start, but it is often the product of years of being exposed to new ideas or concepts. It is often small changes in our thinking that lead to action, or the crack in the resistance we have put up to change over the years when other people have tried to direct us. It can take humility for some people to accept that what others have been saying to them for years may be correct. But I know once I have got past the pride hurdle in those resistances I usually think ‘why didn’t I do this years ago’. The refusal to change actually sucks the life and joy out of us, and life is too short for that!
I think that’s why I enjoy reading biographies, as they challenge me about ideas, attitudes and practices to avoid or adopt.
My work has brought me in contact with people who have worn themselves out physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually or horrors in more than one of those areas. I know I am a high energy person and need to protect myself and practice what I preach!
I knew I needed to find an oasis in my life, and that times of drawing aside for reflective thinking and prayer was my way of doing this magnificently.
It took me years to regularly put aside some time each
week for quiet and reflection. And the understanding I now have about the rest response in our bodies [the parasympathetic nervous system] gave me the final incentive to actually start doing it. It has energised me and I am now jealous of that time and have it diarised so nothing else overlaps. I used to tell myself it was a flexible time, and it could change each week, and I know others talk about doing that, but for me it was never the same. I wouldn’t settle into all it had to offer. My regular time has become the oasis in the desert, and I can put more energy into being busy knowing that it is waiting for me.
But I have practised what I preach in that I know how to bring my body into calm which allows my mind to stop racing, my emotions to settle and I can open my heart to God’s Presence.
If you need to learn how to achieve a deep physical calm, buy my book REST: A Science and an Art on Amazon.