Stress=Living in the Future
Years ago I remember being in a workshop with Richard Carlson, a gifted teacher, father and the author of Slowing Down to the Speed of Life, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (It’s All Small Stuff) and many other best-selling titles.
He used to speak a lot about stress reduction and experiencing enhanced well-being through slowing down and living in the moment. Someone in the audience asked him how in the world he did this when last year he had presented at 200 conferences (do the math!).
His response, “I don’t think about where I have to be on Friday, next week or the following month. I simply take a taxi to the airport. I sit and wait for the plane. I get on the plane. I de-board. I take a taxi to the hotel. I present my talk. I go back to my room to sleep. I take a taxi back to the airport ……and on I go.”
His point being that he was able to maintain such an intense schedule because he didn’t dwell on the past or become overwhelmed by the future. He stayed in the present moment.
When we’re fully present. Fully here, right now. Aware of our breath and being in our bodies, there is no stress. (Try it.) It’s thinking about our insane to-do lists and everything that lies before us that throws us over the edge.
I take this lesson to heart today as I look at my incredibly too-full week of deadlines, meetings, events and personal/school obligations and remember Richard’s wise teaching.
And I breathe. And, move forward purposefully. Grateful to be doing work I love, serving others and knowing stress is really an inside-out job. A choice.
I know Richard, who passed away suddenly in 2006 a month after he endorsed my upcoming book, would smile if heard this. And would encourage all of us to slow down and trust that everything that’s really important will get done. But, it’s up to us how we choose to experience the journey.
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The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.
Photo: Renee Peterson Trudeau. High plains of New Mexico. This beautiful plant clearly enjoyed soaking up the present moment as much as we did.