Quiet Moments: How?
For most of us, quiet moments are rare. Life is short. There is so much to do, so much to see. How can we stop what we are doing for quiet reflection?
Life hands us so many roles. With a full-time job, there’s barely enough time to run errands, prepare food, keep a clean home, exercise, be entertained, pursue hobbies and get a good night sleep. For many of us there are also children, pets, yard work, taking care of family and friends in need, side jobs, … It never ends. It seems impossible to accomplish all the things we need to get done in a day, much less to take time out to sit around and do nothing.
Self Reflection Increases Productivity
The irony in the non-stop rush lifestyle is that it is less productive than a life of focused, intentional, relaxed activities. When we are running non-stop, our activities are unfocused and inefficient. Taking time to stop and reflect on ourselves, our actions and our plans helps keep our activities relevant, efficient, and perhaps most importantly, enjoyable. There’s nothing that inspires focused, efficient action than enjoying what we are doing.
This is true with most vocations, running errands, and most definitely with small children. Most parents know that when you try to rush a child, they will take many times longer. When you turn an activity into a game, children will accomplish tasks with amazing efficiency. Adults are not that much different. Instead of kicking and screaming when forced to do things we don’t want to do, we move forward begrudgingly while meandering and distracting ourselves along the way.
Each Day is Busier Than the Last – A Personal Perspective
In response to a comment posted by reader sunchild_21 posted on yesterday’s reflection, What Inspires You?, I’m sharing a personal perspective on a principle with which I have not been very successful. This is a concept I understand intellectually, but have not been able to practice consistently.
I currently have a full time job, am the father of a beautiful toddler, run a part-time consulting business, work out 45 minutes most days, have multiple hobbies. My wife and I own a home with a large, high-maintenance yard with an orchard and a swimming pool. We have a cat and a large dog. We both do volunteer work and try to spend as much time as possible with family and friends. She also works full time and is attending online classes for a bachelor’s degree. And, I am now writing posts for this website daily.
For the most part, I love every minute of it, but most days go by with few or no quiet moments. The most relaxing times that I experience are those I spend with my son. When I am with him, I am focused on him and in the moment. But otherwise, It is a struggle to keep from running from task to task.
I know from experience that those days I do take time for reflection, prayer, meditation or bonding with my family are not only much more enjoyable, but I tend to get more accomplished. When I go long stretches without quiet time, the responsibilities seem to pile up in overwhelming heaps all around me and can get frustrating. The pattern and the irony of it are so clear, but somehow, the temptation to keep running is very strong.
Daily Action – Take a Quiet Moment for a Better Life
Take several moments to be quiet and reflect on yourself and the direction of your life. Early morning and late evening before sleeping tend to be the easiest times to make this happen, but try to find some small moments throughout the day. Avoid television, radio, music or any distractions during these moments. Think about your relationships with others, with God. Think about how you spend your time.
Please feel free to share your struggles regarding this concept. And, if you have been able to maintain healthy habits around this principle, please share that as well. I know I could learn a lot from you and I’m sure many others can as well.