First, people would immediately assume that pausing meant coming to a complete halt, seeking solitary confinement, and doing absolutely nothing. Wrong. Pausing really means stepping away from what drains your energy and engaging in something that fills your tank. Some times, for some people, solitude and silence do the trick; for others that approach just drives them crazy.
Secondly, people thought they needed to commit a BIG chunk of time to pausing for it to have any significant benefit. Wrong. Even a few seconds to reset the shoulders or the reset mindset can make a major difference in the flow of the day.
It’s because of these misconceptions, I was intrigued to recently discover a series of books entitled, ‘Five Good Minutes’ by Jeffrey Brantly MD and Wendy Millstine – all based on the principles of mindfulness based stress reduction.
Five Good Minutes – 100 Morning Practices To Help You Stay Calm & Focused All Day Long was the first in the series. The other four editions, Five Good Minutes In The Evening, Five Good Minutes At Work, Five Good Minutes With The One You Love, and Five Good Minutes In Your Body, followed on its heels.
They all share the same basic premise – that when you are more mindfully and deliberately attuned to what’s going on inside your mind and body, that five good minutes is all it takes to create focus, presence, and real intention in your life.
ACTION: I thought you might appreciate a few of their suggestions for generating five good minutes:
* Push your Temporary Button – a reminder in the midst of strong emotion that difficult situations aren’t permanent. This, too, shall pass.
* Sing a favorite tune. Out loud. At the top of your lungs. Solo road trips and showers were invented just for this.
* Five fingered peace. Touch your thumb to each of your four fingers in rotation – recalling, in turn:
-a time when you felt tired but satisfied by a job well done
-a loving exchange with someone in your past
-the most caring gesture you ever received, and
– the most magnificent place you’ve ever visited.
* Break out of your after dinner routine. If you normally drop into couch potato mode, make a different choice – for just five minutes and see where it takes you.
* Dip into your First Aid Snack kit for a handful of raisins and almonds or a yogurt. (Goodies you’ve stashed in your desk drawer or fridge that energize without adding empty calories and sugar.)
* Take a Mind Walk as you leave work at day’s end or roll into bed at night. Review the faces, places and spaces that peopled your day.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Sometimes you don’t realize how stressed you are until you can’t find the right Tupperware lid and have a meltdown.” – Judith Cane, Financial Advisor, Antara Financial Group
“Five minutes can seem so short – or so long. Yet, in a breath, or a moment, everything can change.” – Brantley & Millstine
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: The Five Good Minutes series by Brantley & Millstine is published by New Harbinger Publications. You can preview excerpts of the exercises from several of the books at: http://www.fivegoodminutes.com/excerptfivegood.htm
READERS WRITE: Apparently, as so many of you let me know, I’m not the only one who has had a personal experience with flying bird do.
In response to last week’s Pause message, Odds Are, LB writes: “Funny story! I always love to hear about people getting bombed by a seagull. The same thing happened to me when I was in Paris. Top of the Notre Dame and ‘wham’ hit by pigeon poop. It sounded like someone had thrown a glass of water at me! Of course we all started to laugh… me, my girlfriend and the other dozen tourists. But what struck me the most, was all the congratulations I received! Apparently, the European and Middle Eastern cultures believe it to be good luck when showered by our flying feathered friends. Every time you get sh*t on … no matter in what manner … there is always a silver lining behind it! “