When the To Do list is full, it is common that our thoughts become consumed with ways to attack and conquer. Time becomes a critical factor. We may begin to survey our calendar to square away breaks in our daily routine for errands, emails, or phone calls. Essentially, the focus of one’s day may become tackling these chores and scratching them off the list. The mere act of using a writing utensil to cross out an action item feels good. Perhaps we become fixated on this act more so than the actual items needed to accomplish. When life begins to shape up in this direction, it may be time to reassess what is important to you. Inevitably, there will always be something new to add to the list.
After writing my last blog entry (and living in my clean space), I’ve been wondering what life would be like without a laundry list of action items. We all need something to focus on, but what happens with our lens shifts and the peripheral becomes our focus? If we bring our awareness to more fanciful thoughts, we can give ourselves a break from the ever-growing, go-go-go attitude. Below are some ways to spice up your day to activate your playful side that deserves some well-needed attention.
Allowing your mind to soften and your thoughts to shift into a state of dream-like consciousness may be awkward at first. As you drift, notice how you may feel lighter. You may fantasize about whatever you like, such as a place of resolve and peace. Or, you may decide on a topic. For instance, what will my dream vacation home look like and where will it be located. Will the land be near the water, or in a mountainous region? The beauty of daydreaming is you have the power to go wherever.
The term “meditation” may scare many away. Another way of looking at meditating is quieting the mind. While we live in a society that encourages and rewards do-ing behavior, it is rather challenging to set aside time for personal introspection. In order to carve out this time, one must be ready to take the Nestea plunge into being okay with staying in the present moment. Mindfulness mediation is an excellent tool to bring us into the now. In the long run, sitting is more productive than pushing and swimming upstream.
Taking time to appreciate things that are going well in our lives is undervalued. All too often, the positives are overlooked. Instead of focusing on what is missing, bring your awareness to what brings you happiness in your life. Make a list when you wake up in the morning of all the things in your life that make you smile, even if it is as basic as your favorite cup of coffee. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring us joy.
Take a stand to embed these playful tactics into your day-to-day life. If not now, then when? Because, rarely do we say, “Hmm, I need to be playing more.” Make it fun, and learn when enough of doing is enough.