Whether you’re a parent or player involved in sports, we often find ourselves bouncing from one event to the next at mock speed. In each situation we are asked to gather our energy and put forward our best selves.
From these situations we often look back to determine both our degree of growth and success.
However, what if the real opportunities for learning and doing great things lay in the calm spaces between the games, work, events and chaos, would you be surprised?
For myself a closer look at these openings began to invite the question, what could I do in these small spaces to help me feel more present, connected and relaxed? The offshoot of all three is a greater ability to stay focused and create a clear picture of what matters most to myself by blocking out the noise that can often get in the way of finding more solutions in a way that doesn’t feel like work, but is effortless.
These are two keys that I find helpful:
1. Three Minutes A Day.
Everyone can find three minutes of alone time to clear out the cobwebs, but the majority of us just don’t do it. If you’re like most people with busy lives, the thought of sitting still without anything “to do” can be uncomfortable or even frightening, or seem fluffy.
What I’ve learned is that relaxing and taking even three minutes of calm reflection can reduce the opening to stress related illnesses significantly, but more importantly it can give you the recharge you need to continue thinking and doing your best.
Try closing the door from your crew or post a note saying you’re taking “5” as it’s important not to be interrupted, I knew one parent that purposefully locked themselves in the bathroom to ensure they were able to get their time in.
Now close your eyes and take three deep breaths imagine your favorite holiday spot or place you loved as a child. What does it smell, sound, and feel like? When you’ve re-connected with that memory spend a few minutes looking closely at one or two details. It gets easier with practice, the lists and priorities which can sometimes pop up will naturally disappear, and some of the benefits can include feeling a weight lifted from you or the ability to come up with solutions to problems that seemed challenging before.
2. Keep a small journal or tablet with you or next to your bed.
You may have heard this before, but both great ideas and items, which are troubling us, are best, captured and put in their place. Great creative writers and thinkers know that in order to move themselves and their ideas forward they need to harness the pieces when they first appear and then go back to them when they have time to add more thought.
On the opposite side, if you have too many items on your “to do” list or there is something specifically troubling you, which is taking up vital energy and mental space, then finding a moment to write down all of the details surrounding it can often leave you feeling open to finally tackling it and ready to give the next challenge your absolute best.