Coach’s Challenge for 12/9/12 “Wise Owl”
Good day, team.
As often happens this time of year, I find myself winding down and rushing to get things done, all at the same time. The holidays are filled with lots of obligations, events and chores. And yet, the short days, lingering darkness and pending end of the year all signal that it’s time to rest, retreat and recuperate. It’s a mixed message at best.
Yesterday, I was perusing some older coach’s challenges and found this lovely gem from 2004. It’s as relevant today as it was then, so I thought I’d share it with you as the last challenge of 2012. It’s a great reminder to greet the moments in our lives as they come rather than constantly rushing through them. I have added a recent experience from last week while walking through the park to illustrate my point.
From the coach’s challenge written July 6, 2004:
The coach’s challenge for this week is to not rush through things. We all seem to have too much to do. Each day brings myriad tasks. Our tendency is to rush though things to get them all done by the end of the day. But, when we do that, we often feel exhausted and unsatisfied by the experience. Our challenge is to try not to be overwhelmed by the amount of things that need to get done, but to take each thing as it comes and be present with it. I often tell myself, “Do only what’s directly in front of you.” That is, stop worrying about all the other things that need to get done and stick with what needs to happen in this moment.
I’ve noticed that I’m kind of addicted to the fast-paced, multitasking, rush-around lifestyle. It makes me feel useful and significant. And yet, nothing wears me down faster than this frenzied activity. It takes discipline for me to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak. But when I do, I am so much happier.
Just the other morning on my walk through the park, I rushed along worrying about a meeting I had scheduled for later that afternoon, when I realized what a beautiful day it was. A wispy layer of fog rose from the ground, giving the surrounding landscape a luminous quality as it gave way to light emerging through the trees and shrubs. Up in a tree, not more than 10 feet from me, I saw an owl. I stopped. Beautiful in it’s arrangement of brown and white feathers, the owl looked right at me as if to say, “What are you in such a hurry about?” I continued to stand there for many minutes. While we observed each other, many other sights and sounds came into view. There was quite a cacophony of bird songs, rustling leaves and dogs barking in the distance. Gosh, I thought, if I’d just kept rushing along I would have missed all of this — including this wise owl.
This week, take some time to notice all that’s right in front of you. Don’t let yourself miss the life that’s presenting itself to you. An appropriate saying from the Amish goes like this: “It’s not rushing through tasks to achieve a series of goals that is satisfying; it’s experiencing each moment along the way.”
Have a great week, and Happy Holidays to you all! The next challenge will be published on Jan. 6, 2013.
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