Sometimes though, I wonder if I’m not on auto-pilot when I repeat the same behavior day after day without thinking or doing anything differently. One of my favorite mindfulness techniques is to choose to sit in a different chair in the living or family room or sit in a different place at the table or breakfast bar. It’s such a simple change, but the results can be surprising in that you see things from a different angle or perspective. In asking participants in one of my Mindfulness Meditation workshops how they experienced this assignment, one participant said, “Well, I saw cobwebs I hadn’t seen before.” I love that comment because making a small change like sitting in a different spot allows me to be more fully present and to see things I might not otherwise see. It helps me turn the auto-pilot off and be intentional with my time and choices.
When I was 9 years old I attended my brother’s high school graduation and while I don’t remember the man who gave the graduation address, I still remember the title of his speech, “Whatcha Gonna Do with Whatcha Got?” It’s not perfect grammar, but the message left a lasting impression. I’ve thought of that title often over the years as well as the quote, “For of those to whom much is given much is required,” spoken by John F. Kennedy and paraphrased from Luke 12:48. The question and the statement imply there are choices to be made and responsibilities to be assumed.
I like this quote from Dave Hollis, “Use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” I can decide what “normal” will look like going forward. I can use the reset button and decide what to do with the time I have. The gift of time is a pretty big gift. I don’t want to waste it or sleep-walk through it or miss any of it. I want to cherish it and make the most of every second. That question from so many years ago lingers with me to this day: “Whatcha Gonna Do with Whatcha Got?”
I wonder how you would answer that question, if you have used the reset button and how you view the gift of time.
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SUE'S GIFT BLOG
Sherry Martin is the Patient Services Director for Sue's Gift, a licensed clinical social worker with over thirty years of experience in the field of oncology social work, and author of the book, Beginning Again: Tools for the Journey through Grief: A Step-by-Step Guide for Facilitators of a Grief Support Group. Sherry lives with her husband in Woodland Park, Colorado.
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