I love the beginning of a new year! It’s a chance for a fresh start, a revision of course, or, if necessary, an opportunity to make a complete, 180-degree turn.
Many of us have left 2014 with our hearts racing, our breathing labored, and the sweat of over-commitment still moist on our brow. If we’re honest, it wasn’t just the hurried pace of the holidays that was the cause, it was the break-neck speed of the entire year which has us crying, “Stop my world, I want to get off!”
As you’re reading today’s Monday Morning Health Tip would you move your eyes away from my words and focus instead for a moment on the edges of this page—the white space that sits in between the paragraphs and at the top, bottom and sides of this e-newsletter? Those blank, empty, unfilled areas are called margins. At first thought you might equate them to areas of inconsequential nothingness. Not so. Their very presence prompts the reader to pause, adds visual clarity, and provides an enhancing aesthetic to the page’s layout.
You and I need to purpose to live our daily lives in such a way where we’ve left room for “margin”—at the beginning and end of our days, in between our tasks, and at the “sides” (or weekends) or our schedules, too! Implementing this “free space” will allow us the opportunity to catch our breath, gain clarity, and be able to actually enjoy the fullness of our day because it has been framed in brief times of rest, recreation, and reflection.
This shift away from an over-extended, exhausted life towards a well-paced, fruitful life will require some margin time of reflection up front. Not all the good things we pile on our plates are good for us. Some of them have squeezed us dry and prevented us from being available for what I call “God-pportunites”—those spontaneous acts of kindness that we just don’t have time to act upon when prompted to do so. My rule of thumb (when my life already feels full) is to never add to my existing schedule without first offloading another responsibility.
Begin weaning away some of your chronic busyness until a healthy margin appears, and then on hold tight on your new found pauses. You’ll find you go from frantic to fragrant in 2015.
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