Do you often feel tired or stressed at the end of a busy day?
Do you find it difficult to carry the peace you find when you meditate into your daily activities?
Perhaps you’re not creating enough gaps in your day.
My first career was as a tennis coach. One interesting aspect of tennis is that there is a 15 to 30 second break after each point. I discovered that a huge key to maintaining a high level of both performance and joy on the court was to use these breaks to relax and release any residue (self-judgment, anger, etc.) from the last point.
When I shifted from tennis coach to nonprofit Executive Director, I noticed that the gaps were no longer built into the structure of the activity. In most work settings (not to mention at home), we can easily go from one task to the next one without a break. Before too long, we may get into a pushing, rushing mode and lose touch with our heart/Self.
I found that when I created regular gaps at work, the whole quality of my experience shifted. Even taking a few seconds to shift focus to my breath and relax often made an immediate difference. If I were getting really stressed, I would take a walk around the block, doing my best to drop into the present and enjoy the moment.
I recommend creating a short gap in whatever activity you’re doing at least once an hour. It’s easy to set your cell phone, watch, or computer to remind you. In our home, Alex and I have a clock which offers a different bird call every hour. Whatever we’re doing, we stop for a moment, listen to the song and feel the joy it naturally evokes.
If your life is very busy, it is helpful to create longer gaps for rest and renewal. The traditional practice of taking a Sabbath day once a week is an excellent one.
It is wonderful to have a day each week dedicated to self-renewal. If the demands of your life are so great that you can’t imagine taking a weekly Sabbath, perhaps you could at least take a half day off. Or perhaps you could take a full day every other week.
I also recommend creating a longer gap to do a full reset at least once a year. Three days is a good minimum amount of time for a retreat. This allows time to go through the full retreat cycle of letting go of the past, re-connecting deeply in the Present, and getting fresh vision and inspiration for the future.
Please contact me if you’d like support in planning a spiritual retreat or have any questions about how to incorporate more gaps to enrich your life.
Please contact me if you’d support in planning a spiritual retreat or have any questions about how to incorporate more gaps to enrich your life.
Andrew Oser has been offering guided retreats on Mount Shasta since 1982. Through hikes to little-known sacred sites, guided meditations, spiritual life coaching, and time drinking in the silence of the mountain, he helps clients to deeply renew themselves in body, mind, and spirit and receive clear vision for their lives. Andrew also offers spiritual life coaching by phone and Zoom