Like many of you, I often find myself overwhelmed with all the obligations, the “to do lists”, and events I’ve scheduled into my life. Without boring you with all the details, it was on one such day that I had been rushing from one thing to the next, that I ended up missing an important event I had wanted to attend. I realized in that moment that I needed to STOP and refresh, before I crashed into life. Since my happy place is the beach, and one was nearby, I thought, “I will just go to the beach and figure out what the universe is trying to tell me”.
I drove to the beach and it was closed, so I went a little further up the coast, and saw a huge group of people congregated at the bluff overlooking the ocean. I parked my car, got out, and walked up to the group. “What are you all waiting for?” I asked the woman standing next to me. “We are waiting for the tsunami to come,” she answered. “What?,” I asked again, confused and not sure what I was hearing. She patiently explained to me about the tsunami and earthquake that had happened in Japan the day before. In my “busyness”, I hadn’t watched the news, listened to the radio, or even looked at the global internet for several days and hence, was clueless about the event that had devastated Japan.
I slowly walked back to my car and just sat for a couple of hours, thinking about the collision course I had personally been on, by overbooking and scheduling myself for so much! I had been sooooooo busy doing my list, attending my events, going from one obligation to another, that I lost sight. What I had NOT been doing was creating my business, I had not been planning new and exciting things, I had not been taking time for myself, family and friends, or enjoying what I love most.
In the days that followed, stories came out of the importance of slowing down and valuing what is important to us from not only those affected personally by the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami, but from friends who were experiencing overwhelm as well. My friend Catherine (a fabulous jewelry designer) summed it up beautifully with her gift to me of a gorgeous necklace and charm that reads “SLOW LIFE”. I wear it daily as a constant reminder of precious time to live, create, enjoy, and do what I love best. I’m not waiting for the tsunami to come before I take stock and live my life in alignment with what is important. I hope you won’t either.