Have you ever gone to a wedding where the officiant makes the bride and groom stop and turn around during the ceremony to look at all the people who are watching and celebrating their marriage? One of the best pieces of advice I received before my wedding day, regarding the actual day itself, was to make a conscious effort to pause while getting ready, during the ceremony and reception to look around and take it all in. They told me to look around at all the people there who love you and support you and take mental images at that moment because if you don’t take those moments to pause, the chaos throughout the day will make it seem like a blur.
If you have been to a concert, sometimes the artist on the stage will just stand there, for a minute or two or several…. looking out into the crowd and soaking in the moment. If you follow pro football or sports in general, you may have seen a picture that went viral last month of a Bills player standing by himself watching the Chiefs celebrate beating them in order to get to the Super Bowl. It was a painful moment for that player to soak in, but I guarantee he will remember that moment and use that feeling of defeat as motivation to get better and work harder.
As business owners, employees, parents, spouses, and children, our lives can feel like they are going full steam ahead, throwing ourselves into work, busying ourselves at home, rushing from appointments to practices, adding to-do lists, making new goals. One minute it’s 8 a.m. and you are rushing out the door and next thing you know you are sitting in 5 o’clock traffic ready to get home to your family. Despite all the chaos, meetings, and to-dos, sometimes we all need a reminder to just take a moment.
A moment to…
Soak in a win or accomplishment, personally or professionally.
Sit in defeat, loss, feeling the weight of it and acknowledging the pain.
Pray. Offering gratitude, giving thanks, coming humbly before God.
This could be five minutes of prayer and reflection on the day or to get ready for the day. Maybe you need a longer moment, evaluating where you are on the burnout scale, taking a weekend away to unplug, recharge and regroup. As much as we would not like to admit it, we aren’t superhumans, able to run miles on fumes. If we don’t stop to take some time for ourselves to breathe, recharge, and rest, we are more likely to risk burnout. We allow ourselves to be more vulnerable to irritable behavior, anxiety, and stress. Taking a moment or two forces us to be still, not moving in a thousand different directions, but to release control for a minute and just breathe.
Take an honest inventory of your days, weeks, maybe even the past year, have you allowed yourself to take a moment? Do you take time to celebrate the wins, even if it’s just a minute or two before moving on to the next deal? Do you allow yourself to sit in your mistakes, failures, even if it is just for a moment to motivate you for the next day? Make a conscious effort to take the moment for yourself to be still and be present, to breathe, and re-group. You never know how one small moment will impact your entire day.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10