November 8, 2011

Women are very good multitaskers. We’re planning supper while juggling laundry and making notes for Friday’s big presentation. Being able to do more than one thing at a time makes us capable of handling the many demands of a modern woman’s daily life.

Have we become too good at doing too much?  Are we ticking off our to do lists, or are we really living each day?

Are we fully alive, or are we merely getting by?

Days can become years without us noticing. Have you ever asked, ”Where has the time gone?” or commented to your friends how quickly your children are growing up? “Before you know it, they’ll be gone,” you say. And indeed, you could find yourself looking back, regretting not paying more attention to the toddler or teenager; not taking a paycut to pursue the job of your dreams; not learning Latin American Ballroom before sciatica and bunions made it too painful to contemplate.

Paying attention is not my strong suit. Efficiency is the name of my game: no dawdling, just get there!

What this means is that I have a tendency to think I can do it better, my way. I rush ahead. My goal is to finish the task, not necessarily enjoy the process. Does that sound familiar?

A few years ago I cottoned to the fact that God had set me a challenge to slow down and simplify. What an adventure it has been! It was very difficult at first, like I imagine a detox regimen or a stint in rehab would be. It has been worth it though – I’ve learned important facts about myself, and over time I’ve changed enough to cooperate with what I’ve learned, and to not want to go back to the old way, though I do slip sometimes. I’ll find myself falling back into old patterns like sleepwalking through the days.

So what have I learned? In order for me to be able to pay attention, be fully alive, my life needs to be, well, slow and simple. I don’t like to be too busy. A hectic schedule is stressful for me. Every person’s threshold is different. Learn where yours is, and be respectful of it.

I’ve come to realize that traffic gets to me. It elevates my anxiety, makes me cranky and aggressive. My peace of mind and restful spirit require me to avoid daily traffic jams. One of the great blessings of living where I do is that I am seldom in the thick of heavy traffic, and most of the time I have country route alternatives to get to where I need to be. I am so thankful!

Physical environment. I like a room with a view, to have gorgeous nature to wallow in, if not right outside the front door, then at least within easy distance. Being too long in a concrete jungle makes the edges of my soul curl up and turn grey. What I see everyday either makes me happy or depresses me – I can’t tune it out. Creation inspires my creativity.

I also need order, tidiness, and structure. If the framework of my life is in place, I feel more comfortable going with the flow, being spontaneous. I like to know what is expected of me.

Two years ago I moved to what I call Sohoe – it is a Slice of Heaven on Earth. The things I learned were necessary for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health are possible for me to put into practice here. Having that knowledge, but not knowing how to live it while having a busy life in the city was a constant source of confusion, unhappiness, and dissatisfaction. I thank God every day for bringing me here.

I’m not suggesting that everyone must  quit their job, leave the city and move to the country. We are each made to need and enjoy different things. Rather, I want to encourage you to take stock. Are you too busy to appreciate the blessings you’ve been given? Are you paying attention to your life? If not, what do you need to make those things possible? What changes can you make to facilitate joy?

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What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!

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