It Was a Beautiful Day at the Dog Park…

IMG_1186It was a beautiful day at the dog park, with an amazing view of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I usually multi-purpose this time with my collie to plan, work out life’s issues and think through blog content. I often find myself entering notes into my calendar and taking phone meetings as Madison bounds and plays with the other dogs. Today wasn’t much different as I processed some decisions that I am facing and worked through plans for wrapping up with a coaching client tomorrow evening.

I took a minute to watch Maddie nip and bark at a dog half her size and glanced up to see other dog owners, standing in groups of 3 or 4 visiting and playing with their pooches. I wondered if I take life too seriously. If I am always working, writing blogs, building my business – am I missing the point of it all?

Is it really that hard to disconnect and just appreciate or ‘be’ in the moment? We are coached to take stock of our lives. We see Facebook posts that urge us to enjoy the journey. Philosophers have directly (and indirectly) used prose and novel to demonstrate living in the moment, the importance of inner peace, moments of gratitude and reflection, and valuing love and relationship as important as work. Think about how many times you have had someone reference… “No one has the words ‘I wished I would have worked more’ etched on their grave stone.

It’s much like exercise and diet. We know what we should do but our environments reinforce something different. There is an abundance of research on the health risks of sugar, yet everywhere we look there is a muffin, bagel, cookie or pie. We know that moving our bodies adds years to our lives but busy schedules and the ability to work 24-7 give us the excuse we need to avoid the sweat. In the recent report of Women in the Workplace 2015, there is reference to the fact that the programs and flexibility put in place by companies as they attempt to meet the needs specific to women in the workplace are often not taken advantage of due to the perceived workplace culture that doing so might be a barrier to advancement.

So if there are both ‘real and perceived’ barriers to taking the time we need to just be, to live in the moment, to take care of our families, to experience joy and pain, to meditate and pray…what is the answer? I think there is an individual decision to be made. To schedule the time, to be aware and to live life purposefully. However, there is a bigger story to be told as well. Until we create environments for others that facilitate and encourage the opportunity to just be, to connect with our souls, to choose family over work – even if it is just for a moment in time… we will continue to reinforce each other to ‘just be busy’.

awarenessI found a moment of awareness this morning. You might find yours as you are driving your children to school or as you look at your spouse across the kitchen table. It might be in a run along the beach or in choosing to take extended maternity or elder care leave. For others, their awareness may compel them to begin their day at 10:30 instead of the traditional 8:00 am start, explore and then execute strategies that thoughtfully ‘onboard’ babies into the world… or they might just embrace the value of an early afternoon trip to the dog park and a look at the mountains.

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