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Be Here Now

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on July 24, 2014 1:30 PM

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Overwhelm. Too many things to do. Not enough time to do them. Most of us would agree this is a terrible place to be yet day after day, there we are again. Ugh.

Sure you can look at things like paring down, saying no more often, and delegating. But what about when those options are exhausted? What then?

Well, then we’re left with ourselves and what we have to do. If we have no more flexibility in altering what we have to do…we’re left only with ourselves.

One of my clients recently told me, “I was reading my kids bedtime stories but all I could do was obsess about everything I had to do once they fell asleep.” At first glance, this seems like a viable strategy for overwhelm. “If I think about everything I have to do, when the time arrives to actually do it, I’ll be able to jump right in.”

Actually, at least in her experience, the opposite was true. When the time arrived she found herself exhausted and fuzzy-headed, hardly able to get anything done, never mind done well.

What’s the alternative? I told her my best theory. In her next session a week later, she admitted she thought it sounded nice (albeit a little airy-fairy), but didn’t believe a word of it. In her desperation, she decided to try it nonetheless. What’s the worst that could happen?

What happened was, it worked. She had an easier, more graceful, less stressful week. In the end, she got more done but felt as if it was not hard.

My suggestion was to try this experiment: “Do the one next thing. When you do it, do it with all your heart. Be fully present. Enjoy it. Be grateful that you get to do it, no matter what it is. Don’t think about the next thing until you finish that one last thing.” To guard against loss of focus, I gave her the mantra, “Be here now.” That’s it. It was that simple.

I could tell you all the particulars about why this worked for my client but that would just be more information. Instead, I encourage you to try it yourself. Have your own experience. Experience has the power to create something much more valuable than information…transformation.

Laura Dewey MA, Executive Coach with David Couper Consulting, Author, Speaker, and Founder of Laura Dewey Coaching, LLC

Photo via Flickr

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