I don't forget appointments. I'm one of those people that is always on time, if not early. That is, until recently. Now I'm someone who forgets appointments. I'm mindlessly busy. Who am I and where is the Dina that has been with me for the past 40 years?
A few weeks ago, I left my friend, Liz, patiently waiting for me at a coffee shop. She texted me 15 minutes after we were supposed to meet just letting me know she was at the coffee shop. Oops! I was at home working and had no recollection of our date, even though it was on my calendar—one click away from the computer screen I had been working at all day. Unfortunately, this wasn't a one time thing. There were several other missed appointments that occurred.
None of these events was obviously enough of a wake-up call—until yesterday. Yesterday, I got the message loud and clear. I was supposed to pick up my friend Christy to take her to the Walnut Creek BART station so she could catch a train to the airport. She texted me 10 minutes after I was supposed to pick her up asking me if I was on my way. Nope, I wasn't. I was working at home with a million things on my mind and just as many that I wanted to accomplish in the day. Despite the fact that she had only asked me two days prior and that it was on my calendar, there was no recollection in my conscious mind of this important pending appointment.
I flew out of my house and ended up having to make the hour drive each way to the airport because the train was no longer an option for her not to miss her flight. What would have been a 40-minute diversion from my packed day became a two-hour time commitment. Do you see the irony? My busyness actually took time away from me. I finally heard the wake up call—I was so busy that I was losing my mindfulness.
It's like Oprah says: "The universe is always trying to get your attention. Sometimes it starts out—any major problem you encounter—as a whisper. By the time it gets to be a storm, you've had a pebble knock you upside the head; you've had a brick; you've had a brick wall; you've had a house fall down. And before you know it, you are in the eye of the storm." I didn't hear the whisper and I'm not quite at the storm yet, but I think forgetting to take Christy to the airport was definitely a brick hitting me.
We all have so many demands on our time and so many things to get done in a day. How can we manage it all and still keep our sanity? Try taking five minutes at the beginning of every day, whether it’s in bed or while drinking a cup of tea. During the five minutes, try to do these five things.
- Review your schedule for the coming day.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Be grateful.
- Set your intention.
- Just be.
Reviewing your schedule is useful so that your commitments are fresh in your mind for the day. As covered in the chapter Rise and Fall, breathing is a powerful and effective way to promote your health and wellness, so what better way to start the day. Taking a moment in the morning to be grateful is a good reminder of all of the wonderful things in your life and sets a positive, loving tone to the day. What are you grateful for? Perhaps today you are grateful for the friends and family in your life. Tomorrow it may be the sunshine. Setting an intention gives energy to the day. Your intention could be to have fun, be mindful, be grateful, be open, and be happy. And finally, taking a moment to just be allows you to have at least one moment in your hectic day to enjoy a quiet moment of stillness.
I'm busy, but not so busy that I can't take five minutes of every day to properly begin it. (And, for those really important appointments, I now set a pop-up reminder on my online calendar—at least until I get my mind back).
What changes can you make so that you don’t lose your mind(fulness)?
Dina Colman is an integral health coach and writer. She has her MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University and her Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University. She has an office in Danville where she works with clients to live an integral life of health and wellness. She founded FourQuadrantLiving.com, a website providing information on healthy living through nourishment of the four quadrants of our lives—mind, body, relationships, and environment. This blog is from the Mind quadrant. Contact Dina at firstname.lastname@example.org