Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
(Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
Hello, Kaileen here. We hope you had a very merry Christmas! Today’s guest post from Karen Conover provides excellent insight and advice on how to slow down and practice gratitude at the end of the year.
Karen is an entrepreneur, educator, and fourth-degree Black Belt Tae Kwon Do Master. She owns and runs KC’s Family Tae Kwon Do in Northern Arizona, with more than 200 students attending her school. Karen holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education and has 20+ years of experience teaching children in public and private schools, as well as adults in classroom, corporate, and workshop settings.
And now, I’ll let Karen take over…
For many of us, this is a crazy time of year. It’s very busy, with lots of plans, things to do, and tons of money flying out the door. I’m no exception. I run a martial arts studio that’s part retail business, part school, and part family. We have large parties, giant holiday sales, skills testing, and holiday programs this time of year.
Starting on December 1st, I worked for 23 days straight. Of course, I have my family stuff too. So it’s more like 25 days of busyness, right through to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The whirlwind includes wrapping gifts, unwrapping gifts, Santa, cooking, and more parties! And if you know me, you know that I love the whirlwind. I’m in my element racing with a thousand balls in the air, right to the win at the finish line.
Now it’s December 26th. Well, now what? Must be time to set a new goal and get cracking, right? I met my goals for 2014 and it’s just about to be a new year, which is a great time for setting goals and starting things. I should use all this glorious time off to get stuff done and plan what’s next. That’s what successful people do. Isn’t it??
Not so fast!
First, I need to reflect. Today I will be thinking about the effort and fun, rewards and craziness, I experienced in the last 25 days to let it all soak in. I try to take a few minutes each day to do this, but today is for deep appreciation of it all. On the work front and on the home front my plans turned out just as I imagined they would. I set goals for myself that came true like dreams, and today is my closure where I cap it off and bask in gratitude before moving onto anything else.
It’s time to follow Ferris Bueller’s advice — I’m going to stop and take a look around. Life is good.
My next few days off are when I plan to enjoy some restful downtime. I will be still, both physically and mentally. Having a day or two with no agenda, no goals, no anything is so important. I get to just be. We all need time to reset, re-energize, and appreciate our lives. As much as I love the hustle and bustle, I know it’s important to step away from it all in peace and stillness before jumping back in again. Vacation time isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity for healthy, happy living.
In all honesty, I have often battled this stillness. Like there is someone looking over me telling me all the things I “should” be doing with this time. So I decided to give myself a final gift this season, and that is, carving out time to do absolutely nothing. I give myself permission to stay in cozy jammies and reserve the time to do nothing. I plan to follow the wind where it takes me, even if that means staying snuggled in bed until noon reading a book.
I wish this permission for you too… because doing nothing is still doing something, after all. And doing that will keep me (and you) in balance and ready for the next adventure.
If you are inspired by Karen’s post and looking for a way to carve out some time to slow down, relax, and reflect, consider joining us in Mexico for our Epic Adventure this upcoming March! It is an all-levels, adults-only, luxury retreat for individuals looking to experience a mix of joy, fear, and relaxation — all with their toes in the Cozumel sand. Click here to learn more!
Image via Death to the Stock Photo