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Savor Your Time
by Dr. Dale V. Atkins, March 2006

Are We Savoring Life?
The word multi-tasking never existed 30 years ago but everyone nowadays seems to be talking about it and doing it. We’re all in a hurry trying to make every minute count as we over-schedule our calendars, appointment books, and PDAs. Are we concentrating on the end result too much rather than Cengaging" the process? Is our on-the-go lifestyle misusing and abusing our precious time so we forget the value and meaning of "enjoying life"taking time for ourselves and savoring life?

Ask Tough Questions
By asking some tough questions you can craft a life that you deeply embrace rather than letting it whiz by. What do you REALLY want for yourself and your family? If there’s a problem, can you clearly define it and foresee realistic solutions? Are you truly fulfilled when you obtain the things you want? What would it take for you to be satisfied with what you have now? What can you do to show appreciation to whom and what are in your life?

With an understanding and awareness of what is important to you and your loved ones, you can stop letting life pass you by and get down to "living".

Here are some Sanity Savers to get you on track:

1. Recognize the Richness of Each Day - Little miracles happen each and every day and if we are open to them, they’ll pop up everywhere. It’s all in our perception. Even mundane tasks can be turned into opportunities. Instead of reluctantly paying the bills each month, use it as lessons in appreciation (you have the funds to pay for what you use) and budgeting (feel good that you have a plan for paying off your debt.) When it’s your turn to drive the car pool, enjoy the time with your kids and their friends and learn what’s going on in their lives by listening to how they converse with one another. A warm greeting, a sunny day, a kind word and your favorite song on the radio are all gifts to savor.

2. Find the Lesson in Each Day - Life is the school we each attend every day of the week; find the lesson in everything you do and experience. When something goes wrong, use it as a stepping stone to something deeper. Every situation has the potential to help us understand ourselves in relation to the world and those in it. Look at "accidents" and "mistakes" as experiences from which to learn. Likely you will one day, be in a similar situation or you will be in the position to help someone else who is experiencing the same thing.

3. Trust Your Inner Voice - As you go through your day, be "present" and aware of your internal responses. Ask yourself, "Why am I feeling this way?" "Is this important?" and "What’s happening?" By constantly checking in with yourself, you exercise your intuitive "muscle" and can develop a reliance on it for decision making. Remember to pay attention to your own "inner voice" and not rely solely on other’s opinions or perceptions. What you should be doing and what is expected of you may or may not be compatible. Only you will know and can take steps to do things that feel right for YOU.

4. Be Happy with Baby Steps - Remember the cliché "Rome wasn’t built in a day?" Take one step at a time and be patient with yourself and others. Sometimes you may take one step back which can provide a necessary and valuable lesson so you can take two forward in the future.

5. Learn to "Be" instead of "Do" - Feel as well as think. Seek your balance by taking the time to be in the moment instead of merely concentrating on the end result. Commend yourself and relish the goals already met instead of only focusing on those not yet attained. Some of your best insights or accomplishments may be unexpected and never even make it to your "To Do" list.

6. Commemorate Your "Living" Time - Focus on your feelings and keep a daily journal of your thoughts. Stay away from a life dominated by deadlines and schedules. Give yourself a gift and from time to time, forget the day, month or year by removing your watch. See what it is like to be "free" from time.

7. Be Grateful - Be thankful for every person, place or situation you encounter. Be sure to express your gratitude to others and put words of thanks into your daily repertoire. As we age, time becomes more precious; be grateful you have time to live your life.

8. Set a Positive Theme for Each Day - No matter what you are doing, you can start and end each day on a good note by concentrating on what you will (or did) encounter and what you've learned. Even when life throws you great challenges, find ways to understand the underlying meaning in what appears to be so "negative". All of life is about change,flow,and balance. Some of us do better than others at trusting that there are "silver linings" hiding under dark clouds.

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