Stop and Smell the Flowers – Day 57 of 365 Days to a Better You

Stop and smell the flowers.

Sometimes the trite is trite because it’s true. Stop and smell the flowers is one of many aphorisms that remind us that we need to slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the ride.

I’m not sure how valid the notion of a Type-A personality is in the 21st century. We’ve become a culture of Type-A personalities. We’re always in a rush, always pushing, pushing, pushing.

According to a 2014 study by the American Institute of Stress, 77 percent of Americans experience regular physical effects from being too stressed and 73 percent experience regular psychological effects of stress. According to a 2017 American Psychological Association survey, the following were our top stressors are:

  1. The future of our nation 63 percent.
  2. Money 62 percent.
  3. Work 61 percent.
  4. Current political climate 57 percent.
  5. Violence and crime 51 percent.

What can you do to eliminate or reduce stress? There are a few obvious things.

  1. If possible, remove yourself or limit exposure to your sources of the stress.
  2. Use affirmations to keep your mindset strong.
  3. Exercise, eat well, and sleep well to keep your body strong enough to handle stress.
  4. Get quiet – pray, meditate, or just be.
  5. Get out into nature. Nature is the natural antidote to the stresses of the modern world.

Power hack: I’m betting none of those recommendations for dealing with stress surprised you. Here’s the thing. You have to do them for them to work. The intention to strengthen your mindset, get out into nature more, or mediate does not help you. You have to do it. That takes intention and discipline.

I can’t leave you today without giving you a chance to just be. So, set whatever else you’re doing aside and take a three-minute relaxation vacation with me to Havasupai Waterfall in India. Watch it or close your eyes and listen. Get got up

Few words today. I found this beautiful video on YouTube. Just sit back, relax, and take a three-minute vacation. This is the Havasupai waterfall in India. Absolutely beautiful. Relax and be at peace as you move through your day today. Let the sights and sounds of the waterfall and the peaceful music wash your stress away.

Drinking Life and Tasting Life – The Affirmation Spot for Monday November 3, 2008

I enjoyed lunch with a friend today and he was telling me about a beer tasting he recently attended.

The person conducting the tasting informed the group that, “Today we are not going to drink beer we are going to taste it. You can go out to the grocery store and get x brand lite beer, if you just want to drink beer. With these hand-crafted brews, it’s all about tasting.”

As I listened to my friend describe the beer tasting, I began to see a life metaphor. You can “drink” your way through life or “taste” your way through life. Each has its inherent advantages and drawbacks.

“Drinking” your way through life is about having fun and a carefree attitude. It’s the experience of “living for the moment.” Without these moments, life would be dull and lack a certain thrill factor.

There are times when you have to cut loose and really “drink” life in. There is no consciousness of anything between the lips and the stomach. The experience is marked by a satisfied unawareness.

Always “drinking” and never “tasting” causes you to lose perspective and meaning and can lead to excess. This approach creates a situation where you tend to consume ideas and experiences without the careful attention and evaluation they deserve. It can lead to a life completely unexamined and you might wake up one morning and wonder how you got where you are.

Meanwhile, “tasting” your way through life is about “being in the moment”.  These are the moments when you have a heightened sense that there is something more to life than its surface appearances. Without these moments, life would lack meaning and purpose.

This is the approach that causes you to “stop and smell the roses” and appreciate the meaning and significance of people, events, and experiences. It is the approach that causes you to stop and savor the “bubbles” of life as they tickle your tongue on their way to the stomach.

“Tasting”, really “tasting”, involves conscious awareness of what you are consuming and how it affects you.

The “tasting” approach has its drawbacks too. If we experience everything as having ultimate significance, then all experiences actually cease having significance. You lose your sense of fun when everything is meticulously evaluated. You can become too tentative and cautious and lose your sense of adventure.

Finding the right mix of awareness and fun in your life, it seems, is about achieving a premium mix of “drinking” and “tasting” as you consume the great brew of life.

Stay inspired!

Ray

The Journey Not The End

Today’s Thought:

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
~Ursula K. Le Guin

IMAG0536Another week of wondering and wandering as we humans are prone to do. We can, at times, go about our business in a most mechanical way.  We “fill our roles” , ” do our jobs”, and “live our lives”  in the manner we are expected; mundanely and without a touch of our personal flare.

Secretly, we wonder if we are on the right track.  We question if we are doing what we really want and, in our most sober moments, ponder if it matters at all.  Today’s quote reminds us and encourages us that it is not the shining city on the hill for which we strive that makes it all worth it, but rather the flowers along the road.

Goals are a wonderful thing. They are necessary for us to progress from one station to the next in life, but it is what we learn and experience on our way to the goals that really makes their attainment meaningful.  If we take a moment not to simply smell the flowers, but to fully  experience them  and understand them; our lives will be richer. Maybe…..when we reach the shining city we will find it was about the flowers all along.

Have an amazing day!

Ray

Ray Davis is the author of Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com – founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race.

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