I got a traffic ticket a few weeks ago. A police sergeant saw me driving 56 miles per hour — in a zone where the limit was 30.
And while children weren’t present, I was passing a school! What was I thinking? (Or even, WAS I thinking?) I don’t remember, but I had what’s called “highway hypnosis”, since I’d just come off a limited access tollway. And that isn’t good enough for me! I know better (I even know what it’s called!) and if I’d been paying attention, it would not have happened! To top it off, I then lost the ticket, so I couldn’t go to ”bad drivers’ school’. I had to pay it, along with the court costs. That isn’t good enough for me! I’m focusing to do better!
Perhaps you’re thinking, “At least no one was hurt.” Well, I’m certainly grateful for that. And more importantly, perhaps I needed a reminder to focus. In driving, my focus must be on direction, control of the car and , YES, how fast I’m moving.
In life, purpose includes immediate as well as long term. I was driving to work (purposes: driving, getting to my job). At work, I have tasks to complete and goals to accomplish (both are purpose). Since I love my work, I was living out my ultimate purpose.
For my life, I have realized that I’m here to serve, to help, to bring the next generation of humanity to be skilled at living as well as skilled at learning and working. And the ultimate focus on purpose means that I need to be mindful of a number of purposes simultaneously. Fortunately, our gracious God has given me the ability for mild multi-tasking. When focused, I can drive and think at the same time. I just need to be more aware of each.
Are you finding some of the same? Can you focus on the child you’re raising? Can you keep your wants and desires in check when you’re tired and your child is cranky and behaving in a way you don’t like? My chief goal for my children was to raise them to be able to solve the challenges of life with some independence and freedom from the standard solutions. Are you able to remember your goals for your children? And are those goals showing in the behavior of your children?
Perhaps one of the most important life lessons I’ve learned is to take time to breathe when I start to get excited.
(Five-three-five breathing: exhale as MUCH as you can. Slowly inhale for the count of five; while holding your breath count slowly to three; exhale while s-l-o-w-l-y counting to five. Four-square breathing: exhale while slowly counting to four; hold that four the count of four; inhale slowly while counting to four; hold for four [this is where your body gets best use of oxygen]. Repeat until your mind is off whatever provoked the anxiety.)
I remember a time when my children were in high school and junior high. I was tired. I was cranky. It was dinner time and I was hungry. AND I was starting to act that out toward my kids. My son, Chris (the older), suggested I might want to take 15 minutes to read and have quiet. He sent me to my room!
I was tickled that he had learned the true purpose of a time out — to calm down, get away from the stimulus that was agitating to me. I laughingly headed to my bed. I sat for a few moments with my legs up and the book I was reading at that time. And I breathed.
A bit later, my breathing had returned to normal, the emotional load had been lifted from me, and I was again sufficiently filled with resources (physical, mental) to work with the child whose day it was to make dinner safely and lovingly.
Have you realized how grateful I was? Talk about an “AHA moment”!
So what are you finding brings you pain or is a challenge you’ve yet to overcome? Need to focus? May I help you, please?
Inspired Coaching, Melissa Pazen
39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL 60134
Live Inspired: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!