I was in a business meeting a couple weeks ago when out of the blue came a beautiful soothing chime. I thought it might be a cell phone ringer. It wasn’t, it was an app of a bell used to remind our colleague Dawn to pause and take a breath.
It was sooo nice. ‘I could really use that’ I thought. My clients would love it too! By nightfall my new free app was set to ring every hour from morning till bedtime. It was easy.
Everyone who's tried it knows the benefits of taking a mindful breath. The problem is,
most of us get so caught up in our day we forget to do it, or do it consistently. That's the hard part.
The bell makes it easy.
One day after the bell rang I noticed my jaw unclench. 'Hmmm, how long have I been
doing this? Does this have something to do with the pain in my teeth these
last few weeks?' With this new awareness I discovered that I was grinding my teeth too!
Once I was conscious of what was happening I was more able to stop it. The pain went away.
It's not rocket science, more like Pavlovian, I learned to ‘let go’ at the sound of a bell.
For me the ring triggered the non-judgmental 'me' to allow myself to stop, breathe, be present and to take a moment to notice what's going on inside and out; a moment to let go of tension without any guilt whatsoever.
Guilt is an ongoing challenge for me. My inner chatter says ‘you should keep doing, you shouldn't stop.’ Seems silly as I write it and of course there are more layers to this ‘story’ but you know what I'm getting at.
The irony is that stopping, reducing tension, feeling good and all the other benefits, makes me more productive.
I hope you give yourself this lovely gift. Imagine what the world would be like if everybody could do this simple thing.
I think I'll reprogram it for every 15 minutes….