Right now

by Andrea Chilcote

The following post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a weekly blogger. This summer, followers of this blog will enjoy bi-weekly archived posts that have appeared on The Spirited Woman but never before on this site. 

It has been a good and busy week. For me, a being who prefers a somewhat unstructured though intense schedule, structure has been an important tool in the last few days. Some matter of discipline has been required to manage the diverse and numerous tasks, duties and commitments at hand.

All of this has me thinking (as usual), though even my thinking is limited by my attention to the task at hand. Hmmm. The task at hand is all there is, yes?

This morning I had breakfast with a group of friends; colleagues who were attending a workshop designed to help them prioritize what matters. Each had her own stories, none of them without many personal challenges. Prioritization is a simple concept of course, yet its one we often long to embrace while trying to do and be everything that is asked of us.

I went about my day after that meeting, vaguely reflecting back on the ideas the group shared, and feeling (for the most part) in balance. Then I met other friends for dinner. A story they shared brought the lesson to life.

Two relatively young colleagues close to them were recovering from near-death crises, both apparently brought on by work stress. They appeared to be relentless in attempting to do more than is possible or healthy, and were literally stopped in their tracks.

Suddenly, I realized how many people I work with day to day live on this edge, pushing body, mind and spirit to their very limits. The red line, if you will.

If you are operating on the red line, ask yourself one question now: Is this effort and energy directed at what matters now? If the answer is yes, keep moving (and sleep well). If you hesitate or answer “No,” stop. Reassess the task at hand. Ask yourself what’s important right now, and allow the answer to be your guide.