When firefighters visit classrooms to teach kids about fire safety, they almost certainly introduce the emergency procedure known as Stop, Drop, and Roll. Children are taught that while they should always avoid fires, if their clothes do catch fire, they need to act immediately. Three steps are to be taken:
Stop. Stop immediately. No running and no flailing about, which only oxygenates the fire and makes it grow.
Drop. Drop to the ground. Don’t move to a different location or postpone action. Drop right now.
Roll. Roll around to extinguish the flames. Once the flames are out, the situation can be assessed.
In today’s fast-paced and always-connected world, most of us are at times overwhelmed. We’re tethered, albeit with our own permission, to our devices and are rarely, if ever, completely out of reach. We have a to-do list for work and another for after work. True down time barely exists for many of us and when we do get a little piece of free time, we’re as likely to spend it staring at a screen as we are using it to foster the most important relationships in our lives. It’s no wonder we’re frequently frazzled.
When over-stimulation becomes the norm, there’s a price to pay. We open the door to physical ailments. We sacrifice true connectedness in the name of busy-ness. And left unchecked, we unravel.
The lesson our kids get from visiting firefighters is one we can apply to the fires that sizzle and singe in our daily lives. When we’re out of sorts and overwhelmed, we can benefit from the following three steps:
Stop. Whatever we’re doing can wait for a moment. No running or flailing, as the frenzy of constant busy-ness feeds the flames.
Drop. Let go of everything except what’s right at hand. We’re rarely overwhelmed when we are actually in the moment, focused on one task or activity. It’s when we scatter ourselves and attempt to live both now and in the past and/or the future that it becomes too much. So focus on this very moment and drop the rest.
Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Once the flames are out, the situation can be assessed.
When we listen to and honor our inner wisdom, we instinctively know what changes need to be made. Many of the entries on those to-do lists could be deleted with little to no consequence. Much of what we allow to occupy our thoughts doesn’t serve us. When we whittle away all that doesn’t enrich our lives, we find that in simplicity lies happiness. And happiness is, after all, the goal.
~*~ Today’s image courtesy of Morguefile ~ Free and fabulous. ~*~