My 9 year old daughter was in a production last weekend, it was a big deal for her, she was very excited to be involved and got a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of the commitment of time and energy and we all found ourselves getting a bit caught up in the stress of it all.
One of the songs was called “You can’t stop the beat!” and in my busy-ness I reflected on what the title of the song meant to me and, when I allowed myself a moment to quieten down my mind and get clear, I realised that in our everyday busy-ness, we sometimes lose sight of what is important.
I saw “the beat” as the noise of the outside world in all its constant activity and movement, the demands on our time, the meetings, conference calls, emails, phone calls, texts, my commitment to my community – an over 70s lunch to organise! the demands from the family – children’s clubs, childcare, shopping, exams, the cat needing to go to the vet, the car breaking down, the trains to catch, late meetings, my old college friend to visit who had just had a big operation…and it goes on.
The thing that I have come to recognise is that the constant “beat” will always be there, it is the status quo in our lives today and you can’t stop it, and unless I change my relationship to the “beat”, I will get caught up in it and become a victim of it and it will get the better of me over time. So I reflected on the question…
“What if I make a different choice and change my relationship to the beat?”
So I decided that, instead of getting caught up in loudness and stress of the “beat” and letting it get the better of me, I would get comfortable with the fact that I couldn’t do anything about it, it was always going to be there, what I could do was to quieten down the volume, slow down my breathing and my mind and I made a choice that I would focus on enjoying the moment, smiling more and evaluate each day based on my level of enjoyment.
I also chose to just notice when I got stressed or wasn’t happy and just let the feeling go, not berate or judge myself for feeling that way. Funnily enough I then started noticing more around me, using more of my senses, seeing more colours, I then started to see things a little more clearly and positively and reflecting back, saw what a fantastic weekend it had been, the extraordinary people I had met, what all the children had achieved.
What I learnt was….you can’t stop the beat… you can choose to change your relationship to it, this doesn’t mean you get less done, it just means you create the freedom of choice to enjoy the ride more in the moment and that is all you can control!