You know what needs to happen.
You put your head down, lean forward, and do what you normally do.
But what if. . .
What if you woke up and didn’t immediately reach for your phone?What if you turned off the news and spent that time creating instead?
What if you gave yourself PERMISSION to take care of yourself and to do the things you want and need to do?
What if you said no?
What if you just took three deep breaths? Right now. What if you did it again?
What if instead of trying to make MASSIVE changes in your life that don’t happen so you abandon them, you chose one or two Tiny Shifts and committed to incorporating them into your routine over time?
What if you looked at the things that are happening in your life and accepted them without judging them?
What if instead of a cursory, superficial, and mumbled “thank you,” you allowed yourself the space and time to deeply feel gratitude for what The Universe (God/The Creator/The Essence of All) has given you?
What if you said yes?
What if you identified that activity (singing, sculpting, rock climbing, quilting, whatever) that renews, rejuvenates, and fulfills you?
What if you did it more often?
What if you wished someone else happiness or peace. . .silently and from afar?
What if you paid attention to what was in front of you in this very moment?
What if you created one, very small ritual that took care of you (not your spouse or your kids or your students, but YOU)?
What if you told yourself, “It’s going to be okay?”
What if you threw something out that no longer serves you?
What if you made plans to have no plans?
What if you forgave yourself for that one thing you did?
What if you choose stillness and silence over the cacophony of the raging world. . . for three minutes each day?
What if you took just one thing off your calendar?
What if you forgave yourself for that one thing you didn’t do?
What if you listened to your intuition, just this once?
What if you did the deep, inner work to increase your peace and self-care?
What if you approached each new situation open and eager to learn because you realized you don’t know everything and that’s okay?
What if you set an intention for how you wanted the next thing to go
What if you told yourself, “I love you?”
What if it worked?
What if you chose two or three things on this list and gave them a fighting chance in this always on, always connected, device-addicted, Merry-Go-Round of a 21st Century World?
If you’re looking for more ideas like this, check out The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom. Read about how gratitude, compassion, acceptance, nonjudgment, being in The Moment, learning to say no without guilt, and similar strategies can reduce your stress, improve your Self-Care, and increase your sense of peace.