Forgetting the “R’s”
Drink before you’re thirsty, rest before you’re tired. This is the mantra I thought I’d learned long ago from a mountain bike incident. In the early 90’s I found myself trying to ride home from an exhilarating yet exhausting mountain trail. I’d pushed the envelope on endurance. My legs stopped. They literally failed. No degree of nudging or any amount of personal will could muster an inkling of motion. Stranded by the roadside I was forced to rest. In this moment I promised myself to never ever be debilitated like this again.
However, some lessons learned the hard way might or might not take hold. Perhaps for the wisest, one head-plant is sufficient. Apparently I’m not that wise. This past month I was surprised to find my nose inches from hitting the exhaustion wall again. This time it wasn’t a bike ride that had sent me on a collision course with brick and mortar. It was the way I was living. The little “burn out” light kept flashing and I kept ignoring it because I had an 8 day vacation coming up. From my calculations, I probably pulled up and out of a crash by the skin of my teeth. I had forgotten my “R’s. ”
I feel silly because I coach and teach people about this concept all the time. I can’t explain my own immunity to applying my valuable and necessary “R’s” of life. Here’s hoping that by sharing them I will retain the learning this time.
Renewal – is the courageous and wise practice of recharging our own batteries. When we do this we gain additional periods of time when we can experience effectiveness, maximum joy and results. Renewal can occur when we take an hour nap, a week-end away, or shut down and pull away from work at a decent hour. The benefits are numerous and all of them leave us revived. We feel powerful, grounded and brand new again. What do you do to renew?
Recreate (or re-creating) – is being involved in actions of play and creation. Remember the artist and carefree playful free agent born within us all. By sixth grade most of us had forgotten these innate abilities; however, they are our birthright. When was the last time you sang a song with all your gusto in your car or your shower and lifted your own spirits? When was the last time you lost yourself in laughter and play? When did you design a conversation, organize a room, pick out paint, put a killer outfit together and wear it some place important- or not so important. Have you created a “100 Things I love to do List” and started checking them off? The benefits of re-creating are profound. They help us remain nimble, fluid, responsive and in touch with passion and love for self and our own personal path. This kind of positive energy extends freely out to others when we get a strong enough dose of it. When was the last time you fully recreated?
Reason – is a practice of living at an honest pace. We match vision, ideation and desire with actual parameters. When we can take ideas and allow them to fill up a specific time-frame, when we find systems to prioritize so the most important things get done, we have a peaceful feeling that tells us that we’re doing “enough.” When we do “enough” we are functioning within reason. Using reason well is a loving and wise act that relieves stress, produces short and long-term results and helps us meet our needs and reach out and touch our dreams. It allows time for planning; it provides slack time for the unknown to appear. It helps us be wiser about how we allocate time and our focus. How much reason do you employ each week?
These are three of my most important “R’s.” While there a few more favorites such as rest, road-trips, radical shifts in thinking, and rowdiness, I’m interested in asking about yours:
What are your top three “R’s” and how forgotten are they?