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Stop, look and listen

As kids we were given robust safety instructions. Not to talk to strangers, not to accept food from strangers or get into their cars, or keep secrets that make us feel uncomfortable.

Live_life

Don’t STOP believing. Image via Flickr CC – http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephleenovak/

We were told to be careful about trusting people, to be wary of deals that were too good to be true and to check under the bed for the boogie monster. And we were told that when we were attempting to cross a busy street we needed to Stop, Look, Listen.

Stop. Look. Listen.

In other words, be present, be mindful, be aware and take the time.

Of course as we grew we revised those instructions that were intended to keep us safe. We challenged the collective wisdom of generations past and we decided that we could pretty much make our own decisions. In most cases that was OK. I mean who still checks under the bed for the boogie monster?

In other cases though I think we threw the baby out with the bath water. We have become so desensitised with the constant hum of busyness we have missed the signals that danger is ever present.

We have forgotten to be vigilant.  We don’t listen or look. We never STOP.

Our day to day is so crammed with emails and text messages and the busyness of everything, the constant bartering of time and soul for income that will pay the rent and feed the family, that we have forgotten to stop and actually live.

To feel the rain on our faces. The tenderness of our loved ones’ arms. The cherished dreams we dare not share.

And the biggest danger out there is not that someone will burgle our house, or run over our dog, or hurt us but rather that we will reach the end of our life and find that we forgot to live. Especially in the busy times. We forgot to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

I visited the counsellor the other night and as I snotted through my hour’s session she listened sagely and then set me a challenge.

“If you were to do things for yourself, and make time for you, what would you do?”

“Write them down in a list, ” she said. “They don’t have to cost much, if anything.”

So. Here’s my challenge to you. If you could do something for yourself that made you feel alive, and actually living your life, not just passing GO, what would you do?

I’ll start –

1/ A warm bath with a lovely glass of wine (not cheap wine but beautiful wine) and lots of sensual bubbles.

You’re next. What would you do? Or have you forgotten in your busyness to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN?

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