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In this day and age, saying that we're "busy" can be a subconscious way to communicate status. It's another way to identify ourselves as successful and accomplishing goals. After all, if we're busy, we must be doing important things, right? The flip side of this is that as we strive to be more successful and accomplished, we can at times lose track of our true goals -- a happy, fulfilling life, enjoying time with our communities of friends and chosen family, investing in activities that fill us with joy.

I've been trying to force an intentional "slow down" lately. When I'm looking for the right words in a blogpost, breathe. When I need to make a split-second decision, close my eyes and try to let go of the stress. Go for more 10-minute walks through Golden Gate Park on sunny afternoons. Take 20 minutes to journal in the morning instead of jumping head-long into emails and notifications. Focus on one task at a time rather than allowing my mind to race ahead to the next 12 things I have on my plate.

It's not easy! We live in a fast-paced world where our success seems to be measured by how many boxes we checked today. But I find that when I can be more intentional with my time and tasks, I wind up accomplishing things in plenty of time to tackle the next item on my list because I'm able to approach things from a less-stressed-out, more rational and forward-thinking mindset.

This week, I'd encourage you to give this a try. Start your morning off with reflection, reading, meditation, a walk, exercise... something that calms your mind and gives you energy for the day. Throughout your day, focus on one thing at a time, giving it your full attention. And allow yourself to take breaks to enjoy your lunch, get out into the sunshine, cuddle a puppy, or do whatever it is that breathes life back into your busy life.

Let's stop using "busy" as a status symbol and instead be intentional about pausing to enjoy all of the moments, whether they're busy or not.

Best,
Mary (@mary_grace)
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