By: Jackie Warner
The other day, I was in the gym rushing (of course) to get finished so I could be on to the next task on my list before heading home. You know the drill. First I started with the treadmill and then was on to the leg machine. I thought to myself “I am on a roll and will soon be finished and out of here!” Well, as I was getting ready for my next piece of equipment this lady came up to me to say hello. She then made it a point that I keep working out and not stop while she was speaking to me.

She said as seriously as she could “I know you because I have been you and been where you are.“ As I listened to her, she told me to slow down and really take time for myself and my workout without harboring those mental interruptions of all the activities and tasks I needed to complete. She told me to stop running so much around in my mind because all I was doing was making myself less available mentally for when I truly needed to be.

She then proceeded to correct me on the way I was doing my exercises. She again told me to slow down and really allow the work out to enhance me and not harm me. She said “me time” should really be used for “me.” All I could do was listen to her because everything she was telling me was so true and I needed the wisdom she was sharing.

This never-ending checklist we call life does make it almost impossible to relax wouldn’t you say? Let’s take it a step further and really be truthful-most of the items on our list were put there by us with every intent to complete them all! What are we thinking? Well of course we are thinking of others as we so often do. In this life we find ourselves always doing for others, making sure they have what is needed, planning our lives around theirs, whether that be our spouses, parents, children, co-workers, relatives, or friends. Then we hope that maybe, just maybe in all that we do for others we find a few minutes left to steal away in all the madness.

Hey! Wake up! Who are we kidding? It is great to have the drive and will to give and care so much for others, but if you don’t care for yourself then you will not be here to do any of the items on your checklist of life.

Before I left the gym that day, believe me, I felt rejuvenated and refreshed after my encounter with the lady I had been talking to. I did slow down and lived in the moment for me, if only for a little while. I finished my workout without all those mental interruptions that I so often take with me. When we fail to give to ourselves, we fail to be successful in our giving to others.

I encourage you to also take the advice of the lady I met in the gym: slow down because stress kills!

I’ll leave you with a few tips for “Me Time Success”:
1. Self-time is not being selfish—it’s necessary. Say yes to “you time” for real for a change.
2. Learn to say no. Not every task has to be completed by you.
3. Take 2 minutes first thing in the morning to stretch and breathe.
4. Put your headphones on and listen to your favorite music.
5. Pray!
Lesson Learned: You never know who is watching and waiting to impart much needed wisdom in your life so LISTEN.

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