Lately, I have been caught up in the speed of life. I have my routine for getting ready in the morning, the list of things I want to accomplish daily, the schedule of people I will text and call and see during the week, the appointments I need to make or attend, the menu of foods I want to prepare, the stops I need to make before I get home, and before I know it, another day, or week, or month or three have passed. But today, I'm hitting the pause button, and taking a step back. I spend a lot of time and energy and conscious thought trying to be in the moment and present in my everyday life, but sometimes I think it's important to pull back and look at the whole picture.
Just the other day, I was told I had been nominated to speak at an annual employment luncheon. This is an event where several agencies that assist people in finding and maintaining employment, get together and acknowledge consumers who are pursuing their long term employment goals, while simultaneously continuing on their journey of recovery. I have attended this event for a few years, and watched as people received certificates of accomplishments for meeting their goals, received praise for their efforts, and were acknowledged for their dedication of getting well and going back to work. I have listened as speakers told their stories of recovery; some of whom were once executives in high powered positions and found themselves unemployed due to mental illness, or addiction, or unexpected life changes. They have spoken of the road back, one that can be bumpy at times, but with perseverance and the support of these incredible agencies, families, and friends, found their will to survive and overcome, and got well and back to work. This year, I will be the speaker who shares my story. It is an honor, to say the very least, to be nominated by those who have helped me get to this very point.
While I try to be extremely present in my daily activities, giving my full attention and awareness to each thing that I do, I realize in moments like these; where I am being asked to tell my own story of recovery and success, that I need to take a step back. Gain some perspective. See things in a different light. Being intensely mindful is kind of like going through life looking at everything through a magnifying glass. Then there are times when you need to take a moment to look up and see everything in real size and in it's entirety.
Like many of the other speakers, I have worked hard to overcome the bumps in the road and reach my goals. I take each day as it comes, focusing on what needs to be done in the moment (which initially was the coping skill I learned to ease extreme anxiety and panic) until I get to the next moment, where I focus my attention again. This technique is definitely what has led me to this point, however, it is time to put down the magnifying glass so I can see the whole scene and share my story with others. It's time to appreciate the culmination of it all.