Take Time To Breathe

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By Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz –

Fourth of July/Independence Day…over. Labor Day/end of summer…done. Back to school/academic year…just beginning.

Yes, time flies. With so much to do and so little time in which to do it, how do we relax?

Working, shopping, helping with homework, volunteering in the community, car-pooling, cooking…so much to do.

What if we could divide ourselves, half for project X and the other half for activity Y…we’d be in two places at once! Of course, that’s impossible.

What is possible is to plan a schedule to meet our obligations. Setting a time for study is a requirement in my tradition. Why not also set a time for every other activity? Eight hours to go to work, or less for school. Forty-five minutes to pick up/drop off the kids. Half-hour to arrange/sort the laundry. An hour to prepare dinner and clean up. Five minutes – just before bedtime – to review images of the day – images only without conversations, no sound.

In law enforcement this is part of something called “Blue Courage.” It’s a program teaching how to care for the whole person – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Officers are reminded to spend 16-seconds of “S & S” – stillness and silence, at critical times. Breath in four seconds; hold four seconds; breathe out four seconds and refocus for four seconds. Sixteen seconds total, to a refreshed perspective.

With all the busy-ness out there, we need to remember to take care of ourselves. Then, we’ll better care for others. Breathe.

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