Posts Tagged ‘pay attention’

10 minutes

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

What can you do with 10 minutes when there is absolutely nothing else to do but wait…

Several weeks ago I had to pick up a prescription for my dog at a Walmart pharmacy. I was there at 1o minutes before the pharmacy opened.

I needed to get to work right after I picked up his medication so figured I’d better stay put in line so I’d be first once they opened.

I stood there waiting and realizing while I waited that I had 10 minutes to do nothing.

At first I thought, oh brother, 10 minutes with nothing to do but wait.

But then I thought, hmmm, 10 minutes with nothing to do but wait.

So I looked around at the displays within my viewing range–really looked and thought, this isn’t bad at all. It’s actually kind of nice to just stand in a line with absolutely nothing to do but look around.

It forced me to take notice of things I might not pay attention to otherwise and while I was noticing nothing in particular I did notice something in particular that I really needed–a magnifying 10x mirror. The one I’d had cracked on a rafting trip two months ago and I’d been carrying it around in my purse ever since. Lately I’d been thinking about replacing it but never remembered to whenever I was in a store.

Now my problem was solved. The mirror display was two steps from where I was standing so I snatched one up.

That 10 minute wait at the pharmacy turned out to be a gift. A time to stop for 10 minutes and pay attention. I didn’t need to do one other thing, or be anywhere else. All I needed to do was be still be present and take notice.

No Contact

Too Nice?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

From an early age we’re taught to be nice and play nice. Some of us learn this lesson very well. In fact, we tend to overlook poor behavior and/or physical/emotional abuse because we don’t believe we have the right to question things that are said or done.

There is a time for being nice and playing nice and yes, absolutely, we generally want to treat others with dignity and respect. But sometimes playing nice hurts and deeply affects not only us but our children and others we are close to. When we buy stock in the words and actions of a partner out of fear, intimidation, to have a roof over our head, or to keep our children clothed and fed we rob ourselves and families of dignity and hope for the present and the future.

Are you ever nice in order to keep people in your life?
Do you sometimes look the other way when you see an action or hear words that are not right or are cause for alarm?
Do you pretend that things are okay and go along with the status quo rather than take actions that may be uncomfortable but in the long run could help you?

I spent much of my life living in the too nice mode. I feared leaving or losing a partner because life without a partner was uncertain.The uncertainty of the future often kept me in the turmoil of the present. That present included people who behaved poorly and often mistreated me and my family. They were angry and frustrated and took their feelings out on others simply because they could get away with it.

Partners who hold you captive with words and actions hope you will continue to forgive them. They say sweet words when they believe you might leave. They might buy you nice things to distract and convince you it will never happen again.

But it usually does happen again in one way or another. You question whether what was done was really abuse. Maybe you’re just overreacting and things  aren’t that bad. Sometimes that is the case but pay attention to your gut; it knows.

Most of the time people who create havoc and craziness in relationships are damaged people who damage other people. They likely seek people they believe will lift their boundaries or discard them altogether.

When you live with the anything goes mentality you might question things that are said or done but usually go with the flow rather than disrupt it because you want to avoid confrontation. (more…)

Take Your Time in New Relationships

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Take your time in a new relationship. If there are glaring red flags early on, pay attention.

Here are some to pay attention to:



moderate to heavy alcohol and/or drug use

rudeness toward waiters, waitresses, retail clerks, others who serve the public

no close friends or acquaintances

put off by question/answer conversation

doesn’t reveal details of daily life

Pay attention to these and other red flags–don’t ignore them.



Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Anxiety causes all sorts of problems especially in relationships. If you are coming out of or going into one pay attention to your mode and mood. If in a hurry to settle into a new one you may go too fast before you’re ready. If you are impatient to leave you may skip a step in the process that slows your healing. If you pretend you’re not bothered by hurrying to settle or impatient to leave you will likely become familiar with lots of movement in and out of relationships.

Small Moments

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Seize the day and pay attention to the small moments because those small moments often stay with us the longest and as we recall them we gain strength and focus in the present.


Monday, December 6th, 2010

There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

Mark Twain

Don’t Know What to Do? Take a Small Action

Monday, October 18th, 2010

One of life’s biggest challenges is not knowing what to do. Not knowing what to do is a decision to stay uncertain or in limbo. If you don’t know what to do about a certain situation, you must figure it out if it’s important to you to do so.

There are times when moving forward with a decision is squelched due to being concerned about the rightness or wrongness of a next step.

It doesn’t take long to determine if a next step is right or wrong. If it feels right you will naturally build from your previous step. If it feels wrong, you will pull back or re-route your decision and go in another direction.

How do you know the next step? You don’t know for sure but it is likely that you will come close to a good answer by seeking information.

Then, take a step by going with the hunch that feels accurate for you.

What is your alternative?

Not moving forward.

Say that you are in a  toxic relationship. You don’t know what to do. What is one thing you could do?

Something simple: look up toxic relationship and see if the definition feels like it applies to you.

Next, pay attention to the way your body feels.

Are you nervous, uncertain, confused, withdrawn, have a sinking feeling?

Pay attention to all these signals.

Then make a next decision.  Even if it is to journal about it–even just one sentence. That is still taking an action because you are committing words to paper.

That one small action will get the wheels turning and you will be able to take additional actions.

You may want to journal more, read more about destructive relationships, or speak to a counselor.

Major actions aren’t  necessary. Small ones work best especially when you are uncertain.