Create a Gap Year Every Day
Take three conscious breaths
Many students have what’s called a gap year before commencing tertiary studies. They do this after at least twelve years of attending school to prevent academic burn-out, and to give themselves a decent amount of time to travel, work, volunteer and pursue other interests.
Students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a gap year.
Life can be intense. There are so many balls to keep in the air: career; children; studies; health; relationships; housework; exercise; finances; pets; weeds.
Most people need to take at least one gap year every day to prevent burn-out.
Believe it or not, this is possible — sort of.
Okay, I admit a year is a long time, so let’s cut it down to three breaths.
Just pause — create a gap — by taking three conscious breaths.
You’ve been breathing automatically all day, but, for a few moments, be present while you take three breaths. Feel the air come through your nostrils. Sense your chest expand. Hold the breath for a second. Then, as you let it out, hear and feel that breath leave your body.
Scatter these brief moments of breathing consciously throughout the day and you’ll feel refreshed and reconnected to yourself, your surroundings and all things.
The American Buddhist monk, Pema Chödrön, calls it consciously pausing or creating a gap.
In an article ‘How To Make the Most of Your Day’ she wrote:
When you are washing up, or making your coffee or tea, or brushing your teeth, just create a gap in your discursive mind. Take three conscious breaths. Just pause. Let it be a contrast to being all caught up. Let it be like popping a bubble. Let it be just a moment in time, and then go on.
Doing this is giving yourself a mini holiday, a gap year, a sabbatical.
It brings your day into focus.
It’s also connecting you to universal intelligence, the spirit that is everywhere, always.
Try it. Your day will be different if you do.
With love, Marlane
Another thing you can do to make a difference in your life is to take the free 7 Day Mindfulness Challenge.
First published on Medium.com/change-your-mind