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So many things take away your time. A few tips to help you keep more time for you and what you REALLY want to do with your time.
1. Keep email from taking your time.
• Keep your personal and work email addresses separate;
• Consider a second personal email to give when an email is required for purchases and other consumer online activities. Yes, you have to check it, but those aren’t cluttering your private, personal email box.
• Take a few minutes once a week or more, to unsubscribe to any and all unwanted sites that have started emailing you.
2. Avoid website distractions that can eat up an hour or two before you know it!
• It’s too easy to get stuck on social media, news, and so on. ONLY do those when you want a bit of a break from work, and even consider setting your phone timer for 10 minutes. You’ll be amazed how fast that goes!
• IF you want to play online, and that is your choice for your down-time, then go for it. But if you have a chance to get outside, exercise, spend time with family, or other things, then keep the screen from owning your time! Set the timer!
• Have a list - EVERY DAY. Your to-do list will help you stay focused and productive. That will leave more time for YOU. Keep on it. Get what you can done.
Dr Walter Doyle used to tell me to pick up the paper ONE TIME and complete the task. In other words, look at the list, choose a task and do whatever you can NOW to complete or to get the task going for now. Then next task. Avoid looking at the list, starting a task, setting it aside, getting distracted, etc. Do it, and move along.
Carve out dinner times as often as possible, to be together.
To be at peace.
To share your day.
To enjoy each other.
We need to become aware of studies that show us that children are being damaged by screens and by the content on those screens and of studies about the high risk of cancer from screen use. And, of the breakdown of families and the terrible impact on all.
SO - picture dinner times as often as possible, together as a family, all devices out of the room, and talk and sharing with the food. Even include preparation of the food. How about making a delicious soup, and serving it with a healthful toast?
Here’s a wonderful, easy, quick recipe that could be fun for you all to make:
Yummy Butternut Squash Soup - makes about 4-5 servings
• about 8 cups of fresh cubed butternut squash, which you can find in the produce section of most groceries;
• Olive Oil;
• about 20 oz. of vegetable or chicken broth;
• about 2 c Heavy Cream;
• A large bag of baby spinach and a large chopped onion to saute to serve with your soup;
• Creme fraiche or sour cream or yogurt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Turn squash cubes in oil until well coated.
Put onto baking sheet or baking pan, single layer, and roast at 400 deg for about an hour, until they are brown on the edges.
Can refrigerate at this point until ready to make the soup.
Blitz squash with broth in processor or with stick blender, and heat through. Add cream
Saute chopped onion in olive oil, remove, then a bit more olive oil, and dump your large bag of spinach into the saute pan and saute til wilted.
Serve your soup as you wish - top with your sautéed spinach and onion, creme fraiche, sour cream or yogurt, and. and sprinkle with red chili flakes if you want a touch of spicy,
Popular puzzles show two pictures that are almost identical, so you can find the tiny differences. Probably great workouts for your brain.
Interestingly, two people look at the same picture and see different things. This morning, looking out from our 16th floor apartment window at the Gulf, I noticed the bright turquoise color of the water, covering my view from left to right. Claude noticed the boats, yachts, sailboats and crew boats cruising the water. Same picture.
What do you see in the picture of your life today? Do you see what is holding you down? Or what is lifting you up?
Do you see opportunities?
Do you see what is tearing you apart? Or what is holding you together?
Do you see what your amygdala (ego) says is wrong with you? Or what is wonderful about you?
Do you see worry? Or do you see beautiful?
Put your focus on what is right with your world, on what is beautiful, on you are beautiful.
Focus on love and loving others. The tiny differences are the difference.
Life has a way of taking us away from loves, and sometimes, after awhile, reuniting us.
Friends, family, co-workers, all come and go in our lives. Sometimes we are separated by geography and moves.
Sometimes we are in the same town and are separated by the direction and busy-ness of our lives. Sometimes they have gone from their earthly life and left us with their love.
Sometimes an absolutely sparkling light-filled moment brings us back together.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
Yet the love and place people have in our heart never goes away. Each one was present in our day-to-day lives for a reason. Each one may leave, for a reason.
Keep the love.
Think of them when you do, in love. Know they left exactly what you needed with you. And you, with them.
They are right where they should be. And so are you.
And, someday, when we are no longer in this illusion of space and time, it will be so very interesting to see how it works, greeting our loves, our friends, our connected beings again.
You gave the man on the elevator hope when you smiled and said, “Good morning.”
You made the mother’s day happier when you told her how beautiful her child is.
You gave the other driver a moment of peace when you let him merge into your lane.
You will never know the lives you’ve turned around as you move through your life in love.
You allowed that child to feel happy when you made eye contact and smiled.
You gave the lady hope when you helped her as she struggled with her grocery bags.
You made the teenage boy feel capable and proud when you complimented him on his graciousness, holding the door open for others.
You will never know all the lives you’ve turned around as you move through your life in love.
Some you may know. Many you won’t.
You made the clerk feel appreciated - and loved - when you waited patiently for her to help the customer in front of you, who was being somewhat difficult.
Your smallest act of caring, of graciousness, of kindness changes lives. And you’ll never know.
Claude and I send love,
Think that indeed, it will be a wonderful day.
Think that you can and will handle any and every challenge that comes your way.
Think that you feel great physically, mentally and emotionally.
Yes - think it!
Think how it is wonderful to be alive.
Think how you are grateful for all that you have had, all that you now have, and all that you will have.
Think that this day will not fall apart.
Think that God is with you, God is helping you, God is guiding you.
Think that you are grateful for every good thing.
This is such a short time, that we share our lives here on this earth. It is a precious time. Each day, each moment is ours, to create our lives. We are of God. We are eternal spiritual beings.
Choose to fill your heart with love, your mind with gratitude, your spirit with peace and your entire being with knowing that all things are possible.
Right now, close your eyes for a moment and feel your life as precious.
Then open your eyes and begin your precious day.
Deep in your brain, behind your eyes, is your amygdala.
The amygdala controls the way you react to things. It’s where your emotions get stored - especially fear.
Fear is important when you are in danger. Yet fear keeps you totally wound up in your day-to-day life as well. It’s your brain “stuck” like a phonograph record playing the same thing over and over.
That deep-down part of your brain is why you get angry with someone - the situation makes you fearful. The anger in our world that sends people to war, that hurts people - amygdalas.
The worry that keeps you up at night - amygdala. The stress hormones that keep you stressed, and make you unhealthy -triggered by amygdala fear. The reluctance to step out and change your life - amygdala.
When researchers put a thin wire into the brain of rodents to zap the amygdala, the rodents had no fear of anything - even cats.
We have a balance for our amygdala - it’s called the neocortex. That’s where critical reasoning, perception, conscious thought can be used to work past the deep-down amygdala with higher reasoning that connects you to your divinity.
Today - create and focus on love - the counter to fear. Today - keep your heart full of love, your mind full of love, so what you see, what you say, what you do, is peaceful and loving. You are developing the habit of countering your amygdala with your love.
Love your life today. Love it!!!
It used to be, that “service stations” were where you drove your car in, parked at the pump, rolled down your window (if it wasn’t already down), and the attendant came to take your order - for gasoline. Frequently, the attendants heard, “fill ‘er up.”
At the “service station,” the folks really offered service - pumping your gas, washing your windshield - and the back window - and asking if your oil needed to be checked. All while your tank was filling up.
Now, in our rush-rush world, service to others is less a part of day-to-day experience. We can lament the change - or we can keep the service to others in our own lives.
We can greet the other folks pumping gas next to us at the station. We can give the other drivers a chance to merge in on the highway, driving in service. We can carry love and express it throughout our day, driving, walking, being.
Fill ‘er up - with love. Be in service - in love,
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
Text and images
© 2018 Dr Chris Baker