"A few years ago, in the midst of one of what I have come to call my 'hamster wheel' phases, the universe intervened. My computer crashed beyond repair, swallowing masses of work, irretrievably. A work situation went sour, closing off an avenue of professional satisfaction. Then I broke my leg while bicycling slowly through my neighborhood. What followed was surgery, hospitalization, new chunks of metal holding bits of my broken bones together and long, painful physical therapy. The universe had pushed the pause button.
Now, as I feel the urge to get on that hamster wheel again, I ask myself what I can do to gently press that pause button before the forces of the universe that call for sanity, balance and safety do it for me. I want to share a few strategies that work for me, help me find a bit of perspective, slow me down enough that I can reconnect with my inner life, that part of me whose cries for attention are too often drowned out by the squeaky wheel. Each of these is a short practice, no more than 15 minutes, based on the idea that multiple sensory inputs can get in each others’ way. They resemble some of the strategies used in classrooms full of hyperactive children, employing a variety of stimulus reduction and substitution techniques, intentionally using some of the senses we sometimes ignore to shift our attention from racing to relaxing...."