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Fragments and Shrapnel: Your Moment of Zen

Before I started writing this week’s column, I had a mile-long list of things to get done over the weekend. Many of those tasks included creating peace in the Middle East, shoveling all the sidewalks in North Dakota and buying groceries for the city of Vancouver. Well, at least it felt like it.

My grandma’s funeral and traveling to the Midwest took a lot out of me and going straight back to work left me feeling like gum on the bottom of a shoe. I wrote part of this column in the spa where I work and at the time I was writing there was soft piano music playing and the scent of aroma therapy in the air. At that moment, I should have been calm and collected but all I could see was The List. When I read it something in my soul said, “Can’t we just go to the ocean instead? How ‘bout a wine tour? Or a quick day trip out of town?” Unfortunately, new flooring will not pick itself out and workshops cannot be planned without my guidance.

When I’m racing from one place to the other I like to take a few moments to breathe, take in my surroundings and find the one thing gives me peace or a moment of happiness. I call these my Moments of Zen. This helps me slow down and appreciate my city more and also makes me happier and calmer as I arrive at my next destination.

Here’s a partial list of some of those moments:

* The goose that gave me a stupid look while it was eating grass

* Walking by my favorite restaurant at night and watching the happy people in the bar

* The lights beneath the Portland bridges

* Walking through a dry fountain

* The two or three seconds of calm when the lights go out on the Max as we cross the Steel Bridge

* The full moon

I may not have time to go to the ocean this weekend but the look on that goose’s face still makes me laugh and the secret pleasure I get from walking through a dry fountain makes the list a little easier to manage.

What about you? What are your moments of zen? How do you take stressful situations and make them positive. Jot them down for a week and come back and give me your list.

Last week on A Closer Look Radio, Pam interviewed Spencer Lord, the author of The Brain Mechanic on how to take situations that make you angry or unhappy and turn them around into something more positive. The interview touched me and I plan to use the techniques he described in his book when I’m stuck in traffic, annoyed with my co-workers or stuck in the rain without an umbrella. Check out the interview by clicking here.

This week on the show Pam will talk about nourishing and nurturing relationships and how innovation and creativity can help improve your life. Tune on Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m. PST on AchieveRadio.Com.

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

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