Stressed? Sometimes You Have to STOP, Look, and Listen

by | Mar 13, 2011 | Uncategorized

Hello Readers,

You have probably noticed that I have not been updating my blog. After returning home from our vacation in Louisiana I went back to work in Steve’s office where we have updated his office systems and I have been very busy.

Then in February, my son and daughter-in-law blessed us with a new grandson. This makes number three for us. Being Grandma is one of the greatest joys in my life. While the parents were bonding with the new baby in the hospital, I stayed with “Big Sister” until they came home from the hospital. It was a very busy and exciting week for all of us. But the excitement got the best of me.

I wasn’t able to hold our new grandson much at first because shortly after his birth I came down with the flu and was literally on my couch for a week. That time was actually great for refueling and revisiting my priorities. It is times  like this when my everyday routine has to STOP and I ask what parts of my life are most important for me to go back to when my energy returns. Where do I want to focus my energy? How much can I do in a day? I take a look at how things are going and listen to that inner voice that redirects you back to your center.

I would invite all of you to ask those questions before you burn out or exhaust your energy. Take some time to ask “What matters most in your life?”

Really take a look at how things are going and then listen to your inner voice for how to proceed.

For me the answer was continuing to work with my husband ( I actually enjoy it!), being there for my children and grandchildren. Spending time with family and friends and keeping an organized and joyful home. It is so important for me to  stay in touch with my spiritual Self by practicing the lessons of A Course in Miracles, and taking care of my physical and emotional health with daily exercise and yoga practice.

Writing will always be part of my life and I hope to publish more in the future. For now I still enjoy writing an occasional Tweet and you will see some updates on Facebook. So do follow me on Twitter and Facebook.  I also continue to journal almost everyday and plan to share some of that writing with you in the future.

I will write when I can, but am letting go of any sense of urgency with having to keep a blogging schedule.

In the meantime, I am the contributing author of two books that you can purchase through me or at my website:

The Pocket Book of Limericks ( Great for a St. Patrick’s Day gift) &

Discover Your Inner Strengths.

And I continue to share my articles.

Here is a timely article I wrote and would now like to share with you:


For years people who have talked about wellness referred to weight loss, fitness or smoking cessation programs. Later we identified the role stress plays in our overall health and wellness so we developed stress management programs.

Interesting that although the wellness industry has spent the last 20 years designing programs and providing health promotion information to the point that most consumers are very well educated, health is not improving much – Not the kind of health that is defined by an overall sense of balance of body, mind and spirit or physical, emotional or spiritual togetherness. In fact many people are exercising and watching their weight. Unfortunately many people have given up and continue to spiral upwards. There is no loss of material on what constitutes a healthy diet or adequate fitness program. There are also more self help books published than ever before to help us deal with our stress management.

Keeping all of this in mind, it is interesting that when I work with people as a wellness coach, their vision often includes a regular exercise program and healthy diet, but it always seems to include the word balance and gaining more energy and enjoying life more. Yet that is the one place it is hard to concentrate. To stop all of our activity, whether it is for our work or just to keep the house managed is very difficult. We just keep going until our body can’t go anymore and then we get sick. It is when we get sick that we question how we have been going about getting all these things done.

More and more people have said to me that they need to take time to meditate, yet less and less do. Why is that? I know for myself I often feel that once this or that item on my to do list is complete, I will be able to sit back and relax. Sitting seems such a waste of time when there is so much to do. That is why we recommend that you schedule a regular time for meditation regardless of what is going on in life or with work. It has to be as built in as brushing your teeth. It has to be an everyday occurrence.

But what if we are just not of the makeup to sit in a formal meditation? That is not necessary, but what is necessary is to have some sort of practice built into your life for reflection on more than your everyday tasks. The fact is that one’s body and mind can’t keep on going without a break. Eventually you will have to stop.

As you reflect on your own renewal as spring approaches, build into your day a time for silence, prayer, yoga, reflective reading, listening to peaceful music, journaling, or if you can, sitting in a position of meditation, following your breath long enough to feel a difference in your body- a feeling of peace and quiet rather than rushing and a sense of urgency. If you practice enough, it will become a memory in your body that you will be able to tap into when life is speeding by. Like all of my clients, it has to be a priority and goal for change. Let that be now and not later.

Mary Claybon is a nurse, health educator and licensed wellness coach with over 30 years of experience in the field of health and wellness. Through her business Promoting Health: The Middle Way LLC, Mary has facilitated wellness programs for businesses and individuals and now offers telephone and web based coaching nationally to facilitate lasting behavior change. Mary also facilitates A Course in Miracles group in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit or call Mary at 513-309-8377. Mary’s e-mail is


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