Do you ever wish you could see the world the way a child does? The way you use to see it when everything was magical, simple, and you had the capacity to imagine beyond what was on the screen in front of you? I do. The simple things were huge! The normal things were fantastic! I was reminded of that pure childhood magic this morning and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We were on our way to school, running late of course, and it was raining, again. My youngest daughter recognized the weather produced the perfect condition for a rainbow and blurted out, “Mommy, look for a rainbow!” We all looked out the window of my mini and there it was, a perfectly arched rainbow gleaming against the dark clouds of another rainy morning. I decided to use this moment to educate my 11, 8, 5, and 4 year old children about the science of rainbows. I started telling them about how the rain drops act as prisms that bend and separate the white light due to the different wavelengths of the visible spectrum which creates a rainbow, probably boring them tremendously, when I was bluntly interrupted by my oldest daughter stating matter-of-factly, “I just want to slide down that rainbow with my unicorn.” I stopped my silly scientific soliloquy, looked up at that magical, beautiful bent white light, let out a deep sigh and said, “ Me too.”

Up until this morning my brain has been overloaded. All I can see and think about is how much I didn’t get done and how much I still have to do. It’s exhausting. My brain is full of keeping track of new schedules, making sure my kids are getting a good start to the school year, managing our never ending construction project to-do list, fighting a battle against the scale, and then there is this new venture of blogging. I have so many great ideas for my blog that I can’t wait to tell you about. However, when I sit down to write about my wonderful experiences, I get writers block. It is so frustrating, especially since I had an awesome post written about our recent trip to Barcelona, and thanks to a random power outage, I lost it. When I finally had time again a week later to sit down and try to recapture that story, I couldn’t write one coherent sentence. I was nowhere near the eloquent, flowing informational blog post I had written before. I was beyond frustrated! I kept thinking about it, telling myself, “I need to post about Barcelona, Barcelona is where it’s at.” But I can’t because my cognitive capacity to think creatively is completely eaten up by kids, schedules, buildings, husband, bills, employees, and other obligations. I feel like I’m drowning because I’m experiencing cognitive overload.

For the last 11 years, since my first child was born, I have been “on.” I’m sure every mom knows what I am referring to. I have had to be “on” for my school work, husband, kids, patients, boss, friends, parents, employees, I have been on for everyone and I don’t save anything for myself. As a mom, I find it is so hard to turn “off.” On top of that, I deal with a constant need to be better because of my type A personality. But if I don’t find a way to unload my brain and take some time for myself it could lead to a stormy place, where the rain will come in and be hard to push out.

This morning, the simple, yet amazing sight of a rainbow against the dark clouds, reminded me of God’s promise to never flood the earth again. It also reminds me that God will never give me more than I can handle. I just need to learn how to turn off the to-do lists and tune out the white noise of worry and take time to listen and see the world around me. When I came to terms with this today, I let go of the Barcelona blog for now and decided to write this. I figured, I’m not the only one, right?

Listen ladies and gentlemen, we can’t be on all the time. We absolutely need down time, time to turn off our brain from the tasks that have yet to be completed and be present in the surroundings in front of our face… right now. It is called being mindful. I am going to do this every day for a week and let you know how it goes. I am going to start with a 5 minute break from everything. I plan on finding a quiet place, let everyone know that I am having some me time and to please LEAVE ME ALONE, so I can look, smell, and listen for what is going on around me. Maybe this will help me deal with the stress, think more clearly and free up some cognitive space in my brain.

When the storms start rolling in, the dark clouds billow in the sky, and the rain pours down on us, we feel like we might drown. But, remember that it will pass, the clouds will clear and God will let you know He is here. When the rain gets you down, look up! Who knows what will come from my five mindful minutes? Maybe I will wonder into imagination and my creativity will be reignited. Maybe God will reveal something to me. Maybe I will get my unicorn and slide down that rainbow.