Being Mindful of Margin…

Margin is the space between your load and your limit.

Mindfulness is the quality of fullness of attention, immediacy, non-distraction. In that sense, it is the key to life. Without mindfulness there can be no margin.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Rick Warren…

“A lot of people are on overload and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics:

  • People now sleep two and a half fewer hours each night than people did a hundred years ago. You’re sleeping less than your grandparents did.
  • The average workweek is longer now than it was in the 1960s.
  • The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes us three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.
  • We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are busy or who are not answering, five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.”

Having margin in my life means I have time to cherish loving moments with my family.  Living without it means we say the words “I love you” but we do not follow them up with loving actions. 

Margin in my life allows for moments of pure joy to seep into my soul and fill me to overflowing.  A marginless life means I settle for moments of momentary happiness,  usually gone as quickly as they appear. 

Margin allows for moments of absolute stillness…listening to the small quiet voice guiding me through my life.  Life without margin looks more like chaos…cluttered office, overflowing laundry baskets, dishes piled in the sink, lack of sleep and late for everything. 

Living a mindful life allows me the opportunity to slow down and address situations that are out of my control, usually because someone else lacks the margin in their life.  I have the time to think, re-evaluate and make educated adjustments.  MY Life without margin begins to feel hurried and harried and filled with stressful moments. I feel like Alice’s White Rabbit…I’m late…I’m late…for a very important date…no time to say…hello, goodbye…I’m late!

Being mindful of my need for margin allows me time to fill in the gap when and where it is needed.  A stress filled life will limit  my ability to be spontaneous and help out when the opportunity presents itself.  Living a life with margin begins to feel like the life I was created to live…

When my life has time I have self-control – margin limits the frustrations that happen in life because there is no margin for error

From the same article:

Dr. Richard Swenson, MD says this:

The conditions of modern day living devour margin. If you’re homeless we direct you to a shelter. If you’re penniless we offer you food stamps. If you’re breathless we connect you to oxygen. But if you’re marginless we give you one more thing to do. Marginless is being 30 minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were 20 minutes late getting out of the hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse. That’s marginless.

Margin, on the other hand, is having breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month, and sanity left over at the end of adolescence. Margin is grandma taking the baby for the afternoon. Margin is having a friend help carry the burden. Marginless is not having time to finish the book you’re reading on stress. Margin is having the time to read it twice. Marginless is our culture. Margin is counter-culture, having some space in your life and schedule. Marginless is the disease of our decade and margin is the cure.

If I am not mindful of the moments that make up my life… I will miss out on all that makes life worth living…

Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.”

If I am too busy to look up and witness the beautiful blue sky… how will I know when it’s raining?

If I am too busy to look into the eyes of a friend…how will I know they are hurting? 

If I do not laugh at myself…I may take myself to seriously.

If  I do not consider others…who will consider me?

If I…do not find the margin in my life…my life will become a series of hurried and harried days on end…I will quite possibly find myself chasing my life instead of living it!

To recognize the need for margin is the my first step to making the adjustments…I have been making a few changes and I am now enjoying my new-found margin.

 Rick Warren sites four benefits to building margin into our lives; Peace of Mind, Better Health, Stronger Relationships and Usefulness in Ministry.  To read the article in it’s entirety…Four Benefits to Putting Margin in Your Life…go here!

What does margin in your life look like? 

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This post is part of theBlogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge.  Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “M”

13 Comments

Filed under Blogging Challenges, Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, encouragment, Healthy Living

13 responses to “Being Mindful of Margin…

  1. Margin is being able to make fun choices as to opposed to no choices at all…otherwise 100% obligations. Rick Warren has articulated exactly what I’ve been thinking. As a matter of fact, I just wrote about moving so fast, ripping my favorite dress, and not even having the time to repair it. So glad…I don’t move that fast (mindlessly) any more.

  2. This gave me time think of margins in my own life. Thank you so much, this was a real eye opener for me.

  3. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks we work too much, sleep too little and waste too much time on things that don’t count. Great post!

    • Angela,
      Thanks for your kind words…lately I have felt like I am a hamster in a cage..no more…I need to live laugh and love all that life has to offer. Enjoy today!

  4. These days, I almost never rush around like the White Rabbit. We’ve built in plenty of time into our day to unwind mindfully . . . we flow from task to task rather than racing from HERE to THERE.

    Aah . . . that’s better!

  5. Pingback: Two Subjects…Obscured! « jeanne's blog…a nola girl at heart

  6. I love this concept of keeping a margin in one’s (daily) life especially these days when current thinking pushes us to be productive, productive, and productive 100% of our waking hours.
    Thanks for the post, Jeanne. 🙂

  7. Pingback: There you have it…From A to Z! « jeanne's blog…a nola girl at heart

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