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Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace

Is the crushing burden of information and communication overload dragging you down? By day's end, do you feel overworked, overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted? Would you like to be more focused, productive, and competitive, while remaining balanced and in control?

Author Jeff Davidson says, "If you're continually facing too much information, too much paper, too many commitments, and too many demands, you need Breathing Space."

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Recommended Reading
Jeff Davidson: Simpler Living

Jeff Davidson: Breathing Space

Jeff Davidson: Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done

Jeff Davidson: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Managing Your Time

Larry Rosen and Michelle Weil: Technostress

Mark Victor Hansen: Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul

Sam Horn: Conzentrate

Patricia O'Gorman: Dancing Backwards In High Heels

James Davison Hunter: The Death of Character

John D. Drake: Downshifting

David Md Viscott: Emotional Resilience

Alan Lakein: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

Scott Adams: The Joy of Work

Don Aslett: Keeping Work Simple

Jeff Davidson: The 60 Second Organizer

Jeff Davidson: The 60 Second Self-Starter

Recommended Blogs

Breathing Space Blog

Friday, October 23, 2020

Manage Your Space - Breathing Space Blog

In his book Democracy in America, French observer Alexis de Tocqueville remarks:

"Everything about the Americans, from their social conditions to their laws, is extraordinary; but the most extraordinary thing of all is the land that supports them. When the Creator handed the earth over to men, it was young and inexhaustible, but they were weak and ignorant; and by the time that they had learned to take advantage of the treasures it contained, they had already covered its face, and soon they were having to fight for the right to an asylum where they could rest in freedom."

"It was then that North America was discovered, as if God had held it in reserve and it had only just arisen above the waters of the flood.”

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Regain Your Time - Breathing Space Blog

Here is an excerpt of an insightful article by William J. Doherty appearing UU World September/October 2004, called “Let's Take Back our Time”:

“Welcome to the strange new world where being home for dinner is a radical act. For three decades a new spiritual and social justice issue has been arising in our culture and our congregations, but we've been too busy to notice it. It's the problem of time: over-work, over-scheduling, and a chronic sense of hurry. We have become the most productive and the most time-starved people on earth...”

“This is a spiritual issue as well as a social justice issue.... Over-busyness has spiritual effects. Every spiritual tradition emphasizes the importance of silence and repose; most have some form of Sabbath and seasons of reflection. Our culture of busyness is antithetical to the spiritual life. The Trappist monk Thomas Merton expressed it well in Confessions of Guilty Bystander:

There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence, and that is activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of this innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Key to Success - Breathing Space Blog

On Friday, October 15, 2010, I had the unique opportunity to meet with Anson Dorrance, the legendary coach of the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team. My daughter had attended his wife’s ballet school for 14 years, so I was thoroughly familiar with him as a Chapel Hill resident.

On this evening, which was the basketball tip off night for UNC, NC State, and Duke, thus compelling tens of thousands of fans to stay on campus, Dorrance and Tim Crothers were to appear at Quail Ridge Bookstore to discuss the second edition of their book The Man Watching.

Instead of droves of people attending, only nine people populated the audience. So, what might have been a formal author presentation followed by a question and answer session turned into a rather brief author discussion followed by an extended interpersonal give and take. What’s more, both Dorrance and Crothers stayed for more than an hour. This was a rare night indeed.

I was able to ask them about the UNC women’s soccer team on a level that most fans can never even approach. For example, I posed questions about the health status of several key players who are currently on the injured roster, and others such as whether losses still hurt. I asked what losses really meant when he said, for example, that losing three times in 2009 didn’t prevent the team from becoming the national champions.

Dorrance discussed at length his fundamental belief that men and women are primarily different, a primary reason why he has been successful as a coach. He knows how to reach his players in a way that other coaches cannot because they are treating male and female athletes as essentially the same. I mentally noted that Geno Auriemma of the University of Connecticut shares the feeling: that women are different. Both coaches believe that women want to please others and play for a coach who has confidence in them. Coaches who harness these dual desires can propel their teams faster and further toward their goals.

I learned that Dorrance does not take a regimented approach to coaching. He is not a disciplinarian. The team doesn’t run extra laps when something goes wrong. Rather, while making sure that his team is in top physical shape, he is a constant strategist and motivator. He is constantly talking to his team members, offering them philosophical quotes and insightful observations.

The title of the book about Dorrance, The Man Watching, refers to a poem which he reads to the team at the start of each season. Freshmen and sophomores never quite understand it, but the juniors and seniors assure their underclassmen that by the time they’ve heard the poem three or four times, they’ll get it.

The team engages in a variety of bonding rituals. Any time it’s someone’s birthday, cake will be served, whether it’s after practice or a game. Surprisingly, no utensils are ever passed out. Everyone grabs their portion with their fist and eats it like cave dwellers might do.

Each team develops its own personality as the season goes on. Players often get to games on time by themselves when the games are in driving distance, such as at Duke in Durham, or NC State in Raleigh. When the team does go by bus, sometimes they don’t arrive until a few minutes beforehand. In one celebrated incident, the team left Chapel Hill at 7:15 p.m. for a game against NC State to be held in Cary at 8:00. The team had about 90 seconds to warm up on the field before the game began.

Dorrance was an unlikely candidate for the job he now holds. Self described as a “loose cannon,” he attended UNC studying to be a lawyer following his undergraduate days. He began coaching the men’s soccer team for the extra income, and was asked to take on the women’s team as well. Success came to him quickly. He won the AIA Championship – at the time the equivalent of the national championship. From that point on, his teams won 20 of 28 NCAA championships. This team represents a dynasty virtually unprecedented in college sports. What’s more, the team has had the same coach the whole way through as well as two very long term assistants.

Dorrance’s attitude towards sports is unique. He was always undersized as a high school and college soccer player, so he decided to put in the extra effort to make himself a winner. His attitude is conveyed to his players who, even when behind or not playing up to their best, still know in the back of their minds that they are going to win.

Most impressive about the evening was that Dorrance and Crothers had no notion of stopping. They would have continued to answer questions and chew the lean about soccer, their book, and UNC sports for as long as the handful of us would have listened. The bookstore staff finally came around and told us that we needed to wind it up in the next couple of minutes. So, for that reason alone, the evening with one of the greatest coaches in world history ended.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Breathing Space Can Happen - Breathing Space Blog

When you draw upon your own accumulated knowledge and the wisdom that you develop, you're able to intermittently free yourself from ever accelerating flows of information. That is true Breathing Space.

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Getting Lucky - Breathing Space Blog

Unlucky people miss out on random opportunities because they're too busy seeking something else. Lucky people see what is present beyond only what they're seeking.

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Being Hacked offers No Breathing Space - Breathing Space Blog

Using any of these 25 passwords is highly risky. A hacked password equals no breathing space. Instead make up something more complex, with random letters and numbers, such as ij6kf40d1. Or use an acronym and numbers known only to you, such a mwdSina8 ("my wonderful dog Skippy is now age 8").

These are a hackers delight:

      1. 123456
      2. password
      3. 12345
      4. 12345678
      5. qwerty

      6. 123456789
      7. 1234
      8. baseball
      9. dragon
    10. football

    11. 1234567
    12. monkey
    13. letmein
    14. abc123
    15. 111111

    17. access
    18. shadow
    19. master
    20. michael

    21. superman
    22. 696969
    23. 123123
    24. batman)
    25. trustno1

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Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Notes from Ritual: by Emma Restall Orr - Breathing Space Blog

Notes from Ritual: A Guide to Life, Love, and Inspiration by Emma Restall Orr

* In our busy modern schedules, rituals are often seriously lacking.  Yet, they can bring richness and meaning to our daily habits.

* We can use rituals to bring the sacred into everyday life.

* A walk through the park or lighting a candle to welcome the day allows us to reconnect with each other and our own psych.

* In an era when many of us live far from our families and most people don’t know their neighbors, rituals offer a feeling of community and belonging.

* Rituals enrich our sense of who we are both individually and collectively. 

* Rituals can be easily adapted to suit any event or occasions and fit within any reader’s own spiritual tradition. 

 * Rituals can be devised to celebrate a marriage, welcome and name a child, deal with grief, deepen our creativity, heighten our sexuality, enhance our mealtimes, and energize our lives throughout the life cycle.

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