The Friday News Minute!

A weekly gem of information you will be using on Monday!

Published by Andrew Sanderbeck

Managing Partner of The People~Connect Institute

Lately, I feel like I have been moving very quickly through the days and weeks of my life. One event follows another and then another. While it has been exciting and fun, it can also be rather tiring. As I sat down to write this week's FNM the words "internalize" and "take a step back" came immediately to mind. I'm reminded of the song "Stop, Step Back" by the group Devotion with lyrics "Are you willing to to stop, step back, breathe and be open?". This week I dedicate this newsletter to stepping back in our lives.

Stepping back into your consciousness
One of my favorite movie quotes come from the character Brooks Hatlen in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Brooks had been imprisoned for 50 years and was finally granted parole. He was living in a halfway house, bagging groceries at a supermarket as a part of his transition into "normal" life. In this particular scene of the movie, Brooks is trying to walk across a busy intersection in town. He is frustrated as it seems that everytime he tries to cross the street a car is moving through the intersection. The scene is narrated with his voice telling the story of the letter he is writing to his friends that are still imprisoned.
"Dear fellas, I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry." 
Indeed it has. We have gotten ourselves into a big hurry too. Surprisingly, I don't think that we really are aware of it.
Dr. Tom Miller in his audio prgram Self-Discipline and Emotional Control estimates that we are not conscious more than 80% of the time on any given day of our lives. He teaches us that our subconscious minds run our lives... reminding us that we are people of habits and routines. Something I like to call "repeatable experiences". We think and do things either the way that we were taught to do them or we discovered our own way of doing them. Either way, we continually repeat many of the experiences in our lives until we again become conscious of them. Brooks was suddenly conscious of the world being in a big hurry because he had not been exposed to it while he was imprisoned.
One of the reasons that I wanted to move from St. Petersburg, Florida to the mountains of North Carolina was that I was consciously tired of the "hurried" lifestyle. I had lived with the traffic, growth and the "go-go" lifestyle for 20 years and had found myself subconsciously going through the motions of everyday living. (And the stresses...too) It wasn't until I returned to the Tampa Bay area a few months after we moved that I consciously remembered how physically and emotionally stressing it was to live and work there. When I took a step back a few years ago to examine my quality of life, it became clear to me that a move to the mountains was needed. It was time to sell the house and move to a smaller town with less rush.
A wonderful friend from Florida came and stayed with us last week and it was very interesting to observe how she interacted with the mountains and this area of Western North Carolina. I enjoyed watching her step back from the busyness of her normal daily life's routine, as she embraced the sights, sounds and energy of the landscape. She visited the Light Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina, three times while she was here and stepped back to nourish her spirituality.
Your opportunity for growth this week is to take the time to step back. To become conscious more frequently and to reexamine your repeatable experiences. Both the good and the not desirable. In the midst of the "go-go" of life you may have lost touch with someone very important...your self. This is an opportunity to reclaim your awareness of your self, your surroundings and the things important to you in your life. And then if you wish, make the changes to your life that you desire.
Take a step back and look at your life from afar. 
Andrew Sanderbeck
You can listen to and buy the music of Devotion at