Life by the Slice
In my world of professional coaching, one of the core skills vital to the process is to be fully present with the client(s). To do that, I must be mindful of my surroundings, quiet the chatter in my brain, and practice intentional listening. This blocks distractions that might prevent me from being present in the moment with the person. The focus shifts from me to them so I can provide an effective coaching session.
That same “fully present” skill can be practiced by anyone. Dan Cathey of Chick Fil A once said, “We have our customers for a moment, and in that moment, we must deliver good customer service.”
How often do you miss a moment and pass someone by? How often do you stay focused on a situation and do not share a smile? How often are you about your own business in conversations and don’t grasp what the others are really saying?
Being “fully present” is not about a quantity of time; it is about a quality of time. It requires us to be intentionally invested in the moment—whether five seconds, five minutes, or longer. Consider what’s alive in you right now; that is, where is your mind between the words you are reading? Did you know that where your mind goes, so goes your body (e.g., if you’re stressed, your body becomes tense)? And where your mind goes, there goes your energy!
Focus on what you notice about your body while reading this: breathing, body position, etc. Pause from reading and physically note in writing where your mind is—and be fully present with that for 60 seconds.
Whether you chose to do the activity or not may reflect your mindset. The mindset we operate from reflects our attitude, which comes from our belief system and how we view self. You may be thinking, This life by the slice thing is simply not doable. Life is too challenging, too hard, too chaotic and too difficult. From my coaching perspective, if you are unable to be fully present with yourself for 60 seconds, how can you be fully present with others?
I invite you to look for a “vuja de moment,” which occurs “when you see everything as if for the first time or better still, you see everything everyone else sees but you understand it differently, more keenly.” (from Shift Your Brilliance, by Simon T. Bailey)
My book, The Bread Box, Life by the Slice, is a guide to live life in moments. The “bread box” idea was triggered by a story from my teen years and a reflection on my life “one slice at a time.” These slices are stored within me, and I draw on them as needed and/or reminded.
I share personal narratives followed by activities for readers to create their own life-by-the-slice moments. The purpose is to help readers pause and be fully present with a story for a few short minutes. Perhaps some of the narratives will provide readers with a “vuja de moment.” It’s these fully present moments that can stretch our thinking, shift our focus, and trigger a different attitude.
In our culture of real-time information streaming 24/7 over multiple virtual sites providing an overload of noise, I want to invite you to step aside for a moment and begin practicing being fully present. By reading each personal narrative in my book, a person can begin to practice this discipline and then create their own life-by-the slice moments.
Here is one reader’s experience: “Thank you for throwing me this lifeline because the bread in my bread box was getting stale! I read it from cover to cover…everywhere. On the beach with my paper and pen drawing and writing my QUIET acronym. My head and heart are clear!”
Living life by the slice helps you keep life in perspective, manage boundaries, and experience a new level of joy and contentment. It can help create synergy for making your life your business and your business part of your life rather than all of your life.
For those who want to go deeper, 1:1 coaching programs are available. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Enjoy experiencing the benefits of practicing life by the slice!