Stop, look, listen

Most teachers of little ones have adopted the phrase; “stop, look, listen” in their classrooms. I, myself, am a drama teacher, and I have been teaching for well over 12 years now. That phrase; “stop look listen”, ends up being my go-to whenever the kids in class are too loud, slightly wild, or possibly even out of control (in a good way of course).

The phrase is led by the teacher, then repeated amongst the children until they do exactly that; “stop, look, listen” It makes  them aware that they need to STOP (whatever they are doing and to press pause), LOOK (at the teacher and focus) and LISTEN (to the teacher to follow further instructions ). They then become more aware of their environment, they settle down,  catch their breath, and become more focused.

This got me thinking:

Often when life feels overwhelming and noisy, we tend to feel like we can’t think clearly, and we feel a bit powerless as to what to do next as a means of moving forward. Circumstances and situations may make us feel anxious, which in turn makes us feel powerless to those feelings and anxious thoughts.

I know for me personally when my anxiety creeps in, and starts to consume my feelings, thoughts and actions – I end up feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, like I don’t know where to turn, or what to do next, it’s almost as if I feel lost in the loud chaos that is life. When I start to feel that way I know that I need to : “ STOP-LOOK-LISTEN”

STOP

When you start to feel overwhelmed take a moment to stop, to press pause on whatever it is that is consuming you, then take a deep breath and rest for a moment. Stopping allows you to catch your breath, to recharge, and to refuel, it also helps you to reflect and gain clearer perspective for where you are now, and where you need to go.

LOOK

When we take a moment to pause, and to be present we are able to see things with clarity and with a fresh perspective. When we pause, we are able to look up towards heaven for help. When we stop for a moment, we are able to see Gods goodness, and acknowledge all that He has done, and will still continue to do within our lives.

LISTEN

When we make the time and space to remove all distractions, and to actually be still and quiet, we are able to hear clearer and we are able to know and understand what we are feeling and thinking. We are able to hear from God with clarity.

So the next time you start to feel overwhelmed and anxious, take a moment to “STOP-LOOK-LISTEN”. You are allowed to rest, you are allowed to recharge, you are allowed to gain a fresh perspective and to know that our help comes from God. And that his love will carry us and strengthen us and help us to endure all seasons well.

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