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Monday, September 17, 2012

Reminder calls

In the alternative health clinic where I work, we offer a phone call reminder service to patients. It’s something we do to nudge them to remember their commitment and to give them the option to reschedule instead of making a last minute cancellation.
It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but a service that mostly everyone appreciates. If a patient doesn’t get their call because we were unable to get through, for instance, they may get nervous and call us to confirm. 
What would our lives would be like if we got more reminders? As adults, we sometimes need to be reminded of simple courtesies like saying “thank you” when a kind person holds open a door for us.  We’re caught up in our own internal monologues or far off in thought or worries that we forget to acknowledge a simple kindness. Or, we’re too comfortable with that person and feel like they should know we give thanks for the nice things they do.
I’ve started to give myself little, intuitive “reminder calls” throughout the day. When I have a moment, I’ll sit still and ask myself, what do I need to know right now?

When I asked myself a few minutes ago, I got a reminder to pay attention to my breath. I was breathing shallowly so sure enough, my reminder was spot on. I took a few deep breaths and dropped the tension in my shoulders.
Ask yourself what do I need to know? What is the first gut response you feel? (or hear, or see?) Even if you get a flash of something funny, perhaps that was all you needed to know…that smiling is what’s good for you right now. 

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