Tag: Dr. Carrie Contey

Making Reservations

I just took a glimpse at our family calendar in hopes of scheduling a cook out with friends. Here’s a sampling of the conversation…

“No, not Saturday morning. We’re full. Saturday evening work? No. How about Sunday afternoon. Birthday. Next weekend? Art fest. After that work for you? We’re camping.Okay, how about the Sunday after that from noon until about 3. Does that work? Perfect. We’re on.”

And so on and so on we went until we finally booked something nearly a month out. And as I pondered this I realized one thing I forgot to put on the calendar during these crazy months was a little family time. So out came the pen and each week I found a blank spot on an evening or an afternoon and I wrote: FAMILY TIME. What we’ll do I still don’t know but one thing I do know is the block of time has officially been marked. That way when I’m talking and scheduling and pondering the multitudinous events and happenings, I can see, at-a-glance, “No, we’re not available then.

photo by Katherine O'Brien

photo by Katherine O'Brien

Have you reserved any family time lately?

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Tedx Austin

Last Saturday Carrie and I spent the day in the Austin City Limits studios, at the inaugural Tedx Austin conference. It was an amazing event with the theme of Play Big!  Tedx is an offshoot of the amazing Ted series which is an annual event celebrating the world of ideas worth sharing. Tedx is its younger sibling so to speak – the x signifying that it is an independently organized Ted event. There was nothing smaller about this day though as speaker after speaker after performer hit the stage sharing their big ideas, big notions, big lessons learned, big projects and big dreams for ways we, as creative humans, can Play BIG!


Our own Carrie Contey was one  of those speakers and spoke on the idea of allowing and appreciating the pauses in life. Starting with the explanation of the growth and development of the infant brain, she explained to us all that taking a pause isn’t just a nice idea, it’s necessary to the unfolding and integration of knowledge and understanding.  In less than 15 minutes she taught all in the room, a roomful of people no doubt highly plugged in to a variety of devices and people, that the pause isn’t wasting time. It’s crucial to our human development. When we’re infants and all the way through childhood and adulthood too. We can’t keep taking in, if there is no pause there to allow for integration of information. Well, we can but that is when there is overload and possible implosion. In order to find the balance we have to do. be. do. be. do. be. Always ending on the being.

I have found ways throughout the day to take these necessary pauses. Waiting at a stoplight I close my eyes and tell my children to alert me to a green. Standing at the kitchen sink I spread my feet shoulder width apart and slowly drink a glass of water. I have learned the art of the 20 minute nap. I know that turning off the phone on occasion connects me more to self and to my family. I have learned that time for conscious breathing can/should come as the first item on the list. Not the last. I have learned all of these things and yet I was both in need of and grateful for the scientific reminder from Slow Family’s own Dr. Carrie Contey.

Her message wrapped up at the end: Do less. Be More.

Stay tuned for the video of Carrie’s talk and, lucky us, of the entire day. In the meantime, how are you going to take a pause?

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