Stop and breathe. Right now. Just stop, and take one big, long deep breath. Breathe all the way in, then hold it, before slowly letting all that air back out.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking how much better you feel and wondering why you didn’t take a breath earlier.

But life’s like that sometimes, isn’t it? We get so busy trying to keep up with all the demands and challenges life throws at us, that we forget to stop and take 20 seconds to just breathe.

So we keep going without stopping. Our brains keep buzzing away in overload mode. Our Christmas shopping list gradually gets ticked off, but we miss the joy in purchasing a thoughtful gift for someone we love and instead see it as just another thing to be done. We race from one Christmas break up to the next, without slowing down a little bit to take in the moment of the event we’re currently at. We fly through stories at bedtime, because the quicker we can get our kids to bed, the quicker we can get to all those jobs that need to be done.

Yet as we keep racing around, we’re actually missing all those little moments that make up the beautiful bits of life. Like the look of pride our kids give us when they’ve just achieved their first bunny hop on a scooter. Or the sound of coffee grinding. Or our kids’ love of bedtime snuggles. Or the magic that happens when mixing the most basic of ingredients together to create a chocolate cake. Or the beauty of a Summer sunset. Or the simple act of exchanging smiles with a stranger down the street.

We need to slow down. I need to slow down. Take a breath, and make sure the craziness of life doesn’t steal the joy that can be found in the beauty of life.