What are we so busy doing? Stuff usually. It’s us telling us these are my have to’s. I have to do this … or else … or else what? What is so wrong with wanting to blend those things you love with the things we have made commitments to? Why can’t we be more flexible with ourselves and hence, our lives? What will happen if you do make time for you? More importantly, can you afford to find out what will happen if you don’t?
It is so important to understand one thing. You are on this planet to learn, to experience, to feel and to contribute. You are special, unique, talented and important! Without you, and your beautiful contribution, this world is missing out. You matter! So, how do you initiate balance so that you, too, can be fully present in your own life? For me, it’s all about commitment … and a lot of re-training of the self and others. Before you can achieve anything, you have to want to. You have to believe that you are important and you have to choose to put the meaning back in to your life.
When I was teaching time management skills to secondary students, after waiting for the inevitable groans that would filter through, I would have them draw a weekly time-table beginning with after school and, working in ½ hour increments, go right through until bed time. Every day of the week was included. Then, selecting different coloured pencils/textas/highlighters, they would use these to shade areas of known activities – e.g. orange to colour in sporting activity times, purple to shade in their dinner times and so on. If they had known appointments for the week – this too was blocked out. Everything from watching favourite television shows to homework was coloured in. Any vacant time slots on their charts were the most interesting of all … these were to be devoted to what they loved the most – be it, singing, drawing, swimming, reading, whatever. You see, what I wanted them to understand, more than anything, was that whilst we have commitments and responsibilities that are a part of our life and will always be a part of it, we also have an inner life that is equally as important. Once we blend these two aspects of who we are, we feel more together, more complete and more alive. Suddenly, one aspect helps the other to develop and we begin to live a life that is fulfilling and rich. It took a few time-tables, I can assure you, for this to sink in with these kids but sink in it must have because even now … thousands of moons later, some of them still use them. Time management isn’t about organizing our lives away either … it is just a tool to help us identify where we can create space for the “me time” we all crave. Once upon a time we were too busy and thought we couldn’t do one more thing or we’d scream but then we have kids and a whole new range of “things” gets fitted into our day. It is a delicate web we weave whilst trying to manage our lives, isn’t it? But interestingly, we do find time to do more …
The following things, or steps if you like, about putting balance back in to my life helped guide me towards living the life that my inner voice wouldn’t shut up about … and for very good reasons … I am so much more ‘complete’ as an individual, a sense of being connected to myself rather than just being an observer of this person who did all these things. I am pursuing what I know is within me at the same time that I am doing all my ‘mum/wife/employer/volunteer’ things because they are all intertwined – my writing allows me to listen to others better because I think about what they are saying, my organizational skills help in all areas of my life as well as allowing me to teach my children through them watching me, my quest for spiritual understanding is made easier when I pursue the things that move me in my core. You see, everything we do has a purpose and when we don’t fight ourselves or deny our dual existence, we create our own magic.
What do I personally need to do so that I can make ‘me time’ my commitment? On to this step when next we meet?