WANT MORE TIME ::
Who Doesn't Right?
“I just don’t have time.”
This is one of the top responses when people are asked why they feel held back from doing what they really want in life. Most people can relate and they understand this to be a valid and honest response. I mean, the world is moving at such a fast pace! Keeping up is expected. The amount of time, energy, focus, and effort it can take in a single day just to keep up on emails, phone calls, texts, and social media can be overwhelming to say the least.
I recently had some time off between projects. Like everyone else in the world, I’m used to the “lack of time” scenario being my reason for not completing things in my life. Having this down-time gave me the opportunity to follow through on a bunch of projects that I hadn’t ever had time for. Actually having this time to pursue some of my passions and check things off my bucket list was like a dream come true! I was so excited to do all the things I had been dreaming about. You know; all those things you don’t do because of your LACK OF TIME. My mind started whirling with visions of writing that book I’ve been contemplating for years, re-writing my screenplay, or even learning how to salsa dance while getting into the best shape of my life.
Crazy thing happened. My first week, I was super-productive and made headway into reading some books that have literally been collecting dust for years then I organized my closet and got rid of 2 bags full of things I never wear. I even dropped them off at The Goodwill! I felt amazing! I was achieving, I was doing, and I was loving it.
Week two, I started to slow down. My energy was lower and I started to sleep more and do less during the day. I allowed myself to be lazy a bit more. Proceed to week three, followed by week four. I couldn’t believe it, I had never had so much free time before in my entire life and I’ve never felt so exhausted! WHAT was going on?
So, let me be honest. I really had great ideas and grand plans for this time off… I honestly thought I was going to rock out ALL of the things I had put on pause in my life.
The opposite was happening.
I didn’t start writing. I hardly exercised. I didn’t take salsa classes. Okay…so I did sleep so there is that but my bucket list of dreams was right now, right there within my reach and I wasn’t grabbing it. WHY?
The following questions surfaced and really freaked me out:
- Did I not really want the things on my love/bucket list?
- Was I really just lazy? Depressed?
- Was I afraid of being a failure?
I decided to stop everything and give myself a vacation from it all, the expectations, the “list”, my brain. I gave myself permission to DO NOTHING—without guilt. I didn’t guilt myself when I chose not to go to the gym or when I didn’t take that Pilates class. I didn’t worry when I decided to watch back-to-back episodes of 2 Broke Girls. I didn’t freak out when I ate, drank, and enjoyed more than I normally would.
I don’t know about you but I have so many obligations in my life; things that require daily attention just to keep the entity of “Amy” afloat. I realized how exhausted I was from years of “doing”. Being busy and on the go with constant managing of details, lists, action plans and deadlines… I needed to give myself what I really needed the most and what my whole being craved: rest.
Here’s the crazy thing. Once I did that, just laid back and let go, surrendered into the space without doing, achieving, managing… I felt rested.
Time wasn’t holding me back—whether there was a lack of or abundance of it.
Taking time, being slow, not having a lot going on is not the social norm or cultural standard. Our society thrives on achievement, lists of accolades seen as medals of worthiness and value. When you don’t have a lot going on people look at you like, oh…that’s too bad.
The realization came.
All of the busy had simply caught up with me: The projects, the should-dos, the efforts, the energy, the time, the movement, and the obligations. They simply caught up with me and I was more exhausted then I realized.
Busy does not equal productive. It also doesn’t mean you will achieve your goals. It can actually be a distraction from our bigger purpose.
We must refill and add to our own “energy account” every day.
Most of us are severely overdrawn in our “energy account”. So much so that the bank would shut us down. Not moving forward and accomplishing my next item or love project didn’t mean that I didn’t care about it or that I didn’t want the results. I did, but I couldn’t create or even step into that space when I had nothing to give. I was empty and needed rest, gentleness, and time.
Indeed, any goal takes dedication, discipline, and TIME. It doesn’t happen overnight. It requires patience and discovery that only happens with the fostering of unfolding. I intend to reach it and I know I will someday. It’s not my arrival, but the joy I find in the process and the landscapes I see and experience in my path along the way.
Take time to rest. Let yourself dream again. Let love lead you rather than push you. There is power in gentleness. Time (more of it or less of it) is not what is holding you back. Think of a flower bud opening up. When I was little, my mom always had an abundant garden of flowers, herbs, and such. There was one flower, called the bleeding heart, that I just adored because it was the shape of a heart. I wanted this flower to open and show its beauty. I thought I could help it along, I would open the petals and force it to reveal itself. Of course, it didn’t work…I ended up wounding the blossom and it never actually bloomed the way it would have if I would have allowed it to do so.
I once had a professor who gave me a great gift. He told me it’s not about being perfect or over-working or being smart or organized; but rather it’s about the path you choose. He said to think of your life and your passion/purpose/legacy as a lighthouse in the distance. Each day, make sure your ship is pointed in that direction and paddle at least once a day. Keep that vision in your sight. The light of where we are headed may seem far away some days. We may get turned around or move in circles. Just search for the light and reset your journey.
Even though our culture doesn’t value time in fostering something slowly, that doesn’t mean you can’t. Here is the beauty; when you slow down, you become clear and focused. You will not only enjoy the journey, daily, you will feel an inner freedom that comes from trusting yourself and the process. All things do happen in good time. There is no greater gift than inner freedom and connectedness.
What you create and how you engage in the world is the most powerful thing we share each and every day with everyone around us. It’s not about a list but our interaction and how our being in the world affects all things around us.
There is no lack of time. It all reveals itself at the intended moment. Dream and move into your beauty every day. Allow for it to open without the push and see how effortless it becomes. Pushing indicates not trusting the process and forcing something to happen.
You have all the time you need, promise.