I’ve been meditating about time for the past couple of days since I gave a coaching consultation to a woman in her 50’s concerned about how to have time for her high-level professional career, her marriage and teenage kids, and stay healthy. As usual, the big question was, “How do I find enough time?”
In my mind musing, I recalled that as a child, my personal life was divided into family time (meals, chores, holidays, travel), school time (classes, homework) and “free time.” I loved free time, especially the summer holidays when the hours seemed to stretch out endlessly as I played with friends, lay on the grass watching clouds, biked, and swam. My father also contributed to my feel for the value of free time, since he firmly believed that a day off from school or work each week (Wednesdays) was a useful break from routines that could stifle creativity.
No, I didn’t get to stay home from school every Wednesday (my full-time working mom had a different point of view), but this rather novel perspective from a parent has helped me learn to prioritize intuitively what’s really important to me through my life. By doing so, I’ve found that there’s almost always been enough time to live the way I wish, even when that seemed like quite a challenge. What a paradox! But such is the power of intention.
There are many excellent systems for learning to manage time incrementally, saving 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there by eliminating wasteful habits and so on. However, the vital starting place is becoming aware of what’s already in your life and what you want to bring into your life that really matter to you (family, career, friends, creative projects, fitness, time just for you, travel, etc.). This will help you clarify how you really want your life to be and ultimately, the time you’ll need to make this happen.
The next big question is “How do I create a beginning?” I suggest you start by giving yourself the gift of some free time. Sit or walk comfortably in a serene environment and breathe so that you feel the easy movement of your body from within. Feel that time is endlessly extending itself within you, that you have all the time you need. From this place, allow yourself to envision the shape, look, and feel of the life you long to be living. What are you doing? Who is there with you? What are you creating? How strong is your energy? If you feel anything blocking your experience, continue breathing and just notice any fears, concerns, or images that arise. Be aware of them, then let them go (you can always come back to them later). Return to your inner place of spaciousness and be with the vision of your life as would like it. When you come back from your time out, write down what you wish to remember.
As the rock and soul group, The Chambers Brothers, sing in their shimmering song, “Time”: “Now the time has come/ There are things to realize/ The time has come today.” My question to you is, “What is the work you long to do and the way you want to live that’s worth freeing time for now?” Once you’re clear about your intention, you can learn how, and get support for, making the time you need to realize your dream.