I had just finished writing in my journal, “Lord, guide me with my “sacred time” and let me check in with myself before every activity I plan. I know that I am responsible for the pace and peace I bring to each moment.
I opened up Alan Cohen’s book “Wisdom of the Heart” pg. 71. It said, “Take the time to enjoy your life. You can allow yourself pleasure and still fulfill your responsibilities. When you do something you love for even a short time each day, you will recharge your batteries and find the strength and energy to do the things you need to do.”
The word that spoke to my heart was TAKE the time to enjoy your life. It is yours and mine for the taking. Do you take TIME for yourself to nurture your spirit or are you too busy with other things to do? Are you always last on the to-do list because others are more important to take care of than you are? Do you feel guilty when you do something or take TIME for yourself to relax and perhaps do nothing?
I recently met a woman who was very stressed and overwhelmed and I was led to give her my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” I asked her if she liked to read and she said, “Yes, as a young girl I read all the time and loved it, but I don’t have the TIME to read anymore. She didn’t know that she does have the TIME to read, but didn’t TAKE it because she was too busy or didn’t feel deserving. What do you tell yourself you don’t have the TIME for: prayer & daily meditation, relaxing, eating healthy, exercising, creating a new project, dancing, playing, spending time with friends or family, doing nothing and just BEING? I had to learn to just BE and do nothing. If you don’t TAKE the time to do things that are enjoyable, good and healthy for you, what are you taking TIME for?
Busyness can be a distraction & an addiction from “what is inside of you” and your feelings. I know because I was a “BUSYAHOLIC” or “RUSHAHOLIC” to avoid the “hole in the soul” that I tried to fill with outside things. I remember years ago that I couldn’t or didn’t do what I wanted to do until everyone in my family was settled and happy. I realize now that I had it backwards. I know today that by loving and nurturing myself first, I can love and give to others. Unfortunately, our society is goal-oriented, work, work and get things done. There is never enough time for pleasure and fun. No wonder so many people have heart disease and are stressed out.
This is an affirmation I say, especially when I think I have too much to do and so little time to do it. “I have more than enough time to do all that is mine to do” because I do. I have to practice this affirmation and not get caught up in the old beliefs that busyness and being productive is good and relaxing and enjoying is bad. Here are some examples of old beliefs: There’s never enough time to do all that I want to do. Time is flying by. The older you get, the faster time goes. I often hear people say, “How did I ever work, I am so busy now?”
We are all given the same amount of “sacred” time each day to do what we want to do and what is important to us. Every moment, every breath is precious and I don’t take it for granted because it is a gift from God. I am not promised my next breath and neither are you. It is my desire and passion to live my life to the fullest and to live in joy and peace. So I ask myself before an activity, “Will this bring me joy?” At this time in my life, for the most part, I do what I want to do. I no longer push myself to try to please everyone else. If I don’t know what I want to do in the moment, I just do the next right thing and the next right thing. It always works and I get to where I want to be.
Being retired and living on Maui with all the wonderful activities to peruse has given me the opportunity to practice TAKING the time to do what I want to do. I can still get out of balance with busyness and doing too much. I know it almost immediately because I lose my peace and am irritable.
Because I want to use my TIME consciously and to enjoy the life God has given me, I know what my priorities are and what makes me peaceful, happy and joyful.
#1 Spending TIME in prayer and meditation every day.
#2 Loving myself and taking the TIME to BE and DO whatever I need in relation to my body, mind and spirit.
#3 Spending TIME with my partner, Larry, and nurturing our relationship.
#4 Spending TIME with friends and family.
#5 Spending TIME writing as my sacred service and being creative.
I encourage you to TAKE the TIME to enjoy your life and have fun. This is your LIFE, not a dress rehearsal. Ask yourself, “What steps can I take to nurture my body, mind, and spirit today?”
Many people are so busy every day that they don’t have the TIME to do everything they would like. The days just don’t seem long enough. Some folks have demanding careers or work two jobs to take care of their families and at the end of the day they are tired, frazzled and exhausted. All they want to do is crawl into bed and collapse. They are up again the next morning and do it all again. Do you ever feel like you are on a treadmill going around and around?
Our physical and psychological bodies are incredible but they do have a limit. When we pay attention to our bodies they will tell us when they are reaching their limit. If we don’t take the TIME to listen they will eventually break down.
As I have mentioned in past blogs, I had my own catering business for 16 years. I remember what happened to me around Christmas. It was our busiest time of the year and we were working day and night. My partner, Bob, and I had been going for days without stopping. I looked at him and said, “I can’t do this anymore. I have to leave for a while.” I felt like everything was closing in on me and I was suffocating. I’ve always had affection for forests and wilderness. I headed for a beautiful forest and reservoir that I used to frequent when I had more TIME. I walked up a trail and into the forest. There were no other people around and it was snowing lightly. The deeper I walked into the forest, the more I began to feel the incredible powerful energy. I felt like I wanted to hug a couple of trees. I sat down against one of them and just let the connection happen. The stress started to drain away as the snow fell gently on and around me. I don’t remember how long I stayed there but when I left I felt refreshed, renewed and loved.
I was very happy that I had listened to my body and took the TIME I needed to refresh myself. It seems to me that sometimes our priorities are out of whack and we continue to place ourselves on the bottom of the list. At the end of the day we have no TIME left to love ourselves. When we’re going to take a trip some where we know enough to fill the tank of our vehicle with gas. If we expect ourselves to address all the issues in our day we better take the TIME to fill ourselves with the energy we will need to take us through the day.
I believe that the energy and light of love is in each and every one of us. How wonderful it would be if we all started our day by taking the TIME to love ourselves first. Growing up I was taught to be considerate of others and that it was selfish to always think about what I needed or wanted. That is true, however, that doesn’t mean forgetting about myself and placing myself at the bottom of the list.
I’m retired now and it’s taken me 50 years to realize that I’m important enough to be placed on the top of my priority list. As a gift, I offer you this practice. Each morning when you wake up look into the mirror and tell yourself, “I Love You”, I’m so happy that you are me and I can’t wait to spend the day with you. This was difficult for me to do at first because it felt strange and unnatural. I now find it a terrific way to start my day because it fills my tank.
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Simply A Woman of Faith
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