George Bernard Shaw said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”
Makes sense, right?
Having no goals, not knowing where we’re going, feeling confused, anxious or worried makes life frustrating, scary.
Truly, we become what we think about.
How does this happen?
Let’s say you have a pot filled with fertile soil. You have a choice over what you want to plant in it. The pot doesn’t mind and leaves the decision to you, but it is more than happy to give back what you put in.
Our mind is like the pot. We choose what we plant.
As we sow, so shall we reap!
Now just for a moment, imagine you have two seeds – one will bear fruit and the other is a poisonous plant.
You plant both. You water the pot. Guess what will happen? Both seeds will flourish.
You had the choice over which one to plant.
Our mind is far far more fertile than that pot. We have the incredible ability to think about whatever we want. We can think about being happy or worrying over everything. We can focus on success or failure, our goals or wandering aimlessly.
We have the ability to choose the life we want to live.
Okay. Now that we know that profound truth, I want to ask you this:
- Where are you on your priority list?
- Do you tend to slack off on yourself and put others on your priority list?
- Do you make a habit of it?
If you said yes, that’s not good.
You probably find yourself wishing you had more time for yourself. You think you hardly have time to breathe. Then the classic one: you wish your day had more than 24 hours. The winner? (I actually typo-ed with whiner – talk about blurting the truth!) You just don’t have time for the things you really, really want to do!
Can you change this?
Of course you can!
We all believe we lead crazy, busy lives. We also believe we have no time for ourselves. And ironically, we all dream of making time for ourselves even as we juggle our day’s activities.
Can you make a pledge to find 15 minutes a day for ourselves?
You do know that when you actually find the time and end up doing the things you love, or even just relax, you feel a lot happier, don’t you?
It is important to find “you” time to refresh, reach in, recharge and recoup your energy – and sense of peace.
Don’t feel guilty about taking this time for you.
And no, 15 minutes will not get added to the 24 hours. You must rework your to-do list, take another look at your priorities and clear some time for you. Maybe you must practice saying No? Maybe you should knock off those things that really don’t matter?
When you take time off, you feel more enthusiastic about what you have to do, feel more focused and committed.
Wanting to spend time on your hobbies is not being selfish. Neither is wanting to read a book!
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
When you get on the hamster wheel of busyness, you end up feeling tired, annoyed, overwhelmed and disoriented about where you are headed.
Don’t lose sight of yourself.
Make self care a habit
Here are some ideas to get you started on focusing on You, Your life.
- Begin by accepting that you do deserve time off every day. If you’re tired and stressed out, you can’t give 100% to what you have to do. Self-care is critical if you have others to take care of.
- Think about how you can spend those 15 minutes you set aside for yourself. What would make you happy? A cup of coffee sitting by the window and thinking pleasant thoughts? Music? A long bath? A brisk walk? Meditation? Make a list of those ideas so you don’t have to think too hard when your plan your 15 minutes. Oh, it doesn’t always have to be 15 minutes, you can absolutely make it 30 minutes to an entire afternoon off!
- Take stock of all those time-sucks and energy vampires that gobble up your day. Examples are: constantly checking emails and feeling obliged to reply right away, answering phone calls you can ignore, doing emergency shopping haphazardly rather than making a shopping list and getting it done with one visit… I’ve been there, done that! I say, sit yourself down, get organized. Be pleasantly surprised to see how much free time materializes!
- Pledge to say No. I know it is hard and I struggle with it all the time. I am learning, though, that it is stupid to feel guilty about saying no to things I don’t want to do, things that do not make me happy. I am also discovering the peace of mind that comes with saying No.
- Reach out for help when things seem to pile up. You don’t always have to do it all yourself. Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of.
- Plan your week ahead – and make sure you schedule a minimum of 15 minutes for yourself, just like an official appointment that you’d keep. It is a non-negotiable. Most days, I simply wake up earlier to enjoy my “me” time. I make an appointment with myself!
- During that time, do something that makes you happy. Or do nothing! Make it a ritual!
Mindful living is all about being kind to yourself, and being present for yourself. You cannot notice the little joys around you if you are not at peace with yourself.
Promise me you will do this!