For a while now, I’ve been struggling to find time to fit in some activities of personal importance.
The first was just creating space for myself. This is a term you’ll find discussed in Neil Pasricha’s book, The Happiness Equation, among other resources. I love the way Neil talks about this. He says, “Stop thinking to do. Stop doing to think. Stop both and your brain gets really excited!”
I know that excitement. I’ve experienced it and recognize it, but I’m not always the best at making time for it…until the last few weeks when I gave myself a nice break for the holidays without much of an agenda.
In that time off, I found myself acknowledging that there were several things I wanted to find time for but each of them came with their own challenges:
- I wanted more “space” in general, to just BE. I pictured this as meditation time but I kept operating under this illusion that for meditation to be valuable, it had to be for longer spans, like 30 minutes to an hour.
- I wanted to be better at completing therapeutic stretches I’m supposed to do as a result of an injury a few years back. While doing these my thoughts often wander to other things I perceive in the moment to be higher priority and it feels like I’m wasting my time, even though I know the stretches are valuable.
- I wanted time to internalize some principles that are part of the coaching certification I’m working on. Ideally, I’d be able to deeply think about each principle on a regular basis, explore what it means to me, how I can apply it to my life and my coaching, etc. But again, that required time for me to slow down.
During the space I created over the holidays, I suddenly hit on a brilliant idea. Why not combine all three?!
I already had a plan to work out every day before work and a good workout requires a good stretch, right? So, rather than spending 5 minutes cooling down from my workout, what if I added just 5 minutes on to that and added in my therapeutic stretches?
And what if I used that stretching time to focus on productive, positive thoughts?
And what if those productive, positive thoughts could be focused around internalizing my coaching principles? After all, all of those are centered around being more conscious, more aware, more intentional with our lives. Prime fodder for a great meditation!
So, this morning I gave it a shot and LOVED it! Just 10 minutes of my time was spent, only 5 more than normal, and I was able to fit in 3 items of great importance to me.
The result? I went into the day feeling peaceful and relaxed AND I organically solved a problem that’s been plaguing me for some time. All because I gave myself space and time to think.
Now I can’t wait to have that time tomorrow. 😊
What’s an example of a plan that’s worked out perfectly for you lately? Where you to just “give something a shot” and it ended up being exactly what you wanted or needed?
I’d love to hear from you!