As a health coach, teacher and writer I get two comments almost all the time with regard to encouraging someone to care for themselves and live their life to the fullest with passion and joy –
First – I don’t have the time to meditate, go to the gym, create healthy meals for my family, go after my dreams, take time for myself, etc…
Second – I cannot afford to, buy healthy and organic food, to get a gym membership, pay for a health coach, see a counselor, take a yoga class, invest in myself and my dreams, etc…
Today I want to chat about the first statement; the second one will grace us down the road.
Let me begin by first sharing that I am a single mom with two teenagers, running a business, teaching classes, coaching clients, working out, meditating, journaling, preparing home-cooked meals, and I make it a priority to share high quality time with the people I care about (this means I had to learn how to say “no” and create boundaries). I do not share all of this to brag, or compare, I share it to state right from the start that I get “being busy” – I truly do!! I also get “Living Life to its Fullest NOW!!”
I can look back on a couple of times in my life that make my present life look very simplistic. The first was when I was thirty years old, I started a publication business with a partner to create the first color, creative Real Estate booklet (before the computer and internet took over), boy, was I crazy. Selling ads to some of the best salespeople around took some real tenacity and determination. “Homes of Idaho” was birthed- it was my first child in many ways (it still exists today, owned by the people who took it over). Now what made this venture crazy was that in addition to the business, I also helped to manage a local coffee restaurant, the “Koffee Klatsch” and I worked at the mall in the evenings at “Limited Express”. My day would start before 4:00am and end at 11:00pm or later. Ahhhh to be that young and foolish again, hehehe!!
The second time I found myself burning the candle on both ends was in 2009. I was now forty-four years old with two young children (son 9 yrs old, daughter 6 years old), I had lost my home and car due to job loss, so we were forced leave our mountain home and move to town. We embraced and learned the gifts of biking or walking everywhere. Unable to find a job that could provide for us, I decided to embark on completing my long overdue Bachelors degree. Full time school, part-time work, two children (single parent), with bikes as our mode of transport!! We were blessed with incredible friends who helped us with big grocery runs, projects, and the list goes on and on!! This time period was definitely character building for the three of us, we discovered personal things about ourselves and how we truly do show up to be there for each other. Upon reflection, this experience truly solidified us as a family that rode the waves together with love, patience, understanding, and determination. I am so grateful for this experience, for it humbly woke us up to MORE!
During the periods of time mentioned above I continued to work out, journal, prepare meals at home, and enjoyed the gift of walks whenever I could sneak them in. My workouts would morph according to what I could fit in; an early morning run in the dark, free weights in the living room, a yoga video, or crazy wild dancing to keep me sane. Journaling has been a part of my life for over twenty years, it is how I start my day – a time to download and upload depending on where my conscious and subconscious wish to wander. Meals were a time to honor my internal body, it was very important to keep it healthy, for I needed it fully functioning to maintain my crazy life. Last but not least, walking in nature is one of my forms of meditation, it has been a part of my life since I could physically put one foot in front of the other – a necessary for this girl to maintain sanity in a world full of chaos.
I share the above periods in my life to empathize, respect, honor, and say with true sincerity, “I get it” – I truly do!! Each and every one of us has faced times of intensity, demanding schedules, unexpected life upheavals, etc… How we live in that challenge is what sets the tone for our well being and presence in the “storm”. I sacrificed sleep (not a good practice) and missed out on many shared times with friends during these intense times. There is always a choice we face, for I do not humanly know how one can “do it all” – the give and take dance is a part of the survival.
My response to “I don’t have time” is – “are you willing to actually take a serious look at where and how you spend your time?” At the end of this blog you will see an image of a “time sheet” I created, please feel free to mimic it or if you would like a copy just let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you a copy.
On this time sheet be completely honest – the only person you hurt by “fudging the truth” is you!! How long are you on social media, how long do you watch television, shop, etc… At the end of one week take an open hearted look at your time sheet – “Is this how you want to live your life?” “Is the way you are presently spending your time going to help you manifest what you want?” “Do you now see windows of opportunity to get a workout in, eat healthier, pursue your deepest desires/dreams, spend more quality time with those you love, etc…?” It is my experience that most people do not realize how much time they waste in a myriad of ways. There truly is no right or wrong way for one to spend their time per se; however, I am going to guess that after a week of keeping a time log, your awareness of how you spend your time may change. Hope you’re up for the challenge, it is eye opening – maybe you “do not have time” to keep a time log, just teasing….