Sometimes I wish I had more time to be spiritual but "Life always seems to get in the way".  If you have read my posts on Spiritual Growth here and here you will know I am on a mission to Supercharge my Spiritual Growth.

That means finding time...and finding time means being honest about the phrase "Life gets in the way".

It is times like this I remember an old friend, I'll call him John.

John was studying to be a medical doctor, he ran a Scout unit, was on the board of a charity for children with disabilities, was an active
member of his student union, had a girlfriend that spent lots of time
with, played on a basketball team and maintained close ties with a
group of us old friends and his family.  John was always busy and active and crammed a lot into his life. 

If I met John today I would have sagely said he was a man heading for burn out.   But he never did, he qualified as a doctor, married the same wonderful girlfriend and had a great time throughout.

Many people used to ask John how he managed to cram so much into his life and his story is so relevant to me today. 

John said that people almost always lie when then say they "don't have enough time".  Usually they are lying to themselves.

He explained that it was a simple question of being honest about your priorities and he just prioritised all of his activities over e.g. TV and video games.  John never once suggested TV and video games were less worthwhile activities - he was just clear that, for him, they were low priorities.

Whenever I catch myself longing for a Spiritual Retreat to have *more time* to be with my Inner Self I remember John and I check my priorities. 

It is surprising how much time you can find when you look.  Checking in with yourself like this demands courage but gives you the power of choice.

If I checked in with myself it would probably look like this:

"I want to do more meditation in line with my plan but I just end up watching endless episodes of the West Wing so...

       1.     Am so exhausted from work I need to do something                        brainless?
      2.    Why do I find TV more restful than meditating?
      3.    Is TV really more restful in the long run or do I just think it                 is?
     4.    Is watching lots of TV and not prioritising meditation making             me more stressed and therefore more exhausted?
      5.  If I am exhausted every night for 6 months then am I in the                 wrong work?"

I'm not always great at this and sometimes months go by before I
realise I am mindlessly letting time pass me by.  

I often hesitate to analyse what is happening because sometimes the results can be uncomfortable... like realising you are unhappy working at the job you thought you loved.

But a little bit of thinking is all it takes to sort me out. 

I am constantly surprised at how much Life makes space for Spirit!
3/11/2012 04:16:40 am

Great post Antara! If we write a list out of where we spend our time, I bet we can find lots of wasteful great to check in with our Self and see what we truly want to spend our time on and how we want to BE.
thx for sharing!

3/11/2012 05:09:24 am

Thanks Gina!

I find I have to check in every so often with myself because it is all too easy to lapse into habits (like watching TV) when I get stressed :)

3/11/2012 10:14:10 am

Ouch!! Great post and a useful reminder..

3/11/2012 03:39:40 pm know this doesn't apply to you, right. Remember!

3/12/2012 03:06:50 am

I think most of us have more time than we realize. It's good to take a look at where we choose to use our time, something I am trying to do more so that I have "more time"

3/12/2012 03:42:12 pm

Hi Petrea

Thanks for the comment. I definitely agree with you. I am a very busy person and I *still* find time to watch an awful lot of TV some of which is good for me, some of which...well I would be better off meditating!

3/12/2012 07:35:47 am

Hmmmmm... it's so hard sometimes to figure out whether we're genuinely trying to fit too much in, or whether it's simply a matter of poor prioritisation. I think people like your friend John (and I know a few like him) are incredibly lucky, in that they seem to naturally be able to prioritise what they *want to* want to do over the things that they could be doing, but don't lead them towards their goals.

I do find that sometimes I can easily prioritise the stuff I "should" want to be doing... but then I seem to end up in meltdown territory the way I did last week. So perhaps it works differently for different people? Or perhaps there's just a trick I haven't quite mastered finding yet?

3/12/2012 03:48:47 pm

I think the key for John was that his priorities were naturally quite balanced. He did stuff for his career, stuff in service to the community and then made sure that his time with his friends and girlfriend and the basketball made him feel healthy and relaxed. He was someone who didn't seem to need much alone time.

If it were me I would be making sure I prioritised some time alone to meditate to ensure I was keeping a balance (not that I am very good at the balance part!). So I suppose my answer is that it *is* always about prioritising, because if you are trying to fit too much in then properly and ruthlessly prioritising will mean you just don't do the least important things.

I would be tempted to ask...what are you priorisiting over rest and relaxation or are the things you choose to do for rest and relaxation not actually very relaxing. I know if I need real rest I have to turn off the TV and laptop...I am not very good at it mind you ;)


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