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!