Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Stressed, overwhelmed, a never ending to do list, having to dress up to go to town, buying that new boat or car – that you really can’t afford?
Sound familiar - sadly this is becoming exceedingly common. Day-to-day life is so busy that we seldom get time to relax, to sit and be still, to explore who we really are and what we really want out of our life.
Statistics indicate 75% of parents are too, busy to read to their children at night. Really?
What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people who are important to us and have meaningful conversations about how we feel, our dreams and goals, the vegetable garden and that new recipe we want to try - with thoughtful silences that we are in no rush to fill?
You have that friend that can’t go for that walk on the beach, soak in the bath or sit and listen to music because they haven’t hoovered the floor, or made the tea, been to the supermarket, collected the dry cleaning? The list goes on. This scenario sadly keeps repeating itself, until they give up making plans to do the things that are really important to them.
We have financial commitments that we need to meet – so we must work long hours with little time to do household chores, let alone relax. We are bamboozled with adverts for new toys, the latest fashion, fancy fast foods, new cars and boats, those amazingly white teeth, that perfect complexion – these convince us that we need these things to make us happy. What about all those photos on Facebook of our friends looking so carefree in those posed happy family shots. Why can’t we have that life? So, we work harder and longer to try and achieve fictitious goals that we haven’t even had time to think out.
Why can’t we allow ourselves to be happy with what we have and allow ourselves to live within our means and have the time to relax, get to know our inner self, decide what we want out of life. To do that yoga class or join that walking group. To let ourselves have some time-out and not feel guilty about it. To live in the now and not be constantly distracted by that never ending to do list that rolls over and over in our busy minds.
Anyone who has entered my clinic knows I am a big advocate of mindfulness, taking 10 minutes (yes only 10 minutes) out of the day to allow some stillness and time for clarity in your life. Sadly, more and more frequently I get the reply – “I haven’t got time”, “can I do it while I am driving”. These responses sadden me – what sort of lives are we living if we can’t allow ourselves ten minutes of timeout in a 24-hour period? This appears be the status quo.
I have known many people who have lived these frantic lives, had few holidays and very little time with family and friends, never had time to be themselves, many put on a false façade when they go out the door and keep it on until they arrive home in the evening, wear the latest fashion and drive the latest model car to keep up appearances – in order to avoid being frowned upon by their so called friends.
Many of them have reached retirement and have been unfit or unwell to be able to enjoy what they had put off until later. Sometimes later is too late. Don’t waste time doing what you think is expected of you, take time out, go on holiday, visit your friend with time to give, not time to kill, feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, hug your children, share meals with friends, love yourself and just be.
I have personally made a promise to myself to take more time out for me, without feeling guilty. To sort out my priorities and clarify what I want to get out of my life. I meditate daily to settle my mind, ground myself and look inside to find my truth. I challenge you all to do the same.
Happy mindful living!
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash