There is a song about saving time in a bottle. If we could bottle time and take it out when we needed it that would be a wonderful thing. But then again, maybe just learning to manage our time would be a wonderful thing. I am one that could use to learn a few things about time management. Although as I look around me I see little things transpiring that I can use as time-helpers. One thing is the new Facebook. I believe that I get caught up in reading and commenting on Facebook a lot, but with this new change I find myself signing on then signing off quickly instead of staying on to look around. So that is a little “time-helper” for me. The new format is helping me by making me want to spend less time on it. Spending a little less time on Facebook is one thing that would allow me more time. For some they pack their schedules so tight they don’t have breathing room. There is no time to just “BE”. No time to just enjoy the moment. No time to decompress and de-stress. It is as if pressure is on all the time.
A Nia student of mine and I were talking about having breathing room. She is one of those people who packs her schedule really tight. She was sharing with me that she had wanted to go to a Nia event very badly but trying to squeeze it into her schedule was causing a lot of stress. Even though the event was something she really wanted to do the idea of trying to fit it in a jammed packed schedule was causing stress. Nia is joyful and is the opposite of stress. The fact that trying to fit this Nia class into her schedule was causing her stress and was negating the joy. Reluctantly she decided not to go, she told me that with releasing that commitment she had a great feeling of relief. She no longer had to figure out driving time, class time, and scheduling all her other work around that. As much as she missed not going to the Nia class it was necessary to take it off of her schedule in order to allow her less stress. And it worked. The moment she decided to not go, there was a release of pressure.
In our society we are programmed to go-go-go and do-do-do. Some people don’t say no to things because “they could squeeze it in between this and that”. People sometimes feel it is wrong or bad to say no. If they have a spare hour they feel it would be wrong to not accept the invitation or the task. For some having nothing to do for an afternoon is unheard of and even more so . . . . a waste of time. And they have no time to just be. Some can’t enjoy the moment. They aren’t taking the time to decompress and de-stress. They live under constant pressure.
At my next Nia class my student shared with me that after our conversation she had went home looked at her calendar and decided a few things needed to be crossed off the schedule so she could just be. She wanted to bring the sensation and the experience of just having time to relax into her everyday life. She had said that she was able to accomplish that on vacation but she wanted to work on having more time in her life. She was so excited to have done this and that our conversation had reminded her of the importance of saying, “No.” That it is ok to say no and actually have nothing to do. It is ok to say no and to keep that time free to be.
Then a few days later she sent me an e-mail she had received with this quote from Martha Beck.
We laughed at how the quote came at such a perfect time. We had been talking about “emptying our time” and then bam . . . there is it another reminder, or confirmation in fact, of exactly what we had been talking about.
Amazing how sometimes things in life just keep telling us the same thing over and over. Sometimes it is when we most need it to. I know that I am not always good at recognizing it. I know I could adjust my time a bit. I feel I have a good amount of time to be, but there could easily be some modifications in my time management to make things less stressful. What about you? Are there things you could say no to? Are there things you could adjust? Do you have “empty time” in which you can just be/de-stress/decompress/reflect? If you feel you have a lot of stress maybe you could start with little increments and see how that feels and then go from there. You might be surprised how great it feels to relieve some of that pressure and give yourself some time.