Last week, Britta introduced our monthly theme: gratitude. As Britta noted, our culture, in spite of its many gifts, doesn’t often foster gratitude, yet gratitude is so important for health and happiness.
I was reminded of this a few days ago when I was on an early morning shuttle from an airport parking lot to the terminal at Oakland Airport. I was taking a flight down to San Diego. It was a lovely morning—still and quiet. The sun was just beginning to color the Eastern sky with shades of gold against the inky darkness. I and a few other bleary-eyed morning travelers were making our way to OAK for our early flights. I was feeling good.
Then I saw it—a sign inside the shuttle bus that read “Not enough time? We can fill up your car, wash your car, and change your oil while you’re away!”
Now, those are all very good services. But, what I noticed more than anything was that my general sense of peace and wellbeing was being tugged at by fresh anxiety.
The idea that “we don’t have enough time” is insidious in our culture and it’s the territory of the illusionary self, which we at COR call the Survivor Self. In fact, what we actually do have is TIME. That’s what this life is: Time.
To paraphrase David Deida, there is never a shortage of time (or life), only a resistance to receiving, trusting and embracing it.
Since we’re looking at gratitude, I think an important place to begin is with the time we have each day. Each day we each have the same 24 hours.
To be sure, this isn’t about bypassing the stresses of life. In fact, the “no time” excuse is itself a bypass. When we accept that time is a gift and we, like everyone else, have received it, we can then face our choices and our priorities with the question of, “What do I want to do with this time I’m given?”
The stretch is to accept this question as an opportunity, not a burden. This perspective is a game changer and it’s the territory of what we at COR call the Healthy Self.
I know from my own experience when I start saying (usually aggressively) “I just don’t have enough time,” there is something deeper going on. I’m disconnected from my Healthy Self. And my work is to re-establish that connection.
So, here are a couple of practices I suggest to reinvigorate your relationship with time, and thereby, your relationship with yourself and your life.
1. Do something that puts you in your Healthy Self. Meditate, pray, run, laugh, talk with a friend, whatever it is for you. And take 5 minutes and 22 seconds right now to watch this and be inspired.
2. Take the Survivor Self phrase “not enough time” out of your vocabulary. Replace it with the empowering and Healthy Self question: “What do I choose to do with the time I’m given today?”
When we turn toward time as a gift, we are in the game, in the arena, on the court, living life. It will be challenging, but we are choosing to receive life and participate in life.
Let us know how it’s going for you. We want to join you in the game.
All the best,