December 21 marks the Winter Solstice in my part of the world. It’s the shortest day of the year. The shortest day. Those words could send some people into an anxiety attack. This often happens when we worry about not having enough time.
Worrying about time can lead you into a rushed frenzy or a robot-on-skates approach to your day. Thoughts like “time is running out” or “just get it done” are running through your head. There’s feeling of being under pressure to “make it happen”. You’re often rushing but taking twice as long to do half as much.
We know what happens in the end. Our mind, body and spirit are drained, depleted, on empty.
Mother Nature can teach us a few things about time. She has a rhythm and flow. Right now winter is saying, “A short day is a good thing”.
We need days when we do less. Short days. They include more rest and time to regroup. There’s more quiet time, more space for reflection.
Yes, there will be more darkness today. But today also marks the return of the light. The days will grow steadily grown longer over the next several months. The trees and plants and earth will use this light in ways that are invisible to us.
But in spring and summer, we will find joy in the scents of the flowers and fruits of nature’s labor. Our mouth will water at the taste of juicy tart and sweet strawberries.
In fact, people in the southern hemisphere are enjoying the Summer Solstice today. At the same time, Mother Nature is teaching us about time, she’s also teaching us about balance. She reminds us everything is in perfect order. She’s telling us that our parts work in complementary patterns.
You need your short days to get to your long days.
After a series of longer days, you need some short days to gather your energy.
Mother Nature shows us the benefits of this approach.
Earlier this week, I listened to Laura Vanderkam’s TED talk about time. She’s done some research on busy women just like you and me. The women in her study kept meticulous notes about how they spent their time.
She told the story of a woman who came home from a late meeting to discover her basement was flooded. Eeeeek!
A flooded basement was not on her schedule. Repairing this issue took 7 hours. These hours had not been accounted for in her daily plan.
Vanderkam points out an important fact about how we spend our time. We will make time for things that are a priority. Priorities win our time.
This is a perfect example of practicing balance. Directing our resources to where we need them most, to our priorities, is the essence of balance. It’s crucial in the process of making the most of our time.
Here are a few simple strategies for making friends with time:
Realize that time is not the enemy. It’s a constant flow of possibility to create what you want most in your life. Set your priorities and focus on them. Be flexible. You’re allowed to reorganize priorities so they fit together comfortably. After all, they complement each other.
Recognize that your days and nights counterbalance each other. Expending energy and building energy are partners. Make a plan that includes some long and short days.
Your life is both what you do and how it makes you feel. How do the things you’re doing make you feel? Identify those things that are aligned with your core values. Connect your activities to what feels right for you at the deepest level.
If you need support, contact The Living Source. Click this link to download your free copy of our EBook, “Plug In To The Power Of You”. You get a checklist to take your energy pulse and strategies to develop a plan for bringing your best to what matters most to you.
© Sandra Y. Lewis