It’s easy for many to feel stuck right now. Many options and opportunities have been taken away from us right now. Businesses closed, family gatherings put off, weddings, funerals and travel cancelled.
We’re told to stay home and wait.
It seems as though we’re going to be stuck here forever, it’s been so long already.
My teacher Nevine Michaan says that time is just a construct. It’s our job to either stretch it out or compact it. When we’re very young we don’t pay attention to time at all. We have little obligations and we get to just do what we do when we want.
When we have young children or a busy career midlife, we begin to feel like there’s no time at all. We frantically pack a million things into our day (forgetting most details), waking early, getting shit done, accomplishing mountains, yet missing so much. Some use their time well, focusing on the things that are most important and leaving the details of the “less than” to the side. We either seize the day or end up feeling defeated, exhausted and overwhelmed.
When we’re retired we suddenly have large gaps of time on our hands. Some fill it wisely with bucket list items and new passions, travel trips and quality time with loved ones. Some sit in solitude feeling lost and confused with what to do with their new found time.
Time never changed. It was the same amount of time in our childhood, the same amount of time in our adulthood and the same amount of time in our golden years. We just need to compact it or stretch it out.
Nevine teaches that how you spend your time is your own personal religion. How you spend your day is how you spend your night. How you do one thing is how you do everything.
Using our time wisely, is how we get over and around ourselves. It’s how we shift through the debris. I for one have swung from one extreme to the other. I went from no time….to lots of time….but I always use my time well.
When I was working 40 hours a week, I woke at 5, I organized my day. I figured out my am, noon and night energy levels and I did certain things at certain times of day to match that energy. In the morning I am fresh….in the evening I am pooched. I don’t waste my morning hours. They are sacred. I block off significant amounts of time in the morning and early afternoon.
When my studio closed I freed up many many hours that I would have spent working. Instead of sitting around feeling stuck, lost or bored….I am using this time to give myself everything that I always wanted to have that I didn’t have time for before.
And in that “to do” list is also acceptance of time as it is. There’s no rush or hurry. This is the season of winter. A time of reflection and pause. There’s a season for everything and I know this too won’t last long. Soon will come spring with the birth of new ideas and new projects. Summer brings the fruition of content and ideas into action. In fall we get to receive the grace of our efforts.
The best way for me to figure out how I’m spending my day is to actually write it all down:
What do I spend my time doing?
What would I like to spend my time doing?
What is getting in my way of doing ______
Where am I going too hard, and where I am not going hard enough?
Then I make a plan. If I REALLY want to spend my time doing (insert here) then why isn’t it a part of my daily routine? If I want to create the project, or read the books or open the business…..I need to be doing those things everyday. Thinking about time and thinking about my wants gets me nowhere at all. It’s all in the doing.
Time is a construct, the seasons are ever changing and you really can do anything you want (just not everything that you want). We have to pick and choose. Saying “YES” to one thing, means saying “NO” to another.
So I say “YES” to winter right now. To using my time well. To making a plan each and every day and sticking to the things that I actually want to marinate in. Because while the days are long, the years are short and I never want to waste a good winter day.
So if you’re feeling stuck, know that the only thing in your way……is you. There is no “stuck” if we’re using our time well. Creating our personal religions of forward movement is how we get by. Things are never stuck. Things never stay the same. They are either getting better, or they are getting worse…..but they never stay the same. I choose acceptance of change. I choose to make the most out of whatever amount of time I think I have. Life is too short to feel stuck.
With grace and grit,