Time is On Your Side

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I’m not sure if the above quote makes me feel more or less anxious about time. I don’t think I can live up to Mother Teresa, but I guess the point is, we have a choice. We have free will to use the hours of our life in the way we want. I can hear your protests already, dear reader. “Not true, Donna, I have to go to work every day, gotta pay those bills, have to change the babies’ diapers, etc…..” So maybe we don’t have complete freedom to choose how we use the hours of of our days. But what we do have is a choice in how we experience these hours. Your mindfulness practice can transform the quality of your days, hours, and minutes; whether you have too much time on your hands or not enough. The truth about time is that it is a product of the mind, and like all mind-stuff, can be transformed through mindfulness.

The next time you find yourself gripped by anxiety because you’re running out of time, try taking five deep breaths and saying to yourself five times, “There is plenty of time.” Many of our time constraints are self-imposed, and this short break can help you realize that you have more time than your realize. Another way to break the bad habit of time stress is to ask yourself, “What’s the best thing to do in this moment?” It is, after all a unique moment and a unique opportunity. Which reminds me – my 85 year-old mother-in-law asked me to help her thread a needle a half-hour ago, “when I had a moment.” I know what my “best thing” to do in this moment is, do you?

Changing our relationship to time is one of the best ways to insert more mindfulness in to your day. Be mindful right now. Check out our mindfulness basics.

Want to read more about time and time stress? Take a look at Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living on our resources page.

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