With all the hustle and bustle of modern living, it can seem nearly impossible to free up the time to meditate and reflect deeply inwards into our soul. Those two actions are the building blocks of the reclaimed mindful time we are after here.
To begin to change our mindset, we have got to start doing things in a new manner. We have to peel away the old polish and paint that is not working anymore and find ourselves a system that does work. Makes sense, right?
So, OK, I suppose I should take a moment and explain how and where we are going to find the time to perfect those two essential tasks. But, you see, there is a catch!
Those missing minutes we need are already present in our lives. The reason why we have not been able to utilize them is that we have not been paying attention to them. We have become consumed with the past and the future that we have neglected the most important minutes of our day – right now.
Finding the missing moments in our day
When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you do? I will bet half of you hit the snooze button and then lay in bed cursing the alarm clock, while the other side of the crowd stumbles to the bathroom, eyes still half closed and after a shower, stagger to the kitchen for coffee and maybe breakfast, if we have allowed ourselves enough time. Am I close?
I cannot wait and hear you answer this: How is it the alarm clock's fault that you have to wake up? We will get into creating a morning schedule that we can live with soon enough, but before that can happen, we still have to find the mindful minutes to begin the whole process.
Showering and meditation are similar for one simple fact. To be effective, they must get done regularly. So, showering? GOOD! Alarm clock belittling? BAD! But there in the moments before we get out of bed is the first of the mindful minutes we can train ourselves to reclaim. We do this by not procrastinating. We gain extra time by not hitting snooze or lying there wishing for another 30 minutes of sleep.
Give it up. You do not need an additional 30 minutes if you have planned ahead the night before to cut more time from your morning struggle, therefore creating more room to work on yourself. Staying up to watch the rerun of a movie made in the 80s that you have seen a thousand or more times is counter-productive to the goal here. So, get to sleep at a reasonable hour and give yourself a head start when you wake up.
Reclaimed minutes so far include:
1. Five to 10 minutes saved by getting out of bed the first time your alarm chimes.
2. Another five to 10 minutes can be saved by mindfully combining morning tasks, such as brushing your teeth in the shower or laying out your clothes for the day before bed the night before.
So, 10 to 20 extra minutes have been found so far, and we have not even gotten in the car to go to work. Which reminds me – All that sick time or vacation time you have accrued? What are you saving it for, retirement? Sick time is for when we are sick, and when we are not taking care of our core needs, we are in essence spiritually sick. By that logic, what better time is there to take a sick day to begin to heal ourselves?
Perfect. Now not only have we found you 10 to 20 minutes per day to meditate and work on personal growth, but we have found you an entire day or, depending how much sick time you have, a whole string of days. Life will never usually make time for us; we are the ones that have to make time for it. Once we have learned that we have to make time, then our management of each moment gets much easier.