I knew I was going to be in trouble when I went to bed after midnight last night and woke at my usual time at 5:15. Too many days in a row doing that can be really hard on a body, and mine has begun to protest a bit. So now as I contemplate what to write about this evening I realize that I am not going to be brilliant, and that’s okay I reckon. I can’t be brilliant every night.
Today I was thinking some more about time and realized that I have been operating in a scarcity mentality. I thought about it when I had decided that I might need to stop writing my blog every day, particularly once I start working on the family history project I plan to start in a few days. “I simply won’t have enough time or energy to do both.” I heard myself repeating over and over (and over) again. I realized how often I hear myself say, “Oh, I’d love to do that if only I had time.” Or, “I really have to prioritize my list of things I want and need to do. So much to do, so little time…” I realized that I’ve fed myself a steady diet of not having enough time. This concept occurred to me this morning as I was writing in my journal.
“I have all the time in the world,” I wrote this morning, “Time is not limited–in a weird sort of way–the only thing that is limited is my construction of it. I want to shift the way I talk about time and come from a place of abundance and not scarcity. I have all the time I need.” Now I simply need to actualize this shift and begin to come from a place of I have more than enough time. And while I haven’t quite figured out what that looks like in practical terms, I’m determined to explore it.
It begins as so many other things do for me, with the language that I use. And up to this point my language has been along the lines of insufficiency–I tell myself constantly that I do not have enough time. I have to start by first not saying that any more and then beginning to use the language of plenty. Will how I speak change the number of minutes in an hour or hours in a day? No, but it will change how I perceive how much time I have and that will shift how I use it. I wish I could describe this better; the exhaustion I’m feeling is making me a bit less coherent. Suffice it to say that I will be speaking differently and giving myself different messages about time, coming from a place of plenty rather than the land of not enough. I fully expect to see a difference relatively quickly.
I’ll offer an example that I hope will help make my point. I learned a number of years ago about scientific research on the power of laughter to help heal a variety of ills. The idea of laughter being the “best medicine” turns out to be largely true. But here’s the part I found really interesting: even if you “fake” laugh, that is you look in the mirror or stand in the middle of your room or whatever and start laughing, it has the exact same positive physiological response as if you were sitting in front of your computer watching outrageously funny You Tube videos that involve cute puppies or babies laughing or runway models tripping and falling out of her heels. The same is true of smiling. Sometimes in the morning I smile on purpose. It’s like doing a workout for my face. My body produces all the same relaxed, anti-stress hormones as it does when I’m smiling for real. The body doesn’t know the difference between when I am faking happiness and laughter and when I am experiencing genuine mirth.
In a similar way I believe that my speaking optimistically from a place of abundance will produce positive results. I’m going to get after it and will report back with the results in a few months. I fully expect to report that I’m making better use of my time and accomplishing more of the things I want to do. The amount of anxiety and stress associated with the “not enough time” syndrome will be reduced and my overall wellbeing will be enhanced. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I likewise expect that I’ll be challenged by this boldness. It is almost inevitable that whenever I make a declaration like this everything comes at me to test my resolve. This will be no different. But as best I can I’ll stand my ground and make the most of the abundant time that I have. I owe it to myself to try.