One of the most glaring ways we humans use language to limit ourselves is around this concept of time.
I can't say for sure that I was ever someone who complained that I didn't have time to live the life I wanted to live. Someone from my past please reach out and contact me! It's been so long since I gave up that excuse that I'm having a hard time remembering if I ever used it.
Ever since I learned about this tendency in humans, I notice it everywhere. Person after person saying, "wow! I just don't have enough time to do...x,y and z."
Did you ever notice how many people say this all day, every day? Practice noticing it today. Is it YOU?!
I could wax philosophic about the hows and whys but let me tell you a story instead. It's a story of me consciously resisting this paradigm of scarcity of time and how wonderful it was to really flow in the waters of PLENTY OF TIME.
Before I tell you this story, I want to invite you to really accept the idea that time is a construct and how you structure it and use it says everything about the life you're choosing to live. This came to me in bits and pieces but really hit home once I started working for myself as a coach. I've intentionally experimented with it more and more over the past few years and I love the game I call, How Much Can I Get Done In the Next Five Minutes? It's how I play with time and my own perceived personal limits. I'll be writing more about this because I think people would really love their lives more if they saw time as something totally within their power to play with and mold to their preferences.
Enough alliteration in that sentence for ya??
Here's the story:
This past weekend, I had the afternoon free and decided to go on an adventure. While I was driving, I ran into a detour in the road and didn't even have a chance to let Google maps reroute me before I was invited to play with time and help out another fellow human being.
As I was driving down this side road, Siri desperately trying to help me along, a car slowed down to my left and a little hand waved hesitantly. My heart leapt with joy! An older woman rolled down her window and she said, "I have no idea...we're trying to...can you help?"
Without a moment's hesitation, I said, "does this lead you out? How far down did you go?"
She said, clearly frazzed, "we didn't."
I felt so present and centered as I replied, "let me pull over and help you."
It was then, as I began to pull over on this one lane road that I noticed the pile-up of cars behind me that had accumulated from one minute of conversation. As I pulled into the driveway to turn around, one of the cars sped up and made the "UGGHHHHHHH! PEOPLE!" sound that motors make when impatient assholes rev them.
I realized I wasn't stopping to be a good person. I wasn't stopping to earn brownie points. I was stopping because someone needed help and honestly, I had all the time in the world to do it. Even if I was rushing somewhere, which I NEVER do at all, I would have made this time to help this woman.
I walked over to help her figure out her little GPS device and then the resident of the house we pulled in front of came out to see what the heck we were up to. Instead of impatiently demanding we GET OFF HIS LAWN, he cordially gave some directions to this woman and it was such a lovely moment to experience. People making time to help each other out.
She wrote down the pretty simple "left at the blinking light, right at the highway" guidance and then she turned to me and I said, "I'll follow along behind you. I'm going that way," and the look of relief on her face was worth a thousand pictures. I wish you could have seen it.
We got in our vehicles and although I lost her to oncoming cars at that blinking light, I was pretty confident she found her way from the encouragement of having someone behind her.
This entire process took about five minutes.
The more I hear people say how little time they have, I notice myself letting them fill the space with that belief. I know I probably needed to say it a few hundred times before I stopped using it as an excuse to intentionally slow down and live according to my values and priorities.
I had to be brave enough to see how I lived my life running from thing to thing to avoid being present to any ONE thing. I had to have soul-crushing experiences that completely leveled me and had me flat on my back, literally and metaphorically, before I got the message. From multiples experiences like that and from hearing it over and over, only then did I start shifting my language which ultimately changed my mindset around time.
So ignore my request earlier in the blog post. I don't need you to contact me. I remember it all now.
Funny how our minds work, isn't it? Once we make time to really BE HERE NOW, our lives become so clear.
Do you have time to try this for yourself today?