“When God made time, he made enough of it.” (unknown)
Why are the holidays a time of stress for so many?People rush to get "everything" done.Why?What are all these things they “must” do, why must they do them and finally, why are they stressed about it these duties they have chosen to accept?Holidays tend to be a time when we feel the stress of too little time and too many tasks.In our classes we ask our participants "Why are you here today?""Why have you made this commitment to the program and to yourself?" We remind them to "Take this time that you have carved out of your day, understand why you are here, why it is important, and make the most of your time.This hour that you spend focusing on yourself, should be fun, challenging and most of all fulfilling.Be completely present with yourself and with your intentions.This is your time" In reality, not only is the hour a day you carve out for yourself for personal time, such as our classes, “your time”, but every moment you are alive and breathing is “your time”.Every action in every moment is spent living a life you have carved out for yourself.Just as we ask our participants to think about why they are spending their time in our classes you should ask yourself why you are where you are right now, embrace your answer and be completely present in your moment. “Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour count”.(unknown)This is always important but during the holidays it can make the difference between a holiday season that leaves you exhausted and one that leaves you refreshed and full of joy and love.Take shopping for your holiday meal as an example.Chances are the parking lot will be full, the isles of the store crowded, the lines at the checkout long, and your list of things that you want to get done that day endless.Park at the far end of the parking lot.Enjoy the chance to short walk and the fresh air knowing that you have just given yourself a moment of peace rather than engaged in a battle for a parking space.In the store, take your time.Think about the meal you are going to create and the people you love who will share the meal with you.When it’s time to check out and someone with a frantic expression and a cart twice as full as yours pushes to get in front of you in line, motion them forward with a smile.Enjoy a quiet thought or talk to that frantic person in front of you.Share some holiday joy with them.You will give to yourself by giving to them.You also may make a difference in their day.You may learn something from them.You may meet your next best friend.By slowing yourself down you give yourself the gift of time.“Time” exists in our heads.It is short when we are rushed and slow when we slow down.Perhaps you will get less “things” but what you do get done will be more complete.What good is living a life running from task to task if you have never stopped to experience and appreciate the task?What life will you have lived?Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King all had the same number of hours per day as you and me.Yet they did not rush through their days fulfilling endless tasks. A quality they all share is that they took the time to fulfill the task at hand completely by being completely present with it.They all spent time where others may have thought time was wasted.They were all awake in every moment, great listeners, and great observers of life, people and situations.Whether they spoke to one or to thousands, it seems that each person who heard them felt they were being spoken to personally.This takes thoughts which exist without thoughts of time.You cannot experience and understand where you are and where others are if you are rushing to get somewhere you are not. Take the time this holiday season to ask why you put importance on the tasks which occupy your mind.What do they really mean to you? What are you celebrating during these holidays?Why?From these questions chose how you spend your time wisely and tap into what fulfills you.Lastly, take the time to experience and enjoy the tasks which lead to and are an important part of that fulfillment.Remember it is not the food, the presents or any of the “things” associated with this holiday that bring you fulfillment.It is your presence of mind that will fill your heart and the hearts of all that are near you.Liesbet Bickett and Tim Hill own and operate CoreQuest Corporation.Their Contra Costa Adventure Boot Camps offer a complete outdoor exercise program, including nutritional guidance and motivational support.Contact them at contact@ContraCostaBootCamp.com, 925-457-4587 or on the web at www.ContraCostaBootCamp.com.
The other option you have when you need to get holiday shopping done is to just shop online. The online stores can even gift wrap and send your gift for you. It's also a good idea to eschew some of the rampant consumerism and just shop less too.
Not to mention, Stephanie, that shopping online saves a lot of energy that might have been used on gas.
Over the years, I've learned that patience really is a virtue. I used to be one of those impatient people who'd swear under my breath in traffic or if there was someone I perceived as "slow" taking up my time. Now I can laugh about it and take those moments to just appreciate what's around me rather than fixating on the next thing. Besides, it's a lot easier this way--especially when there's nothing you can do about waiting!