No, this post has nothing to do with investigative journalism or eye care. It’s a follow up on my attempts to stagger my life. I am strategically attacking one of the biggest blocks I use as a crutch: time.
Time. Dagnabbit, there’s never enough of it, I tell myself. “Weeeelll, I didn’t get any writing done today, but I ran out of time. I didn’t work out either. But it’s not my fault. No time!” Then I throw my hands up in the air, taking no accountability. For a long while this has been an effective strategy to placate the little voice in my head telling me that I desire more from life. “Shut up, little voice! There’s no time to desire more. I have a full time job. I have friends. Cats. A husband. That’s why I didn’t keep the promises I made to myself. It has nothing to do with me, blame the friggin’ clock!”
Lately, though, the little voice is getting louder and isn’t so easily placated. “Oh, so you didn’t have time today, huh? Then explain to me why you just spent twenty minutes on facebook.”
Hmm. You’ve got me there, little voice.
When I was working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, it began to dawn on me that I don’t need vast stretches of time to accomplish something. I can be creative and find ways to make use of little chunks of time here and there. Something is always better than nothing.
With that thought, the 20/20/20 plan was born.
Here’s how it works. I take the top three things that I want to integrate more into my life and make it a goal to spend twenty minutes a day on each of them. I chose writing, exercise and meditation. I’ve been sticking to this plan in spurts for the past few months and I have to be honest: it’s not easy. The lazy, blocked voice still argues and bargains. But the voice of my inner artist is getting stronger with patience, and most of all practice.
I’m finally admitting that if I wait until things are perfect and I have endless expanses of time to spend on enriching my life, I’m dooming myself to stay trapped in a vicious cycle of excuses and blocks. This plan adds up to spending one hour a day doing the things that are most important to me. One measly hour. Surely we can all carve out one hour a day to honor our souls? You might be surprised by how much weight this practice can take off your heart.
I came across a quote from Alan Cohen in the current issue of Spirituality and Health magazine that brought this all home for me: “Integrity is the condition in which the life you are living in the outer world matches who you are in the inner world.” I don’t know who you are, Alan, but I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s no longer enough for me to drag my feet and make excuses about why I’m not living my life in a way that makes my heart sing. I desire to live with integrity. I’m ready take action, even if it’s just twenty minutes at at time.