“You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your immortal soul.” Bennett, Arnold 1908
I just finished reading this delightful little book a second time and I want to share a short review as well as what I gained from this venture.
The title fascinates me, it stirred my curiosity.
A newspaper article titled “How to live on eight shillings a week!” had caused quite a debate in Britain.
Arnold was of the opinion that money is cheap commodity in comparison to time.
He felt that time was the greater priority and people would benefit from learning how to spend their time well, thus the book.
No matter how down in the dumps one is, one can always, most certainly get money or get more money.
On the other hand, Time can never be bought or replaced no matter how hard we try, once spent it is gone forever.
Unlike money, everyone has an equal amount of time regardless of your status in life.
We have no access to any time other than this moment.
We cannot spend our future time, it is kept away for us.
This he believes is a blessing because at any moment we can choose to spend our time differently.
He admonished being responsible for our time and spending it wisely on things that are relevant to us and our community.
He suggests that after a typical day at work, we may not always be as tired as we would like to make ourselves believe, that we could be more productive towards our own interests no matter the line of work we are in.
From his calculations:
Sleep 8 hours
Work 8 hours + 2 hours commute
We have approximately six hours in a day to use as we please, not counting about forty hours over the weekend. He suggests we choose to be productive for ourselves.
One suggestion that stays with me is, if we focus ninety minutes daily for five days on a particular field or interest, we could potentially become masters, a conveyor of great knowledge and possibly skilled.
This little book helped me re-evaluate how I spend my time,
how now is as good a time as any other to just go on and do those things I'm always meaning to do.
Being aware that this moment is here now, to seize the moment.
I have marked this book as a lifelong read for whenever I need to remind myself on how priceless and precious time is.
I have decided to pick a few interests and delve deeper, learn as much as possible about them.
I am curious as well as fascinated by...
A Book By Arnold Bennett (1867 – 1931)
Originally published in 1908.
What fascinates you?
Monday 3rd September
My view on this talk was to explore our ideas around mindfulness and the reasons we give for not being mindful.
I approached it in two ways, as A way of living and as A Practice.
Living life mindfully is about being present in each moment. Being present is when we live each moment fully with all of our being, here and now. Not in the past or in the future. It takes a bit of practicing this mindset to be able to avail of this frequently. That's where the Practice comes in.
Mindfulness as a practice could be any activity or set of actions that we engage in that helps us focus our being to this moment. The more we practice and recognize our state of 'being here', the more likely we would remember to be in the moment more often.
While meditation is a significant practice in mindfulness, people have found oneness and presence in other activities such as running or in creativity; knitting, colouring etc.
Meditation however is quite synonymous with mindfulness and the techniques are many and varied. It would be advisable to explore what best suits us if this is what we choose. The basics would be focusing on our breath and staying still.
Why Do We Want To Be Mindful?
- To manage Stress
This is probably the most significant reason why people want to learn about mindfulness.
- For well being
- For particular health challenges
- For personal growth and Insight
What Are We Trying To Achieve When Being Mindful?
- Be Aware
- Be Here, Now
- Be Present
We want to be fully engaged in whatever it is that is in front of us.
The mind is a challenge to us because of the constant and continuous stream of thoughts. Quietening the mind is at the core of mindfulness. While experienced meditators can sometimes achieve quietness, our aim is to become the still or quiet observer, the one who watches the thoughts go by without responding, the one who notices the state and experiencing of the body.
How Do We Do This?
In my experience, noticing the body and reaching for ' the state of rest' helps me identify with being the observer.
Taking a moment to take deep breathes also grounds me. I have found the Body is our best ally in mindfulness, not only is it most aware of our true nature, it holds a lot of information that we could learn to read and rely on. For example, If there is a tightness in my shoulder, neck or arm, I am usually responding to something either in my immediate environment or my thoughts have taken me somewhere that is causing the tension. I can then choose to take a moment to come out of my head or to consciously relax and deal with the situation from a better, less tense space within.
Some of the challenges that came up were
- The busyness of life, young children, work, our responsibilities and so on.
- The expectation to keep busy and not be perceived as lazy drives us.
- There is also a fear in taking time for ourselves to do what we want, not wanting to be seen as selfish.
All these are valid challenges that we need to look at and evaluate. However, living life mindfully and taking the time out to practice being present is a selfless act of love to oneself and to the people around us.
Giving our best selves to our loved ones is our gift to them. Our commitment to wellbeing can only be supported through personal determination. But first, YOU NEED TO GIVE YOURSELF THE PERMISSION TO BE MINDFUL.
While we cannot immediately slow down our lives, we can begin to put in small pauses that will ultimately slow down our inner pace. Every pause and recognition of the present moment is a win. We may not always have the time to sit for twenty minutes however we have many moments we could stop and just Breathe and Rest.
One of the most difficult challenges in life is being present, here, now in this moment. The only way to get better at it is to just do it.
View life as a connection of moments as in the links of a chain. Each moment is all we really need to be concerned with. Practice being here, now, for this moment and every moment you remember. It all adds up to a more mindful living.
Take a breath, notice your body as a whole or/and in individual parts.
- Use bathroom breaks.
- Use every reflection, mirror or window.
- After every laughter.
- Anytime it crosses your mind, BE that moment and then gradually extend it.
Being mindful is not something you need to go get or go do, our Be-ing already exist within, be aware.
Please leave your comments below or let me know if I can be of any help. Send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This is a little story told by Earl Nightingale about the columnist, Sydney Harris.
“Sidney had written about walking with a friend of his to a nearby newsstand.
His friend bought a paper, thanking the vendor politely.
The vendor didn’t even acknowledge him.
A sullen fellow, is he? Harris commented.
Oh he is that way every night. Shrugged his friend.
Then why do you continue being so polite to him? Sydney Harris asked.
Why not? Inquired his friend.
Why should I let him decide how I am going to act.”
(Extracted from Courage and Self-Esteem by Earl Nightingale)
Life is like riding a bicycle,
This quote above is one of my favourite quotes of all times.
I consider Balance to be one of the most significant qualities to living a great life.
I like to view balance as the walk on a tight rope.
The idea is we decide on the direction we want to go while aiming to hold steady as we move along, in light of all variable factors.
So, we have the bicycle (our Life). To find and maintain our balance (mental and emotional stability) we need to keep moving (choices, decisions, actions).
We all want life to be fun, exciting, energetic, alive etc... and like the bicycle, we can only experience the thrills while riding.
First, we learn to ride, then we practice by riding and the fun comes along the way.
Staying in motion is where most of us become faint hearted, doubt ourselves, do the bare minimum and in essence not enjoy the ride at all.
How do we stay on the move?
1) Decide to go somewhere. ANYWHERE!
We get focus (or distraction from the action of riding), determination and stamina from having a place we want to go.
Does it then matter where we choose to go? France, the park around the corner, lose a stone, learn a language or an instrument?
Take a pick, any will do.
Every destination (decision) is as good as any other. Deciding to make a cup of tea is as valid as deciding to go to work.
Following through with each decision is key.
Alternatively we could ride around for the sake of it, but this gets tiring and boredom will ultimately increase the desire to get “off” the bicycle.
2) Determine what the cycling actions are and do them, continously not necessarily consistently at first. We find balance by repeating the actions/steps that keep us on track with our desired destination. It is important to understand that there are times that it is ok to allow the bicycle to glide along while we put in little or no effort, just guiding and staying on track.
3) Remember to have a laugh along the way. Thinking and talking about where you are going helps keep the dream alive and maintains focus. It's a good idea to daily remind yourself of where you are going to help you make decisions today, this moment that keep you on course.
4) When we make a decision, making it important is vital to success. We cannot decide on a thing and allow everything else to take priority over what we have decided we want. Sometimes for us to move our decisions up our to do list we need to take a look at how we rate ourselves in our own life. How do you rate yourself in your life? Are you at the bottom of your list? There is no way you will priotize that decision you have taken to move your life in the direction you want it to go. You need to priotize you.
Finally, no matter how small the step, choose to keep moving!
Hope you find inspiration here at easy2bme to stay on the move and maintain Balance.
Share any thoughts or challenges experienced while on the move.
Living life in quiet desperation, doing the 'right' things yet feeling anxious and empty! This is no strange experience to me or to many reading this article.
I personally do not think that the feelings are the problem. What we do or not do with them, that's what makes the difference.
I like to think that feeling empty is like exhausting the resources we have in our current state of existence and expansion is required. Period.
Imagine being born as a chick nurtured in a shell, the time will come when you MUST shed the shell or risk death. Hmmnn.....
There is so much anxiety in 'shell breaking' that many literally get trapped in a very uncomfortable place were the shell no longer fits but the terror of breaking out is crippling.
Sometimes, I experience this internal tug to expand but when I look at my environment it feels like any changes I want to make will be impossible. So, I feel I want to change but I also want to remain the same as well. Guess what, I go nowhere. I just increase my anxiety and find creative ways to mask it.
Years ago, I thought I was just quiet, relatively shy maybe even timid but I was ridden with anxiety, uncertain and very afraid. Yet, I hungered for passion in my life, I wanted to light up, to feel life flowing through me. To Be Alive!
But how? How does one light up? This is where I think a lot of us get stuck, not knowing where to go or what to do with all these feelings.
I have heard heroic stories of people finding their passion after some kind of affliction such as an accident or severe ill health. I wondered what it was about these life challenges that caused people to find themselves, to know for themselves, what truly matters.
Then I thought, maybe if I had some kind of severe difficulty or was deprived significantly in some way, then my passion will be 'forced' out and I would do something great with my life . Well nothing of the sort happened. Apart from my reading glasses I have no cause for complaints. Husband, kids, job, a home, I should be grateful! Happy! Right?
Wrong! My experience of life did not feel good at all. I felt trapped and overwhelmed.
So, with no major life-changing accidents, I started my journey in search of what really matters. Actually, I continued my journey because I had always being on this search. Challenging my family's religious beliefs in my teens, reading and listening to people I "shouldn't" be listening to, exploring information that resonated with me from all areas of life, religion, spirituality, coaching, self development, business, entrepreneurs, anyone and anything I admired.
They all said the same thing, LOOK INSIDE! THAT I ALREADY KNEW!
Hmmnn.... Now, how do I look inside?
My journey led me to psychotherapy which resonated with me. What I experienced in my training was professional explanation of what I felt I always knew, it made sense to me. I allowed myself relax more and continued my journey inward. Along the way I helped people find the courage to continue their own journey from their 'empty existence'.
I believe when people talk about the 'real' stuff (which is different for everybody) they get clearer about who they are, what they want and how best to get it.
I also realize that we all KNOW who we are and what we want, it is our default. Like the apple tree knowing for sure that it would produce apples, there's no doubt or anxiety in that.
Shells must break for us to expand whether we want it to or not.
The trouble is, we are continuously creating new shells hoping that somehow the new one would finally be permanent. It never is!
And this is where easy2bme comes in.
I can share with you from my own experience what works for me.
From experience, I know that soothing the feelings of anxiety that beset people significantly helps them feel better.
So, I soothe people unto their journey when they feel stuck. I also soothe those who are on their journey and experiencing significant emotional challenges.
I offer simple ideas and show tiny steps that can create significant changes. I also engage in meaningful interactions that validate you.
I know it takes courage to be me, to step out. I know this is the same with you, great courage.
The World awaits us! It needs you and it needs me.
Let's make the journey one small step at a time, moment by moment.
My writings are largely from my own experiences, my views and my insights on my own life.
I do not by any means think that I have any answers for your life but I believe I have learned a few things that you may find helpful.
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