“Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an
-- Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind
Are you in a losing battle with time? Do you have too much to do and
not enough time to do it? Are you always running late or just making it
under the wire without a moment to spare?
The time issue is a struggle for many of us. Rather than criticizing
yourself or blaming your responsibilities for your troubles, let’s stop
and take a look at what makes up a time commitment.
Let’s say that you have a demanding job with many responsibilities.
You make a commitment to take a class on Wednesday evenings after work.
The class starts at 7 p.m. and for the first two weeks you make it just
on time. You notice a few people coming in a bit late and nothing
embarrassing or eventful happens as a result.
The next week you are preparing to leave your office and your phone
starts ringing. You pick it up and find yourself in a complicated
interaction that takes 30 minutes to resolve.
Now you are running late. Traffic is unusually heavy. You find
yourself stopped at every red light. The tension is building. You arrive
at your class 15 minutes late. You are unnerved and frazzled so it takes
you another 20 minutes to settle down.
A new project comes up at work the next day that requires your
attention. The project manager wants to discuss the plan in depth over
dinner and only has Wednesday evenings available.
Your evening class is now disrupted, you will miss too much to make
up, and therefore, you have one more broken commitment to yourself to add
to all the other similar situations from your past.
What is happening here? How can time binds be avoided or minimized in
First, let’s look at what a time commitment means. When you and I make
an agreement to show up somewhere in the future, it is no less than a
grand leap of faith.
I have no guarantee that I will be alive on that date and time, yet, I
am willing to hold that place in my imagined future.
When I overcommit myself, I freeze my life into predictable blocks of
pre-planned events with no breathing room in-between for any surprises or
An overcommitted life is about as stimulating, appetizing and
nourishing as a prepackaged frozen dinner. It does not require anything
real from you and it is fast, convenient and takes no thought.
Does this mean that making and keeping commitments should be avoided
if you want a full, rich life? Not at all.
The true answer to taking control of your time and having it serve you
is to treat each commitment you enter into with yourself and others as a
Sacred. Hallowed. Holy. Consecrated. Divine. Dedicated. Devoted.
Trust. Confidence. Reliance. Faith. Hope. Expectation. Belief.
Assured. Anticipation. Commit. Confide.
I can hear you now. “Sacred Trust? Who are you kidding? “
We do not see ourselves, our lives, our energy as sacred. What would
happen if we did?
In order to approach our lives and our commitments to life as sacred,
it is necessary to acknowledge that we are more than just pounds of flesh
dragged around by an overactive brain.
We are spiritual, mental, emotional and physical beings.
When we spiritualize our lives we elevate, refine and become
A quick way to say it is we begin to show up with clear intent.
Imagine if you turned the light of clear intention on every commitment
you presently have. What if you began to ask the hard questions?
What am I doing involved in this? Why am I investing my sacred energy
here? Where do I need to pull my sacred energy back home?
When we wholly commit to respecting our energy as sacred, we naturally
move into a process of rearranging our commitments to include a deeper
involvement and investment in our lives.
Living life in the present tense takes more preparation but it
ultimately supplies an abundance of nourishing and fulfilling moments
strung together to create a full, rich and rewarding life.
* SUSAN McNEAL VELASQUEZ writes and produces ongoing seminars titled
“Unleash the Power of Your Intuition.” To request a brochure with more
information, call (949) 494-7773 and leave your name and mailing address.