January 19, 2017

Spring cleaning: Time

Spring cleaning continues, y’all! For those of you who participated in part 1 of the spiritual spring cleaning series, otherwise known as “Throw 95% of your shit away and never look back,” I bet you’re already feeling the lightness of your space! Isn’t it amazing how stress goes away once we finally sort out that stack of junk mail, dust that shelf we’ve been staring at for weeks, or donate the shirt that we try on ever week but never wear? Good energy is on your side, loves.

Now we move to part 2: re-evaluating, and possibly changing, how we spend our time. One of my dear mentors used to facilitate an activity that challenged people to align their values with their daily activities. Not surprisingly, a few of the activities on their list aligned with that they held to be true, but many did not–and this was a wake-up call. People knew they wasted time or were unproductive throughout their day, but after they saw that not a single core value was represented in that activity, it became an opportunity to realign.

What does re-alignment look like for you? What activities speak to your soul? For me, after I get home from work, I immediately walk my dog, Lillian. It’s a nice reunion time for us, but I also feel better knowing her need for exercise is being satisfied, just as my need to be outdoors in the beauty of nature is satisfied. I listen to music or a podcast as we stroll through my neighborhood that connects to a major lake in Tallahassee. Lillian and I are both panting at the end of the walk, but we’re both happy campers.

A quick disclaimer: it’s perfectly okay, and perhaps necessary, to spend your time doing nothing at all! My roommate, Emily, sees me very consistently sprawled out on my bed, just fucking around on the internet or spooning with my dog. I learned a few years ago that given the intellectual demands of my job, I need to balance that heaviness with intense play. In that sense, I don’t chastise myself or anyone else for “wasting time on social media.” For me, the internet is an experience that makes me feel connected, or, at the very least, gives me something to laugh at.

This becomes complicated if you actively wish you were doing something else when you’re fucking around on Instagram. If you know you’d like to exercise because your body needs to release energy, yet to still make the choose to scroll scroll scroll, this is an opportunity to re-evaluate choices. For me, this past weekend proved to be a time when I knew I wasn’t doing enough of something. I decided that I needed community and connection with friends rather than solitude, so I saw movies, had wine night, went to the gym, went to dinner–and in hindsight, those activities met my needs exactly. I had to make the choice to do them.

For phase 2 of spiritual spring cleaning, I invite you to map out what a typical day looks like to you. Do you want to spend more or less time doing those activities? Do you want to eliminate them completely? How can you make more room in your schedule for things that make your soul hum with happiness rather than sigh with exhaustion? Habits are challenging to develop (I’m in the process of re-acclimating to consistent gym life, so I know it as well as anyone), but damn, it feels good when you can get drinks with friends and confidently state that you love the way you spend your time. Between reading, writing, teaching, and watching Friends on Netflix, I sho’ do.

Do you?

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