It feels as if we are frequently being asked to ask ourselves, “What really matters?” We get all worked up about something that bothers or frustrates or upsets us. But if we pause and ask, “What really matters in this situation?” would we get so worked up?
It really does seem as if time is speeding up and that the days no longer have the full 24 hours available to us. Does it seem that way to you, too? Whether it’s the Photon Belt or the Earth’s rotation on its axis or some other reason, the FEELING that time is speeding up can lead us to making some decisions about how to spend the time that we do have.
I know there are many days that I wake up with an expectation of what my to-do list looks like but I seem to get caught up in the drama of the day and often get pulled off that list to take care of someone else’s drama. I’m sure that has happened to you, too, hasn’t it? So how do we take back control of our own time?
The first step is to decide what our own values are. Not what we wish they were or what we think they should be, but what we truly believe our values are, deep in our heart. I learned some good exercises when I trained in NLP [Neuro-Linguistic Programming] that help to identify the values that our unconscious minds hold and they are often not what we ‘think’ our values are. How can this be? Our conscious minds use logic not emotion when coming up with a list of values but our unconscious minds develop the list from our emotional beliefs and understandings, of ourselves and of our lives. The unconscious mind is focused on surviving the day, based on whatever it believes about our safety and security. While one’s conscious mind might think that eating healthy foods is a high value, the unconscious mind might be remembering a time when food was scarce and created a desire to eat everything in sight in case there’s no more food to eat later. One’s conscious mind might think that being with friends is the most important thing to do today while the unconscious mind might be craving some alone time. The body might respond to this values conflict by creating illness so that the alone time takes precedence over the friend time.
Do you see how this works? Have you ever experienced this seeming contradiction? What do you do about it?
Well, as in most things, when living a Conscious Life, the first thing to do is to hit the ‘pause button’ and really look at how time is being spent. Again, not in how you wish it were but in how it is realistically being devoted to activities. Keep a time diary, in 15 minute increments, for a few days. No judgments here, just record, from a curious, non-judgmental and accepting viewpoint. Do you need more alone time? You might see you are pulling out of social engagements, always having a good reason but maybe it is because you have said ‘yes’ to something that your unconscious mind wanted you to say ‘no’ to. Are you avoiding being with someone that you think you like but that you seem to have lots of reasons to avoid? Maybe that person really doesn’t resonate with you but you haven’t yet figured out how to shift things so that you don’t have to spend time with them.
The list can go on and on, but the important thing to realize is that, conscious or unconscious, your values, what really matters to you, is driving your life at some level. Even if you frequently make choices that contradict the values of your unconscious mind, you will start to find the debilitating nature of illness or accident or drama pointing the way for you to find answers about what you truly value in your life.
Doesn’t it make sense to do the personal growth work so that you can become conscious about your values and the choices that you are making? Make a commitment to start this work today!