It isn't our words or thoughts that illustrate our values and commitments. It is our actions.
The things we do. The things we intentionally make space and time for. It is easy for us to say something is important, to speak it to ourselves and others, To proclaim and declare that it is a priority. But these are just words. They are thoughts running in our heads, and we have hundreds of thousands of them a day.
What we actually value lives in our actions and sometimes what we value in our actions isn't what we want to value.
What do you make time for?
What is in your calendar right now?
What do you clear space for?
What do you agree to, regardless of other events happening, previous commitments and prior arrangements?
If you find yourself saying. "I wish I had more time for this and that," consider it is simply that you value other wants more. You value the things you are spending your time on, even if you wish you didn't.
I've usually found that the things I want the most, the things I truly want to do, I make happen. I find the a way. Even at the cost of something else.
I want to be physically active as a priority in my life. So I am. I make time to move my body every single day. Yoga, a walk, a trip to the gym, sometimes multiple times a day. It is a non-negotiable. I would choose this over other options every chance I get. It is actually important to me because I am in action around it, I put it in my calendar. I do not think about it, talk about it, negotiate with myself about it, I just do it.
I also value rest and sleep. 90% of the time I am in bed reading somewhere between 8-9pm, asleep by 9:30.. I do not commit to anything before 8:00 AM most days, so I can wake up naturally, sit quietly with my coffee and welcome the day ease-fully, almost in a state of meditation.
I said 90% of the time because there are clearly times when the value of needing to know overtakes rest. I must simply stay awake to watch one more episode of whatever I am bingeing in the moment.
Or a special event is happening, a gathering, or my favorite concerts. And that experience is much more important than going to bed at 9:00pm (most of the time).
The point is. What is actually important to us reflects in our daily actions and the things that we want to be important to us is expressed in words, usually in the form of, "I wish, I want, I should." And is often followed by frustration, upset, guilt, and the worst of all, shame.
But here's the thing.
We will always want more than we have time, money, and the energy for, it is human nature. To strive for something. To want to be better, to want to be different. So we go about our days doing, based on what is currently important to us. All the while hoping and dreaming of things that we wish were important to us.
This was me when it came to writing. I write regularly. But not consistently. Not with discipline. Not with a commitment that it is a daily practice. A non-negotiable, a value.
Until right now.
I am reading "the ARTIST'S WAY," by Julia Cameron and this is day one of my morning pages. A contract with myself that I will write every single morning. And since this intersects with another one of my values, sharing and storytelling, I will be sharing many of these writings here with you.
And it is just like that. "A want" becomes "a do "with a decision. A shift of wording from, "this is what I want to do to," to "this is what I do."
I get up every morning and write. Before the phone, before work, before anything else. Whatever is in my head will land on a page. No judgment.
So, what are your wants?
What do you say is important? Yet you don't make time for?
What do you wish for?
What thoughts are in your hand that you are tired of playing on repeat over and over?You're simply tired of hearing it. You're tired of having the conversation with yourself.
Today is the day, the last day.
The day you change your story. Mine has changed. I will never again, have to have the conversation with myself, negotiate with myself about writing.
Instead, I will just write.