Today, I began a 21-day meditation course called “Making Every Moment Matter.” I’m not sure when or how I first came across this, but it’s offered by Oprah and Deepak Chopra and every couple months, they release a new, free program. I have enjoyed some of the other guided meditations they’ve offered and this one, in particular, couldn’t have come at a better time.
As I was looking at my calendar today, I was completely overwhelmed by my daily schedule…my work, my assignments for the college classes I’m taking, the webinars and seminars that I’m taking, the work trips that my boyfriend is scheduled to take, even the spa appointment that was meant to help me relax and rejuvenate. All of these to-do’s have gotten way out of hand, and I know it. And yet, here I am, justifying why each of them is important and why I can’t cancel them.
The reality is this: can’t is an excuse that I’m making. I “can’t” seem to cancel these activities because I DON’T want to face the real problem, which is figuring out what is most important to me. If you ask me, I’d tell you that everything I’m doing is important and to some extent, it is. The problem lies in the fact that I’m overwhelmed, overbooked and overworked. Even the activities that I would enjoy feel like a chore because instead of being in the mindset to relax and be in the moment, I’m in the mindset of “git er done.”
As I was listening to Day 1 of this meditation, Deepak said something that connected with me. We make excuses about our time management skills, not because we don’t have the time or ability to be good stewards of it. The question should not be “where did the time go?” but rather, “where did the opportunities go?” I immediately thought about all of my own personal “missed opportunities”, ahem excuses, for why I wasn’t making myself available to the things and people I love most. To my boyfriend asking if I had time to watch our favorite show together or to my friend wanting to meet up for lunch or to myself when I need to take some time for myself…all of these are times when I should have paused, evaluated and asked: is this the opportunity I need to be taking advantage of in this moment? Is this opportunity opening me up to greater patience, relaxation and awareness if I take advantage of it? What does the person I love need at this moment and am I best serving them (and myself) by stopping to enjoy right now? Sometimes, the answer will be no. Sometimes the best course of action is to stay focused and on track with my schedule, but other times, I need to make myself more available to the present moment and the opportunity it’s offering me.
What about you? Do you find that your schedule is packed with activities that are causing you stress instead of bringing you joy? Are you struggling to say no, not because you can’t say no, but because you don’t know what to say yes to? Is the issue bigger than a busy schedule and more connected to your fear of what will happen if you slow down?
If that’s you, I hope you’ll join me on this journey. Here’s the link to join the latest mediation series: https://chopracentermeditation.com/