How you spend your spare time is important for your wellbeing
Time - A wonderful teacher of mine explains this very nicely - Time - This Is My Energy. This is true and telling.
Some months ago, I watched an interview with the O'Donovan brothers that won an Olympic Silver medal for rowing last summer. This was a first for Ireland and a major achievement. Rowing has a special place in my heart as I rowed when I was in college. It is an amazing sport that requires a lot of strength, balance, flexibility, stamina and fitness and is very demanding on your time. To paraphrase what one of them said: We're just two people in a boat that want to go faster and everything we do outside of the boat is to help us go faster in the boat.
This is alignment in action. This happens when what you think, feel, say and do are all in harmony and when how you spend your time matches what is important to you in life. When we practice yoga, the postures help us develop physical alignment and set in motion the same process at mental, emotional and spiritual level. Alignment is a great foundation for both success and happiness.
The same happens in meditation. Regular awareness challenges us to look at ourselves and how we think and spend our time and energy. Things that are not fully in alignment fall away. The process takes time.
If we want to be happy and satisfied in life, how we think and spend our time should be consistent with what we value today and where we want to go tomorrow. If those 50 - 70,000 thoughts we have every day are in harmony with where we want to go, we will of course reach our destination more quickly. And if they are at odds, this will slow us down.
We all have key responsibilities including work and studying that take up a significant portion of our day. We also have daily tasks like taking care of family, cooking, shopping and cleaning etc. Sleep usually takes up a third of our lives. So much of our time is spent maintaining our lives and meeting existing responsibilities.
Most of us have between 10 to 20 hours a week of spare time. We can watch TV, go to the pub or spend with family or friends, study, meditate or do other things we choose. How we spend that 10 to 20 hours is an investment in our future. If we want our lives to look different this time next year, the way we spend this time is critical. If we spend it planting new seeds, helping others or learning new skills then we can expect to grow. If we spend all our time maintaining what we have day to day, we can only expect to have the same next year at best.
What has time got to do with wellbeing? Everything. Happiness comes when our head, heart and hands work together. When what we think, feel, say and do are in alignment, we feel complete. If we want to feel happy consistently, we have to be in alignment and spend our time doing what we feel is important. Happiness is a vital part of wellbeing and it comes naturally when our passions, purpose and time work together.
Over the next few days, think about how you are spending your time. It is your most valuable asset. If you don't value your time, neither will others. If you truly value yourself, you will value your time. How you spend it, how you focus your energy and the quality of your thoughts are the biggest determinants in your current and future happiness.