WHO’S IN CONTROL OF YOUR TIME?
How we optimize our time determines how we experience flow and fulfillment.
In this cultural age of busyness, our personal time and energy is in high demand. It’s a balancing act as we work to meet the expectations of all the different roles we play, while also meeting the needs of being a human being.
One would hope that as we age we will refine our life processes so they are more efficient and fulfilling. Optimization and refinement come when we pay attention to what works for us and what doesn’t, then shift our actions accordingly.
However, if we’re not paying attention and adjusting, we get stuck repeating patterns and modes of operating that produce the same inefficient, unrefined and un-fulfilling results.
At that point we’re out of sync with our potential to grow and evolve. As a result, we suffer. If you’re out of sync with your body’s requirements you’ll actually suffer more as you age.
It’s a human tendency to want to optimize and improve upon our experience; this is how evolution shows up and lives through us.
If we can refine how we organize our time and build our energy, we’ll be in the groove of our evolution. We’ll experience increased flow (time and ease) and fulfillment (purpose and contentment).
In American culture, we have the privilege to be more “in control” of our time and actions than ever before. Yet because we have vast choices, as well as mounting inner and outer expectations, people find themselves at the mercy of their own competing interests. You know the stuff I’m talking about… like work, relationships, goals, kids’ or grand kids’ activities, retirement planning, bucket lists, investments and giving back to the community.
So, the question becomes: How do we prioritize the intent to optimize our day so that our routines make us feel vibrant, energized and fulfilled? Because if you’re not optimizing your own mental-physical-emotional capacity than what you give yourself to won’t be getting the best you have to offer.
In this post I’m sharing what I’ve learned about how to sync up with our human nature. When I began to apply these principles my experience of life changed for the better. These actions are pretty simple; you can do them too. Knowing these key points offers us both (our friends and family too) an awesome boost.
We CAN line up with our potential and as a result our capacity to do more, in this one precious life, will be increased.
WHAT WE ALL HAVE IN COMMON: CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
The sun rises and sets each day. The plants, the animals, our entire ecosystem really, is aligned in one way or another with this undeniable cycle. As humans our DNA has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years based on the fact that we are diurnal animals (we sleep at night and we’re awake in the day).
Our potential is optimized when we:
- Get sunlight on our skin
- Sleep well each night
- Eat real food that grows within our ecosystem
- Move – a lot!
Given that, it’s easy to understand how modern artificial living conditions and foods, as well as long hours indoors and sedentary routines are going against our nature. From there we can really understand how “going against our nature” is a set up to feel less than thriving. And in many cases, to feel not well at all.
BOOKENDS ON THE DAY
Our culture is on the move at a fast pace! Each of us is likely to be experiencing perpetual cycles of reinvention (I know I am). Change IS the constant.
Because life is on the move, structure creates sanity. Simplicity creates sanity. Without building simple, non-negotiable structures into my day, I’d flounder. I’d suffer and the people around me wouldn’t get the best of me.
Simple, non-negotiable, self-care structures are the backbone of my day, they are the constant within the abyss of change.
Because we’re mammals and our DNA is synced up with the sun SLEEP is an unavoidable necessity. So much happens while we sleep. Our body: repairs itself, experiences growth and gains and filters out waste. Sleep is paramount to our wellness and our capacity to have good energy.
At either end of your sleep cycle you have opportunities to help yourself get better sleep but also to increase your capacity to have consistent energy throughout the day and to feel great in your body and mind.
Bookend #1 = Sunrise If we don’t standardize these basic principles, at least to some extent, our inner ecosystem will be out of sync with our outer ecosystem. We can utilize the beginning of our day to add in essential habits that will build prana, open up our channels and bring ease as well as flow to the daily routine. We optimize our potential when we:
- Wake up with the dawn
- Re-hydrate our bodies with 16+ ounces of pure water
- Eliminate yesterday’s waste
- Move our bodies; get the heart rate up and the blood pumping!
- Get sun on our eyes and skin as soon as possible
- Bookend #1 is your morning routine
Bookend #2 = Sunset Throughout many, many years of human existence when the sun went down so did we. Today we have agendas, artificial light, stimulants, screens and evening entertainment that tempt us to use night time as another shift to our day. Ayurveda teaches us optimize our physiology by shifting our routines to sync up with circadian rhythm. In the evening that means:
- Have an early light dinner; it’s ideal in terms of digestion
- Focus on loving connection with yourself and your peeps
- Take after dinner movement like a walk, gardening or family frolicing
- Next step is to notice your tiredness; allow it to happen
- Now you’re ready to settle in for a deep sleep
- Bookend #2 is your evening routine
If we ignore the natural rhythms of how our body is designed to align with nature we’ll likely experience imbalance as well as undue wear, tear and deterioration.
Ignore your the nature of your body long enough and not only will you suffer physically but you’re also likely to lose precious resources like your spark, your enthusiasm, your direction and your connection to self purpose. Without intending, you may find yourself in a perpetual pattern of de-evolution.
STARTING SMALL IS BETTER THAN NOT STARTING AT ALL
Knowing and owning what your body needs in order to EVEN BEGIN to line up with it’s thrive can be a great first step towards balancing the needs of this human animal body that you have, alongside the needs that your roles in life require of you.
From there you can start on your next chapter of self-reinvention where you get to determine what’s not working and what is. Let that conclusion help you to refine and adjust your action so that you can optimize your daily routines to create your version of thrive, contentment and fulfillment. You can refine and adjust your actions so that you’re in the flow, where you experience a sense of expanded time and ease.
OVER TO YOU
Are you in the flow with your daily routines? Would you like to experience more energy and less stress in your daily routines? Would you like some customized help? I’d love to listen. Click here to sign up for a free strategy session. I’ll help you get clear on what you’re desires are and whether or not your current actions are going to get you where you want to be.
Karen and I are amazed at your teaching of yoga….how you are so organized in your words of what order to follow and clear and precise. We do appreciate you! Keep up the amazing work. I do already follow the sunrise and sunset routine and keep my stress levels low but that is after retirement. Having worked as an elementary school teacher, though very rewarding and creative, was too much energy out put for me and I almost ruined my health. The demands on a teacher are beyond belief not to mention the demands on the students…Finland for example has a no homework policy as they believe that children should have lots of play time and balance. You have to see the Michael Moore movie “Who Do We Invade Next?” Not about war but how other countries are doing it.
I do appreciate you too! You are so right about the pressure facing public school teachers; I want to help! Bless them, it’s a tough job.
Thank you so much Eli; I am incredibly grateful to get the opportunity to share yoga with you and Karen; your steadfast commitment brings me joy and gratitude. Nice job with your morning and evening routines + the realization that we can only do so much… these bodies are human beings not machines. I need to see that movie, I’ve heard so many great things about it!