Although we learn much from every day life which benefits our spiritual development, we also spend time with special activities (like this website) to focus on our spiritual growth. I know from personal experience how easy it easy to let minutes turn into hours as I post questions, answers or comments, or simply read what everyone else has to say. Add to that the other spiritual disciplines I engage in from time to time, and there's the potential for letting a large portion of the day slip by.
How do you find the right balance between the special time and your everyday obligations and responsibilities? How do you set your priorities? Is there a point where you decide that you need to cut back on the special spiritual development time? And if you have decided on a specific schedule, have you been able to stick to it? What are your tricks, techniques and methods?
asked 10 Nov '09, 08:29
You see one yhing that most people find challenging is finding this balance.
Some of us feel such an urge to just dive into the spiritual teachings or practices of others that we feel we are neglecting our responsobilities in "real" life. Well the thing is that their is only one person who sets the pace of your development: YOU! You are the One that can say: Ok, I think I'm going to fast now, I think I need to slow down.
Then on the other hand you might feel you want to speed it up saying that your ready for the next step.
The thing is NOT to beat yourself up when you miss a meditation session or something. Some teachers will tell you: Well, you have to meditate for at least 90 days, not missing a day, otherwise you will "fail". They are using fear to motivate you. Althought their intentions are good they are putting precion on the student which in fact only slow downs the whole process.
The truth is that you don't need to meditate for an hour everyday. It's good if you do, but if you take 5 minutes a day that is just as good. Why? Because while your using 55 minutes sitting uncomfortably in the meditation, you might be doing something that is really as important as the meditation. Remember that this is just a tool, a permission slip, and on itself it doesn't mean anything. YOU make it work for you, not he other way around.
So what I'm getting it is just to .. RELAXXX.. Relax in that notion you might have about "spiritual journey". Why? Because EVERYTHING is spiritual. Eating, having sex, laughing, crying, farting nothing is more spiritual then the other. The journey is the goal not the other way around.
So what's the signpost if you should still be doing something or not? Your EXCITEMENT is the signpost. It is your true core nature that will tell you your on the right track. And no matter how simple it is, watching a movie, reading a book, playing with a kid, forgiving some old grudge or anything else. If you feel attracted to it give it your full attention. Don't beat yourself down that you did only 65 days of meditation. Maybe that's how mych YOU needed, it's as simple as that. If you will follow your excitement to the best of your ability at any given moment, you will go where you need to go when you need to go their.
And the RIGHT BALANCE is for you to decide. If you find yourself isolating from the world for to long you may want to decide to go and socialize a little bit with other people. Maybe you want to have some sort of physical workout, like going to tha gym 4-5 times a week. You want to give your attention to your kids, your spouse. Figure out how can you improve your life for better. Make decisions that are life enhancing for YOU and those around you. Follow your bliss. Trust the Universe to deliver the goods ;) Be en-lightened.. just lighten UP :-)
Their is nowhere to go, just BEING where you are NOW.
answered 10 Nov '09, 14:55
So basically you're saying that you don't need to be organized at all, or have any structure in your life whatsoever. Is that really realistic?
(10 Nov '09, 16:34) Vesuvius
Wildlife, I appreciate the comment about not beating ourselves up when we don't complete something as we had expected. I agree that the journey is predominantly the goal, but I believe the journey should have some planned direction. And if life leads us another way, we may have to reassess and adjust our course. Your points are well taken, but implicit in your statements, "Figure out how can you improve your life for better. Make decisions that are life enhancing for YOU and those around you", is the need to have some structure in your life, as Vesuvius pointed out.
(11 Nov '09, 20:35) John
This new, simple and free time management system is unique in that it is specifically based on blending the logical and intuitive parts of the mind.
I've been using various versions of it since January and the latest version, AutoFocus v4, is remarkable in how it helps you keep focused on what is important.
I've used pretty much all the time management systems out there and this beats them all - and did I mention it's free? ;)
answered 10 Nov '09, 08:39
I took a quick look and will be studying it further tomorrow. Right now my balance has shifted from this website to the necessity of sleep. Thanks for your answer and the link.
(10 Nov '09, 08:53) John
On further investigation, the time management info you linked to looks very good. I'll be experimenting with it as well as with the Getting Things Done technique linked to by Rani Oberoi. Thanks to all for very good resources.
(11 Nov '09, 20:24) John
You're welcome, John. At first sight, AutoFocus just looks too simple and easy compared to the likes of David Allen's Getting Things Done, Stephen Covey's First Things First, Tony Robbin's Time of Your Life...and many more. Yet, somehow it just seems to fit in with the way people really live their lives. After more than a decade of trying out the others intensively, it's the only one I've managed to stick with past the "honeymoon period". Anyway, good luck with finding something that works for you. :)
(11 Nov '09, 20:44) Stingray
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments
I keep a daily schedule on my word processor program. Through trial and error, I tried to make it a balanced day for me, including everything that's important to my career, health, spiritual well-being, attention to family members, the animals I am responsible for and so forth. Every morning, I make any needed changes to the template and print it out. I know that seems kind of anal to some people, but I'm the type that needs a plan or else I am spinning my wheels all day and don't get anything done. In this way, I do all that is important to me, nearly every day. As someone mentioned, sometimes we fall short somehow, or something unexpected comes along to throw a wrench into the plan, but I let that be OK and don't stress about it. Some days maybe a neighbor unexpectedly stopping over for a long talk is more important than meditation, or a needed long walk clears your head more than metaphysical studies. It's all good, and as it was mentioned, just relax.
answered 10 Nov '09, 16:28
Thanks. There's apparently a real benefit to having a list or template (both a daily list and a longer term goals list). I have personally seen my productivity increase by keeping a list handy (even if I don't refer to it after composing it). Although a supposed Harvard (or Yale) study of written goals is apparently a myth, there is evidence to support the benefits of a written (printed) list. (http://sidsavara.com/personal-productivity/fact-or-fiction-the-truth-about-the-harvard-written-goal-study) Thanks for your advice.
(11 Nov '09, 20:18) John
If I may, I would like to add something. I have enjoyed all the comments here on this question. I think everyone is different. Some really do best by the seat of their pants, some need to prod themselves with a "loose list", and some need a detailed structure to their day. I have a super-successful cousin who has never written a plan of any kind; he goes along on instinct. Some people would never accomplish anything that way and I am one of them! Maybe people have to experiment at what works best for them personally in making for a balanced day?
(11 Nov '09, 21:16) LeeAnn 1
I don't claim at all to be an expert on this, but I do know that if something is important, you set aside time for it, making it a priority. Otherwise it just doesn't get done.
Our church has a hierarchy of priorities:
In this hierarchy, your spiritual life is the first priority, and your relationship with God must be in order first. This makes sense, since being balanced spiritually helps all other areas of your life. If I am mentally focused and relaxed, I get more done. Eating well and exercising helps too.
Regarding time management...
I know that booking every minute of your day just doesn't work. Life intervenes. Tom Hopkins used to say "Write down the six most important things you need to do today, first thing in the morning." I find this the most workable system for organization, mostly because it is simple enough that I am more likely to
answered 10 Nov '09, 16:38
I agree with setting a hierarchy of priorities as in your example with the understanding that it doesn't necessarily imply that one is to give more time to the higher priorities. For example, we may spend more time working than with family, but when family needs call, we set aside work to attend to the higher priority of family.
(11 Nov '09, 18:55) John
I would say feeling good comes first. So, give priority to getting a good start on your day such as meditating to put you in a good frame of mind for the rest of the day.
In terms of time management, I have used a software called TimeTo which helps you schedule things you need to do during the day and stick to those schedules.
A good book on how to get things done (Getting Things Done) has also helped me in the past to get things organised and done.
answered 10 Nov '09, 19:00
Getting Things Done looks interesting; I'm going to get it. I'll let you know how it goes.
(11 Nov '09, 06:22) Vesuvius
Thanks for the info on David Allen and Getting Things Done. It looks like a good resource.
(11 Nov '09, 19:00) John
You're both welcome.
(11 Nov '09, 21:01) Pink Diamond
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments
There is no one correct way to balance your time. It depends on you and what all you have to do and it will be different in some way everyday. So the main thing you have to do is there will be some days you will deal more with this or that and other days you will deal more with that or this.
You will be fine just don't get all caught up in the whole thing. like Lee Ann said different strokes for different folks. Now you seem to have an full plate of life and than learning and on your spiritual journey.
But there will be days you will be on this inward quest web site for hours at an time and than there will be days maybe you will only be on there for 5 minutes of just reading and answering one question and than you will get up. There will be times you want get on at all. The family will take up your time more on some days than others and that is great for you all are there for each other an loving each other. Than there is work which pays the bills and gives you another outlet of creativity. Than there is all of the different data that you have learn to improve supposely you on your spiritual journey. But as you meditate on God and Jesus and thank him for all he has done for you he will strengthen you on your spiritual journey.
You will take in some data and delete some data and put some to the side for more evaluations. ASK God to help you get it all line up together and than believe he has already done it and you will be automatic organize shorten some things along the day as time permits and added others; always leaving time for rest, relaxation, good healthy eating and playing.
answered 12 Nov '09, 08:33
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