I’ve been thinking about the subject of priorities lately. About how everything comes down to what we prioritize in our lives – what we choose to invest our time into. But it’s the “choice factor” that trips people up most often. Speaking in a collective fashion, we tend to engage with the world around us as though we were victims. Victims of our harried schedule, our work, our circumstances, our upbringing, our causes and conditions. What we have trouble seeing and understanding is that victim-hood is a state of thinking, not a state of BEING.
The possibility exists for us to live our lives un-dramatized, un-apologetically, and un-fettered. The possibility exists for us to step fully into the life we’ve created for our self and embrace it as the series of choices it really is. The so-called burdens that we face are commonly the manifestations of where we place our thoughts and our motivations regarding the actions that ensue.
Personally, I’m working on the un-apologetic part in the priorities equation. I’m working towards: identifying what my priorities are, ensuring that my time is dedicated to pursuing those priorities, and then letting go of the need to further explain, rationalize, or apologize for my decisions that come as a result of the choices I’ve made.
The element of “choice” is a powerful shift in one’s paradigm. It holds a great deal of sway over the quality of our lives to remove the phrases: I can’t do that; I’ve been crazy busy!; Tomorrow I have to get some errands done; You’re so lucky to be able to (fill in the blank), I wish I had time for that! and replace them with statements such as: I’ve already made a commitment to attend another function so I’ll be unable to catch a movie with you. Maybe next time!; I’ve been filling up my plate lately with lots of great stuff!; Tomorrow I’m going to run some errands; Wow, it’s great you are planning a trip overseas, it inspires me to think about maybe doing that too!
Words matter. They affect and impact what we do, how we live, and how we view the world and who we are within it.
We would do well to pay close attention to the word choices we make throughout the day in everyday conversations, both externally with others and internally with our self. There is no such thing as an insignificant dialogue exchange.
My top priorities revolve around my spiritual practice (meditation, cultivating mindfulness, investing time and energy into my sangha), caring well for my family, writing, volunteering in the aide of others, nourishing my well-being (mind, body, spirit), connecting with friends, and community involvement. I’m now hearing the lyrical line: These are a few of my favorite things :)
There’s only so much time in the day. Only so much time in the span of a week, a month or a year. May we figure out how we’re choosing to spend it. And may we learn to embrace it with all of the gratitude we can muster.
Rock your life and rock it well, you’re the only one who can.