How To Use Time To Improve Your Life
By Art Ramsay, PhD

The Cosmos doesn't have something called time, it works in cycles; time is merely an invention of humankind to "keep everything from happening at once." There have been entire books written on this subject, so I am not about to go in-depth here. My objective is merely to give you a different perspective of how you might view time in your life and perhaps use it more wisely. Of course, "wisely" from my perspective is about spiritual practice.

 Often, when I give people 'assignments' or exercises to do for 'homework' during a class, they come back the following week with none of it, or most it undone. The excuse usually is about not having enough time. Maybe I should require consistency in doing homework to take the class. In any case, we all have the same 24 hours a day to live our lives.

 Why then, do some people have a problem using those 24 hours to complete how they live each day, and others do not? Could it be that everyone makes choices irrelevant of time, and then decides to fit those choices into timeslots they make up? Suppose you could live your life without time constraints? Since there really is no such thing as time, remember we humans invented it, living your life without it should be a breeze.

 For many people in the world that probably is true, but not for Western societies. Humans invented jobs and with them, time in which to start and finish. So how do I arrange my life around my job, school and other societal 'requirements'? you might ask. You just do, that's all. You decide what is really important and make choices accordingly.

 What is important; really, really important in your life? Further, what do you want? That is, what do you want from your life? What is your vision for your future, what would you describe as your ideal life? These kinds of questions can get you on track about choices you make and the time it takes to accomplish them. That is, the time you assign to do them, because except for things like your job and school, most of the rest of it is up to you time-wise.

Most people would not even pause to ask a question like the above. They go through their lives believing that how they are living is all there is for them. They would not stop to question why they are doing what they do or if there is something else out there. They cram a million events into each 24-hour day and stress out because they can't complete them all. Then they cop out by saying they don't have a choice. What?

 Anyone who makes the statement "I don't/didn't have a choice" is delusional, because even to say that is making a choice. With that out of the way, let's continue. You set up your day or week determined by your choices and timeslots you set for them. Seems simple enough to me. "Oh, but you don't know how busy I am, the kids' sports games and music lessons, and shopping, and my night school, and, and . . . Yes, and on it goes. But they are all choices you have made, and you can just as easily undo them.

 The point of all of this is spiritual practice, because, whether you want to believe it or not, it is the most important action you can take. It should take precedence over everything else. Why? Because it is the main reason you came to this planet. The spiritual masters, like Jesus and Buddha have told us how important spiritual practice is over anything else. Raising kids and supporting a family was a choice you made, remember? No, you cannot undo that choice, but you can make a new choice and make spiritual practice a high-priority item in your life.

If you answered any of the preceding questions honestly, you should have some idea about how you would like to see your future unfold. If you think working hard with longer hours will get it for you, guess again. Unless you straighten up what is on your inside, your outside will not change. Look back at your life. If you do the same things day after day, you will get what you have gotten day after day. Only changing what you do with your 'time' will change anything.

 You can start some kind of spiritual practice with only a few minutes a day. The important thing is to get started. I wrote an article about various spiritual practices that you can read in the Archives of the Articles page. Pick one, and then create a timeslot for it. Stay with it for awhile, and then readjust the time and/or try another practice.

 I know most people reading this will claim that their life is just too busy to do the most important activity they can do. If is the way you see it, then so be it. The heart of a spiritual practice not only brings peace to your personal life, but can be preparation for helping others in some way. You cannot lead the way until you have prepared yourself to do that.

 I could not be writing this article, nor the books I have written, nor lead inner peace classes, without spiritual practice first. Now I am not suggesting that anyone needs to do these kinds of activities, I am only giving an example of what has to come first, before you step into something meaningful to yourself and others.

 Go read the spiritual practice article (again if you have once already), and then take a step towards the one practice hat speaks to you.


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