Years ago, after eating some random Thai takeout from a restaurant whose name I’ve since forgotten, I opened up a fortune cookie and out popped the single most powerful statement of my life. No joke.
“Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.”
Take a silent moment to think about it…
It was so profound a concept, it did a 360 on my mental framework.
And I find myself reciting this fortune to myself often, especially lately.
You see, I’m the kind who is constantly doing. I have a hard time sitting still, and when I do something I feel the responsibility to do it right – go big or go home. Consequently, my to-do list is actually a scroll, and I have to forcibly slow myself down.
Do you feel rushed to get it all done now, too?
Currently, I’m organizing and hosting my live Balance in Vegas event in May, setting up a 1-1 wellness coaching program, teaching a university workshop, enrolled in two intensive educational programs, and consumed by all the other tasks required to run my website and keep delivering useful and inspiring blog posts and newsletters to you.
And I love it all! Every single thing I’m doing plus the other huge projects on my long term list. Like you, I want to do it all.
And I can.
Just not all at once!
I continually remind myself that I have the rest of my life to hit the items on my must-do list.
If I continue this mad rush to get it all done RIGHT NOW, I’ll miss out on the very life that I’m trying so hard to make meaningful.
I’ll miss out on those quiet moments that make life worth living. You know, the ones that happen in the white space between when you’re rushing around racking up accomplishments?
What I’ve found is that when I slow down, I actually get MORE done.
A few weeks ago, I took a vacation. It was day 2, after I had finally settled down, that I realized a few problems that had kept me working extra hours for months weren’t really that important, and I was able to let them go.
Have you noticed that you do your best thinking when you stop DOING long enough to allow inspiration to drift into that white space?
Perhaps when you are in the shower or driving? Or – and this is a common one for me – working out?
In minimalism, we talk about how the empty space in your home is where the action and meaningful moments happen. After all, if you didn’t have a wide area of open carpet in your living room, would you and your husband have started slow dancing out of the blue last Tuesday evening? (Sappy but true.)
Well, white spaces in your mind and life are those breaks from doing – breaks from implementing. They provide elbow room for ideas and inspiration to filter through.
White spaces are a platform for you to think of a brilliant solution to that problem you’ve been stuck on for weeks. For you to remember to call your closest friend and wish her happy birthday. For you to be fully present on a Saturday at the park with your kids.
White space is where life happens.
And time? Time is the white space that separates the important accomplishments in our lives that we are rushing so fast towards. It is what gives us a pause to celebrate our successes before moving on to the next big win.
Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once. And that is a beautiful thing.
Now your turn.
Do you consciously create white space in your life? How do you plan to add some? Share in the comments.