A few months ago I completed an incredible training to up-level the work I am able to do with my clients and students. Teaching yoga has been a powerful tool, but for many people it opens the door to a physical and spiritual awakening that we may not have the support to investigate further.
For many people yoga is a way to "tune in" to what they are thinking and feeling and meet a whole different part of themselves.
Not bad for just unrolling your mat right?!
I wanted to be able to meet more of my students in that space through my work as a Life Coach because self-inquiry is another transformational branch on the tree of Yoga.
And since opening up more space in my day to work with people I have noticed that many of my clients are saying the same things.
The new mother who doesn't want to put her health, happiness and big goals on the back-burner for the next 20 years while she raises her kids.
The entrepreneur who is juggling the pursuit of her passion, her relationship and trying to maintain an intensive spiritual/ yoga practice.
The manager who can't seem to figure out how to close his computer and leave his work at work.
Their lives look different, but they all tell me the same thing.
"There just isn't enough time in the day."
With a business of my own, two kids under three, a partner I love spending time with and a daily spiritual practice you might imagine I would be nodding along in agreement with my clients.
But I am not, because an unexpected thing happened when I had kids.
What I Worried About
I work with many parents who want to feel deeply connected to (but not defined by) their relationship with their children.
Even if their children are the most important part of their life and they love those little people madly, these folks want to live with purpose in other areas as well...you know, like they did before having kids.
But while so many new people have this ideal; to keep growing in all areas of their life right alongside being a parent, the reality of actually doing it can be a challenge.
Three years ago exactly, I went to California with my husband. I was pregnant with our first child and we were trying to imagine a retreat and training we wanted build together during the final months of my pregnancy and first few months of our daughters life.
I remember a big fear I had was that I would lose interest in everything, including my program after my daughter came along.
There seemed to be so much evidence all around me. The vivacious, outgoing friend who after having a baby became impossible to get in touch with or pin down because she was just too busy.
The friend who’s goals and dreams seemed to be replaced by her children in ways that didn’t look fun or all that healthy.
Or the people that, in private, when asked their honest opinion on having children said point blank, "Don't. Do. It."
It freaked me out at the time, but (and I can tell you this honestly after having two children) my passion for my own goals has not diminished.
In fact, with so much time and energy now placed upon my children, the positive counter-effect is that I have zero time to waste on projects that don’t fuel my business and my soul.
I didn’t expect it, but having children has made me more productive.
How Is That Possible?
Before children, I had hours to waste.
I could sit and “research” endlessly, or procrastinate, or be full of doubt and push pause on something until I could talk it all out (or to death) with a few people.
Now, my time and my energy feels more precious.
In one hour I can record and edit a podcast, or write an entire article, or draft a chapter of a book, or help take a client from a place of confusion and uncertainty to feeling empowered and excited.
It's true, most of my time is with my family, but the time I devote to my business is three times more productive now than it was before I had kids.
Test it out:
If you think the thought "there isn't enough time," how do you feel?
panic? dread? stressed? anxious? tired? overwhelmed?
What if you thought of time as a precious gift instead?
I don't know about you but that makes me feel focused, clear, inspired and ready to use it only for what is most important to me.
Change The Thought
Just changing that thought might help you stop using your time to visit with self-doubt, procrastination, perfectionism or pity and do what matters to you.
Many people, parents or not, complain that they have “no time” for self-care, to workout, be creative, do spiritual practice, work or socialize but the truth is we have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else.
Raising children, building a career, maintaining relationships and self-care does require time and energy, but if you are intentional, you can decide what that looks like for you and how you want to use those precious resources not only on kids but also on yourself.
To help you get back at least an hour of your time each day, I made you a free workbook.
And one last thing for the parents out there.
I say this so often on the podcast, but you are your child's first role model. The way you take care of yourself and engage with all aspects of your life is teaching them how to do it for themselves.
Personally, I want to model that time, energy and wellbeing are the most important things we get as humans and they a privilege that comes with no gaurentee.
So while you do have the time, energy and health, respect it and use it in ways that align with your purpose. What do you want to do?