How to protect your time for more energy, vitality and joy - Part 2

In the first part of this blog series I shared how important it was to give yourself permission to take time for yourself, and to create space through setting boundaries. How did you find that? If you started to make some space, you might have found yourself filling it once more with things that don’t feel very essential or meaningful. That’s why being intentional about how you spend your time is so important. Being intentional means consciously tuning in and tapping into what’s most important to you. And then using that wisdom to guide your choices and actions around how you use time.

Let me share with you my process for a big move I made some years ago from being employed to running my own practice. I know I’m absolutely blessed to make the sort of changes I do to my work schedule. This hasn’t always been the case though, and it didn’t happen by accident. Seven years ago, I made a conscious choice that I wasn’t going to work for anyone any more. I saw people at the hospital where I worked thriving and loving their job, while I just couldn’t muster the same passion. I also saw people who seemed tired and bitter. They seemed bothered and reacted with disdain, anger or resignation to events and happenings.

I wasn’t bitter, but definitely heading toward the dull zone. For 8 hours of the day, I felt I wasn’t making best use of my time and energy. I knew something had to change. I didn’t know what that meant or exactly how I’d make the changes. But knew I wanted to more choice and freedom with how I worked, with whom I worked and when I worked. I started by being open to possibilities. This wasn’t fantasising in that wishful sense. I wasn’t anxious and desperately trying to solve the problem of “what should I do?” – I just allowed myself to imagine a different way to work and use my time.


Dr Joe Dispenza calls this tuning into new potentials. I began to see and feel myself doing new things in my future. I saw myself working deeply with people one-on-one. I saw myself pursuing my intellectual, spiritual and creative interests. Taking time off for holidays when it suited me. Doing interesting and soul feeding trainings. I saw myself relaxed and feeling spacious. I even saw the space I was working in. Behind that decision, giving it substance and direction were the principles or elevated emotions of self-empowerment, flexibility, learning and creativity. These went on to guide my specific choices – the how’s – the actions to make that happen. And they continue to inform me, and keep me on track.

I’ll show you how to breakdown this process. First, you going inside and tap into what’s important - get in touch with your deeper vision and intuition, second, get clear on what your intentions are to help guide and motivate you, and last, create actions that are inline with those intentions. We’ll look at the the first two now, and just touch on the last one this time (we’ll get more into that in next week’s post).

1. Be still, refocus, listen - tapping into your intuition and vision


Being still is key to get to the deeper why [and why bother] and cultivating the skill for deeper listening. There are lots of ways you can arrive at stillness ( … yoga, running, painting, sitting in nature, meditation, breath-work, mantra, self-study through reading, podcasts, attending workshops …). But most simply and most practically, you can just stop, refocus, look and listen. Anywhere. Anytime. Regularly. Over and over. Again and again.

Stop dead in your tracks, re-orient and reorganise inward.

Slow your breath, relax behind your eyes, your jaw, your throat, your belly. Soften your inner gaze and get quiet inside. When you connect to even a moment of stillness, ask yourself some questions.

How do I want to use my time?

Where do I want to invest my energy?

Where do I see myself in my future?

How do I see myself “being” in my future?

These might seem deep questions but you don’t need answers immediately. At least not an intellectual answer. As you feel and listen, it’ll be as if a voice comes from deeper inside. Or you might see an image. Or you may notice synchronicities as you move about your day. You’re tuning into new potentials. And this might rise from any domain in your life – in a relationship, for work (like me), around your health, home, leisure time … If your inner voice, vision or sense is fuzzy, be patient and keep practicing. If you’ve shut-down that intuitive part, it might take a little time to reconnect.

You can grab this moment anywhere! In the shower, in line at the bank, while having a cup of tea. Keep practicing, asking, listening, and staying relaxed and open to possibilities.

Now, your mind needs something more concrete that a dreamy image or sparkly feeling inside to take action. Otherwise it’s just a fantasy and nothing changes. You might even feel more frustrated because you know what you want, but there’s nothing tangible to anchor onto. So life and habit once more takes over.

Next you’ll see how to connecting your vision to a guiding principle or high level emotion will help you manifest – that is, make real – your deepest desires.

2. Your guiding principles – articulating your intention


Articulating actual words that convey your vision can help organising your thinking toward taking specific actions. High level emotions or principles are things like autonomy, leadership, teaching, learning, compassion, creativity, strength, power, health, openness, centred, love, joy, awe, gratitude, grace, spirituality, connection, nature, peace, wholeness, honesty, freedom, integrity ...

So, as you feel or see your future self, ask what that means for you or about you.

When I see or feel myself doing ________ what does that represent?

What is the deeper underlying purpose to doing _________?

What does it mean about me that I want to _____________________ ?

If I use more of my time doing _______ or acting like __________ , how will that change me?

Knowing the why means there’s a little grit and substance to the how. It’s motivating. I’m jumping a bit ahead of myself here, because next week we’ll be getting more specific about blocking off time. But I’ll give you an example of what your inner talk might sound using your principles:

“When I choose to take 1 hour of my time every Wednesday between 10-11am to work out / meditate / bake / sew / hike / sit in the bath / hang with a friend … I’m begin guided by/ its for the purpose of {insert your principle here}.”

Notice how specific the language is. Doing it this way means that when it comes to choosing actions - to protect your time, create boundaries, say no, say yes - it’s toward something that’s got power and meaning and emotion behind it. Once you cultivate your vision/voice and articulate the higher level emotions and feeling it embodies, you can return to it over and over again to keep you on track.

Now give it a try. As before, start simple but please start. I would love to know how you go with these little practices and what you all are envisioning and setting as intentions. Next week, in the last part of this series I’ll be showing you how to chunk and block time. The pragmatic, action setting part.