Hi folks. Before we talk about how leaving five minutes earlier can change your life, let’s check in real quick on the Talk Nicely To Yourself For Two Weeks, Dammit! Challenge. It’s been about three weeks, in fact, since I invited you to talk nicely to yourself… for just two weeks. Did you remember? That’s often the hardest part… If you did remember, how did it go? How was your experience of life? Was it even a little better? Was it a lot better? It sure has been for me, and it’s just something you practice. And when you notice that you’ve been mean or critical to yourself, now you know that nobody even knows. Nothing has really happened. What good news! So just take a deep, relaxing breath in that moment and chill. Then resume your life. Now that we have that out of the way…
So I realized like ten years ago that most of my daily stress came from always being in a rush. I’d always arrive right on time or within 2-3 minutes either way. And this was stressful. Really stressful. I’d be watching that green light up ahead like a hawk, really hoping it would stay green. Do I really want my peace tied to whether or not a light in a box hanging above the road changes color or not?? Hells no!
I’d eat lunch about once a week with Uncle Bill. And by the way, does everyone have an Uncle Bill? Isn’t this the most common uncle’s name? Just wondering. So I always noticed that he arrived early. I was determined to beat him there sometime. So I’d leave a few minutes earlier. And he’d be there. And I’d leave a few more minutes earlier. And he’d still be there. I’d be a good ten minutes early, which seemed ridiculous to me, and he’d be there. He’d be in the one shady spot in the parking lot chilling, reading a book with the windows down! I thought that was so cool. Talk about relaxing. He definitely did not have to care whether the light changed from green or not. If it turned red, he’d just chill at the red light. Because now he’d only be 13 minutes early. I think I finally beat him once, but I had to get there like fifteen minutes early. And it definitely didn’t happened more than once.
Anyway, I started leaving five minutes early everywhere I went. And it was awesome, and my stress went down. I’ve noticed that I’ve slipped back into the old pattern, so it’s on my list now to start leaving earlier. It’s just so much more chill that way. But I’m not making a problem out of this pattern. Just do it or don’t, but own it either way and don’t judge it. Giving up all of your self-judgment, by the way, is like taking the emergency brake off. That stuff is like glue. And it’s just a bad habit. And it has a voice, a voice in your head that nobody else even knows about. So once again, when you notice it, remind yourself that nobody even knows and nothing has happened. Take a breath, relax, and move on.
Finally, if you do find yourself in a rush, then relax even while rushing. It’s an art form. If you’re in the car, for instance, just breath deeply and relax your body, even as you’re watching that light like a hawk. Don’t make an extra problem out of it. You might find that you’re in a rush, but you still feel light. That’s pretty cool, and it’s very possible for all of us. Again, it all just takes gentle practice. With no self-judgment.
So that’s our message for the day. I’m simply sharing the things that have helped me along the way to more and more peace. And I’ve by no means arrived. It just keep getting deeper and deeper. I definitely feel like I’m just getting started, too. And I’m in no rush to get anywhere.