650 000 hours
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650 000 hours

A relatively healthy person will live for approximately 650 000 hours.

Does that sound like a long time to you?

How many of those hours have you spent worrying about things that have never come to pass?
Or filled with regrets about things that have?
How many hours have you spent turned to stone in front of your television set?
How many sleeping, numbed on substances, working a job that you despise or being in a relationship that strangles your heart?

Can you imagine if you could measure and weigh the hours spent looking into the eyes of your beloved (parent, partner, child, friend?). Or the hours you have devoted to selflessly serving another just because they were in need. How many hours have you in you for creating meaningful relationships, experiences, or time to reflect on your “operating software?”

Do you ever think about how you spend your precious hours?

I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately and this is what I’ve pieced together so far.

I’m going to invest more time in being kind to others.

Sitting with people over thousands of hours in therapy has shown me that we are essentially relational beings. One of our measures of self worth should be the quality of connections we build with others in the world, be that our closest friend, partner, or the homeless addict on the street.
I often wonder about what gets in the way of me being kind to others.

I want to nurture balance.

Balance may sound like a hackneyed concept, but I’m tired of being tired.
Good nutrition, 8 hours sleep a night, exercise, hours for me, for my family, for the cultivation of knowledge, for the sacred. The mindful spending of my precious hours will keep me from becoming exhausted, wired-eyed and brittle in a fast paced,ravenous world.

I want to travel.

Perspective is essential for my psycho-spiritual health. Seeing new cultures and being open to people in unfamiliar settings takes me out of my comfort zone. I learn to appreciate or shift what I place importance on. Sleeping under the stars, watching clouds drift overhead often reminds me about just how little I need to feel joy, to feel deeply connected.

I want to create.

Time is short and I feel a work of art stir within me. If I cannot find the hours to nurture it, it will wither and die. I will grow old with a vague remembering of something greater than the thin life I’ll be living. It doesn’t need to impress anyone, but whatever it is, must ultimately help others to struggle less.

Writer H.L Mencken once said ” you can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you certainly can do something about its width and depth”. So, ultimately these ‘practices’ should bring me a deeper consciousness of myself, an attunement to nature, a more profound relationship with the transcendent (the numinous, the divine, the spiritual) and if integrated correctly, an increased sense of freedom.

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