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When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of time?

When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of time?

You stopped everything else, and just spent an hour with your own thoughts.

I don’t even mean ran a bath and had a glass of wine, or sat in front of the tv or read a book.

I mean, you just spent time with your thoughts.

In nature, or on your couch, but focussed only on the thoughts as they appeared in your head.

Not controlling them, not blocking them as they came into your awareness.

Not forcing yourself to think that you were meditating, or chastising yourself for losing focus.

Just letting them flow, and form.

Not even necessarily forcing yourself to think of a solution for problems that arose, but just letting the thoughts arrive, and stay as long as they wanted to.

Maybe they move on, maybe they stay.

Perhaps it’s confronting, because some things you don’t want to think about turn up and make you feel uncomfortable.

Maybe it’s a pleasant experience because you allow yourself to remember some fond memories.

Time is truly a gift.

We give it to others.

We feel guilty about taking it for ourselves.

We might feel silly just sitting there.

We may feel like we have better things to do.

Time is a gift you can give yourself as often as you want to, provided it’s not impacting negatively on anyone else. It’s not cool to meditate at 3pm if you’re supposed to be picking up the kids at 3.15pm and you live 30 minutes from the school!

I talked previously about allowing people to have time to talk, and how learning to listen is a really important skill.

The skill of giving yourself time is just as important.

Your mental and physical wellbeing are just as important as anyone else’s.

You know the airline safety spiel about putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others?

Time is like that.

You need to take care of your own time first, and then you make sure that everyone else’s is taken care of.

If you only ever take care of everyone else, your time will be filled with everyone else’s problems.

As a coach, I often have to take time out to deload. To unburden.

Even when your clients are all as awesome as mine are, it can be draining to coach over a 12-14 hour day.

Lots of personalities, lots of different issues and challenges, even if they are ‘only’ about improving their technique and nobody is dropping emotional bombs that day.

I don’t always give myself the gift of time, but it’s a great tool for reflecting and refreshing.

Try it!

Written by

Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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