Valuing Your Time – Saying No so that You Can Say Yes

Once I began to appreciate the preciousness of time, I began to hold it in the highest regard.

I no longer wear “busy” as a badge of honour. I have learned that saying no has actually allowed me to say yes. When I turn down opportunities that do not align with my values or clearly say no to commitments that would push me to sacrifice another aspect of my life, I am free to say yes to all the areas of my life that I truly value.

Figuring out what motivates me in each circumstance (Is it challenge? Is it faith? Is it health? Is it money? Is it giving back?), being true to myself, and prioritizing these values in each situation creates a driving force that leads me through my day.

Along my journey, I have come to learn something even more valuable: something magical happens when you are able to switch your understanding of time from being a concept you must find to being something that comes from within you – something you make. This changes the game completely and allows you to take ownership of your relationship with the idea of time.

In The Big Leap, the author journeys through the difference between our traditional absolute Newtonian idea of time (something that is external to you) and Einsteinian Time, essentially being Relativistic Time. When you feel that you are the source of time – that you can create as much time as you like – you are able to take ownership of the whole idea, always having the time you need.

In fact, while our society still bases itself around the twenty-four-hour clock, as you take on this new perspective, you are able to transcend the idea of time almost all together, allowing you to be truly present in every moment – whether it be during moments at home, moments with family and friends, moments performing work, moments spent in nature, moments experiencing the world, moments laughing, or moments deepening faith.

I am continuously exploring the importance of being wealthy in time. Through this imperfect, yet wonderful exploration, I have discovered that making time for the things that fill up my cup – the actions that align with my highest self – potentiates my ability to pour from my cup. This is what freedom feels like to me.

If you’d like to read more of my articles on time, follow the link below:


We See What We Choose to See

We said goodbye to my grandfather this past week. He had been declining in health for several months, and I believe he knew it was time to go to heaven.

(It’s interesting how, once a date associates itself with a significant event in your life, you tend to always know where you stand in relation to that date. Today, I didn’t know what date it was until I realized it was two days after Grandpa’s service, which was on Friday, April 13th, therefore, I knew it was now the fifteenth of the month.)

What I’ve come to understand this weekend is that, while we all are searching for the memories of Grandpa that stand out in our minds, perhaps we each start to see in him what we want to see in ourselves. Some saw minimalism in Grandpa, admiring that he was not a man who collected an unnecessary amount of things throughout his life; others remembered his wit, his intelligence. Me, well, I recall that he was a courageous man, unafraid to stand up against the corrupt. I admired his boldness, his ability to call for justice (something I know ignites a fire within me). I also remember his gentleness, his laugh, his ability to live out his truth – all things I believe to be of importance in my own life.

You see, Grandpa possessed many strong values, and I think that what each of us chooses to honour shines light on what we strive to be, to create, in our lives.

This idea speaks loud and clear to me this morning. This idea that we all see what we are looking for, with our projections and perceptions shaping our reality. It’s kind of a beautiful thing, isn’t it? We all see the playfulness or the desire for justice or the selflessness or the loving nature or whatever we choose to see in a person, in an experience, and in the greater picture of our lives. It’s empowering to understand that we are so deeply interconnected to the oneness of this universe that we can choose to create the dream we each call life – that we can choose to be who we want to be, to see what we want to see, to courageously act on what we want to act, and to experience what we want to experience. We are all powerful creatures, you see, not one of us more important or special than the next.


Creating a Life of Freedom - Starting from Where I Am

As I write today, and on most days, I am taking action before I convince myself to do otherwise.   

And so in having the courage to take the first step, I am starting from where I am and just doing the next right thing – living one moment at a time, appreciating each experience like a hummingbird appreciates the abundance of nectar available from a freshly-filled feeder.

The first time I encountered this concept (of “just doing the next right thing”), I was unaware of its origin; I did not know that this notion had stood tall as a staple in recovery and support groups for many years. But what I did recognize was its relevance and ability to be applied to all areas of my life.

When I find myself partially paralyzed or even stagnant, I focus on just taking that next step, breathing in that next breath, and doing the next right thing. By taking the time to reconnect with myself and letting my soul take the lead, I am able to make the best decision for that moment. It’s incredible how those seemingly insignificant moments of doing the next right thing join together to create my day.

Living one day at a time allows me to focus on making the best out of the moments that are right in front of me. Those days add up over time; before I know it, I am building a life.  


Time - The Most Precious Commodity of All

I was standing in our backyard at 6 a.m. on a misty Thursday morning (my six-month-old puppy had to pee) when my neighbour stepped out onto his deck, took in an exuberant breath of the dewy air, and enthusiastically wished us a good morning. The way he welcomed the day radiated appreciation for life, and it inspired me to deepen my own relationship with time.

As my pup and I moseyed around the damp grass for a few minutes, I started thinking about how important it is to relish every moment – to greet each day and the experiences it holds with gusto, just like my neighbour had displayed.

Too often we forget about being intentional with our time. Success, accomplishment, and daily obligations can consume our thoughts more than they should. Setting aside time on a regular basis to evaluate what truly makes us happy and fulfilled is well worth the effort. Once we understand what makes us happy, we can set aside more time to do those things. Because when it comes down to it, how we spend our time is more important than anything.

I’ve realized there are certain actions and commitments (and even people!) that fill a person up, and there are ones that take away. It is essential to distinguish the elective life experiences that provide us with energy and fulfillment from the ones that drain, overwhelm, and cause us to retreat. After all, an empty water pitcher cannot fill up another cup without visiting the tap first. 

For as long as I can remember, I have been observant of the sentiment and intention of others to an uncomfortable level. It is because of this particular trait (sensitivity, I think) that I spent many years paying too close attention to the reactions of others, caring too much of what others would think. I spent a lot of time doing what I thought was expected of me – by society, by employers, by whomever. Sometimes I still catch myself doing this now, but I am quick to shake myself free from this leash of subservience. I’ve realized I’d rather spend my time just being me.

Each one of us deserves to take time for ourselves, to reconnect with the things that really matter, and to sit in gratitude. A true appreciation of the time we are given encompasses respecting even the smallest of moments. 

So now I live in each moment. I let myself “dance” in Home Depot and I write and I hug my dog and I attempt to lift heavy things and I carry around my cat like a cat lady and I meditate and I smile as my boyfriend serenades me while we drive and I pray and I watch adoringly as loved ones embrace each other at the airport and I make jokes at the expense of myself and I dare to be beautiful and I laugh and I cry and I feel… and I am fulfilled.

And as I walked back inside our home on that misty Thursday morning, I felt incredibly thankful for the unexpected interaction with my zealous neighbour. Through that short experience, I was reminded of how important it is to spend my time purposefully – to live a life of intention.

My hope here is simple: I hope that you will spend your time with intention too.