"Whatever we place at the center of our
lives will get the bulk of our care and attention. This
is not esoteric teaching, but simple physics. If we love
our children more than anything, they will get the best
of our attention. If we love success, our career will get
the majority of our time. If we love money, we will spend
the greater portion of our care and worry on the accumulation
"Recognizing this law, most spiritual
traditions counsel us to be mindful of what we possess… Everything we invite into our lives requires a certain
measure of time and attention--usually more than we think
when we acquire it. So our days, especially our time "off,"
our evenings and weekends, end up being dedicated to keeping
all our possessions in working order. The invitation to
poverty [found in many spiritual traditions] is not an invitation
to suffer deprivation, but rather to consider whether the
things we have acquired are really serving us--or are we
-- Wayne Muller, in his book, Sabbath: Finding Rest,
Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives, © 1999 by Wayne
Muller, Random House, Inc., New York
How many hours do you spend each week doing:
paid employment, commuting, shopping, eating, cooking,
housework, yard work, reading, volunteering, talking on
the telephone, caring for children, sleeping, watching
television, email and other computer work, recreation
and leisure, socializing, personal care, family activities?
Consider keeping a time diary for a week.
Record which of these activities you are engaged in for
each 30-minute time slot in the day.
Now make a list of the number of hours
you want to spend on each of these activities. How are
the two lists different? Is your current time allocation
in line with your basic values and priorities? Reflect
on steps you might take to bring your daily activities
into greater balance with the things you value.
- From the Center for a New American Dream, www.newdream.org