What is Time to the Woman Business and Spiritual Leader?

While contemplating what I would write about this week, I was reminded about how often I seem to 'run out of time'. As any true blooded entrepreneur and a woman in service, I often 'bite off more than I can chew" which I have heard my mother remind me of since I was a child.

Like many women, I have numerous obligations, fill multiple roles, and have projects with deadlines... all of which require the use of time... which I never seem to have enough of.

Many spiritual traditions do not believe in "time" as we know it; linear and able to be calculated, and that is a subject for a whole other article (or book!). Rather than waxing philosophical, I will inject a lighter note:

I love this story to which I believe we all might be able to relate (at least at some point in our lives).

A woodcutter, who is constantly exhausted by his frantic chopping all through the day, is afraid to stop knowing he has many obligations to fulfill. A friend comes by one day to talk with him about his exhausting work and to ask the woodcutter if he could inspect his axe.

After running his fingers up and down the blade, he advises his friend to take a few minutes to sharpen his axe; "your work will be easier and go more quickly". To which the woodcutter replied, "I can't... I just don't have the time"...

How many of us have been where the woodcutter is? I have to admit that this is often a familiar scenario for me. The mind-set of the woodcutter is such that he cannot see the forest for the tree (pardon the pun). I can get so dug in to what I am doing and to what still remains to be accomplished within given time frames that I often fail to see that I have a "dull axe"... even when people point it out to me!

In order to 'sharpen the axe' what can I do to have more time to accomplish what I have committed to?

1. When awakening, while in that state before full consciousness, I can begin with connecting to my Deity and surrendering my day and all of its activities to Divine guidance

2. Although challenging for me who has "done so much on my own" (or so I think), I can exercise my trust muscle. Surrendering to Divine guidance requires trust.

3. Sometime before I start my work, I can engage in a spiritual practice; studying in the faith of my choosing, reading inspirational material, journaling, engaging in yoga, (or others), meditation, contemplation, prayer...

4. Throughout the day (especially when I feel stressed and under pressure), I can take a few minutes to leave my desk (or the place of my work) and intentionally return to a state of peace. 5 - 10 minutes outside in nature, relaxing with a favorite cup of brew, or playing my favorite music (how 'bout a little dancing?)

5. And let me not forget the importance of preparing for sleep... A review of the day's accomplishments, and not what I didn't do or that still remains to be done, in a state of gratitude for those accomplishments will develop my trust muscle. After all, this is a process!

I am sure you can think of ways that you personally might 'sharpen your axe'.

Ruth Reiner is an ordained minister in the Interfaith tradition, spiritual counselor, professional nurse, certified life coach, and successful entrepreneur. She is president and co-founder of 'The International Association of Women Spiritual Leaders'. Ruth has two adult daughters with families/four grandchildren.
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