A few days ago, I had the privilege of hearing Jay Shetty speak. I was a total Shetty newb, unaware of his past work or his story. (If you haven't taken a dive into his monk-like devotion to peace and mindful living, start with his book, Think Like a Monk.)
One of Shetty's central messages can be summed up in an acronym: T.I.M.E. It breaks down like this: be Thankful for your opportunities and gifts, find Inspiration to keep you engaged, take time to Meditate and reflect, and Exercise for physical health.
All very true. And the creation of an acronym like T.I.M.E. is a brilliant way to keep these critical priorities top of mind -- no matter how crazy life gets.
But you know what's missing? Permission to disconnect.
You might say that's part and parcel of meditation, but I think it deserves its own call-out. Here's why:
As someone who suffers from anxiety, often induced by pressures of obligation and responsibility (both personal and professional), I need to remind myself that disconnecting from the world for a short while is not only acceptable but necessary. It's necessary so that I can reboot and rediscover clarity, purpose, direction. Perhaps most importantly, this disconnection cuts the cords of anxiety and allows me to recenter.
Even if I sit in a stew of nothingness for a day, the permission I grant myself to disconnect is critical to avoiding panic attacks from hyper-productivity and perma-crisis.
Reciting a simple mantra that involves Shetty's T.I.M.E. acronym every morning or evening goes a long way to keeping me balanced. But I would suggest first starting with the permission to disconnect, then reminding yourself of T.I.M.E. Without the initial disconnect, T.I.M.E. can get lost.
Try something like this:
"Right now, in this moment, I give myself permission to disconnect and rediscover me for me.
And to energize myself and disable anxiety, I will give myself T.I.M.E. today and tomorrow to be thankful, to be inspired, to meditate, and to exercise."
It's simple. It's almost ridiculously simple. But for those of us forever at the anxious boiling point, diving headlong into T.I.M.E. isn't enough. First, we must disconnect -- with a simple breath and a short mantra. Then we can move ahead healthfully and productively.