(This article was originally published in January of 2008)
The new year bears down upon us. It is a Time to swear penance for that extra 10 pounds we added to our already stressed frames over the holidays, a Time to review the year that has passed and to look forward to all the positive changes we intend to initiate in the coming 12 months. Should we be brutally honest with ourselves, though (a skill so few seem to possess in this day and age), we might find that the resolutions we are now confidently pledging to discharge are not unlike those we vowed to keep at this same Time last year. Well, I suppose there is something to be said for consistency . . .
In a few weeks we will begin to receive the W-2 forms that allow us to accurately calculate the amount of tax we owe our feudal masters and, come late January, the mailman will deliver to us the stacks of credit card bills which are evidence certain of December’s feckless orgy of conspicuous consumption. You had promised to curtail your spending, to buy fewer things for fewer people. You may even have succeeded in doing just that. But them prices, they are a risin’. Witness the automobile that not so very long ago required a mere $17 in gasoline which now demands $50 to see the little indicator needle hover near the FULL side of the gauge. That which once was is no more.
There is one area, however, where the prices never rise and never fall, but where the cost has always been consistently the highest that can be paid. In this province it is not possible to negotiate better terms, more favorable rates, or to in any way defer payment.
Everything you do in your Life costs you something. Each thought, each action, each emotion, each failure or success, all of them draw from an account that is irrevocably finite and subject to sudden catastrophic ruin. The coin of the realm of which I speak is binary in its constitution, one half being constrained at all times by a factor of 24, while the other is a bit more protean in its capacity to wax or wane. I speak of your Time and your Life-Force Energy.
You, like every person who has ever lived, are limited to but 24 hours in a day. In this aspect, we truly are equal, everyone. The visionary and the vagrant, the mystic and the madman, all are bound by the same limitations of temporal fetters. How is it that you spend your Time? Are you aware that every second of your Life that has passed is a second you will never EVER have again? How much of this most precious and limited asset has slipped unnoticed through your fingers as you sat idling in traffic, suffered through yet another pointless business meeting, or engaged in some meaningless activity that did absolutely nothing to feed your soul? Time is the one resource of which you have only so much and you can never know just how much it is that you will have. How many more days can you claim with any certainty are at your disposal?
Every activity you undertake requires of you Time; just how much is your Time worth to you?
If Time is the “when” of human existence, then Life-Force Energy is the “how.” This antipodal face of the two-sided coin is the Energy that motivates you, that quickens you, that sustains you, that IS you.
As with Time, a portion of your Life-Force is demanded against all that you do. Whether an intentional expression of Beauty or a thoughtless act of anger, your personal account will be debited immediately and without consideration. Depending on the act, you may pay up front and only once, or you may find yourself making installments for years to come.
Fortunately, and quite unlike Time, your Life-Force can be replenished, not only in quantity, but in quality, as well. You can increase the level of your “funding” by taking care to consume only healthy food and drink, avoiding ingestion of substances that can damage the body and mind, exercising, resting, meditating, praying, by divesting yourself of as much negativity as possible and by developing a mindfulness for and about the way you live your Life. Paradoxically, the more you engage in conscious acts that bring joy to your soul, the more likely is your store of this Energy to accrue rather than diminish.
Learn how not to give away needlessly your Energy to others and do not permit people or circumstances to drain it from you. Don’t pay more than you must and don’t squander what you have. Use wisely your resources and learn to invest rather than spend.
It is your responsibility to determine if what you are doing at any given moment is worth the incredible cost demanded of you. When you tally the price you must always be willing to ask yourself, “Is this really how I wish to spend my Life?”
©Billy Red Horse