Tag Archives: day job

The 10%

My morning desk

No, that doesn’t say 100% or even 110%.  It just says ten.  10%.

I was talking to my mother recently, and she shared with me a tidbit she had picked up from one of her many spiritually-minded friends.  It was about financial energy and it went something like this:  When you receive your paycheck every month, instead of sitting down immediately to pay bills, pay yourself 10% first.  The thought is that it says to the universe that your abundance is not all about what you are obligated to pay out to others, but rather, that that it includes enough that you can give to yourself first in whatever form you would like.

I thought about this for a minute in terms of time, specifically time spent on creative projects and time spent on “day job” projects.  More often than not, my time is first given what I have to do to earn a living.  Since no one has given me an advance for my novel (yet), I do other things like teach online.  The obligations I have to my students are extensive, and my strategy each morning is usually to complete the daily work for my classes and then, afterwards, to focus on my passions.

However, when I think about this energetically, it seems backwards.  I am basically announcing to the universe that my work obligations are the most important thing in my life by the way I prioritize them.  Plus, inevitably, I spend waaaay more time on work stuff than on my own creations, which is sometimes disheartening at the end of the day.  Creative energy can turn dark if it is untapped, and feelings of resentment and frustration stem from passion unexpressed.  Enter the 10%.

I still have to earn an income.  Those work obligations still have to happen.  But, what if my first priority of the day was to give myself 10% time-wise?  What would that look like?  For me, it would mean that before I start to grade papers, I would spend an hour or two journaling or blogging or writing 1,000 words or finishing that poem.  For me, it would mean that I could have coffee and create for a minute, rather than feeling the immediate need to put out all of the fires that might be happening with my stressed out students.  For me, it would mean I could prioritize my creative energy and designate it as something valid and worthwhile.

To others, it may mean something completely different.  It may mean taking the time for a long walk alone or an early morning surf session.  It may mean writing a letter or researching a trip.  Whatever it means to you to say, “This is my passion.  This makes me happy.  I can take 10% of my morning and devote it to exploring this idea inside of me.”  It is not selfish.  It is not irresponsible.  It is survival.

Of course, it also needs to become habit.  I am literally staring at 30 papers right now that need to be graded before I leave for the (insert reverb here) Bloooog Wooorld Expooo and I feel really antsy about getting them done.  But, I know it will happen.  And, I also know that I’ll feel better at the end of the day because I took 10% of my time this morning to blog about the 10%.  And, now that the universe is going to implode with redundancy, I will sign off.

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