What might we regret in the future and what can we do about it now to mitigate them? Bronnie Ware’s book ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’ got me thinking along with a realisation about the regrets I hadn’t had before.
In this episode I share:
Pressing Pause Episode 106 Regrets, will there be a few?
Welcome to Pressing Pause, I’m your host, Gabrielle Treanor, a coach, writer, introvert and sensitive soul with an inclination to ponder over the stuff of life. Join me as I explore how we can create, find and feel more calm, ease and joy in our daily lives.
Before we get into the episode I wanted to share an observation with you. At the moment I’m welcoming people into my new online course called Spacious – How to have more time, and feel calmer and happier too. And it’s a funny thing when you’re creating a course all about how to have more time while at the same time you’re experiencing the same demands and pressures and thinking around time that you’re writing about in the course! It’s all a bit meta.
But it’s really making me walk my talk. And by getting clear and focused on what helps you to claim and create the time you need the result is that I’m really putting into practice what I’m sharing in the course.
So, for example, there’s one exercise I’ve designed to support and regulate your nervous system so that you can operate from a rooted, calm, grounded place instead of a stressy, frazzled, flighty place. Because we are much more able to make decisions, have conversations, honour our boundaries and do what we need to have more time when we feel safe and stable.
And so while I’m aware of the self-imposed but real deadlines that are in place for when the doors to joining the course close, when the course itself begins, when we have our first live session… and the stress, tension and urgency that can arise from all these deadlines and what needs to be done before those dates, as well as all the other stuff in life that takes up my mental and emotional capacity – as I’m aware of my relationship to time, that exercise I’ve designed for the course is proving to be incredibly supportive as I practice it each day.
Because we don’t just flick a switch and voila, we have more time and life is hunky dory – if only! It takes changes to how we think, how we act and communicate, it takes supporting ourselves, it takes practice.
All of which I’m sharing in my new course: Spacious – How to have more time, and feel calmer and happier too. And the doors to join Spacious are closing tomorrow Thursday 28 July!
You can find out all about Spacious and how you can have more time, and feel calmer and happier too, at gabrielletreanor.com/spacious. I’d love for you to join me before the doors close tomorrow Thursday 28 July, and if you have any questions send me an email to [email protected]
Right, on with today’s episode!
Welcome to episode 106. Have you heard of or read a fascinating book called ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’ by Bronnie Ware? Bronnie Ware was a palliative care nurse who wrote a blog post several years ago about the top five regrets that the dying people she cared for had shared with her. Because so many (we’re talking millions) read the post she wrote a book all about what she learned from her patients and how she applied these lessons to her own life.
Ever since I read that blog post years ago, and then the book, the five regrets have stuck with me because they struck such a chord, and they’ve come back into my mind in recent days.
The top five regrets of the dying are:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself not the life others expected of me
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
I wish I’d let myself be happier
They’re a sucker punch, aren’t they?!
Oof, there’s a part of me that feels their truth at a deep level. The same part of me that knows how easily they could be my regrets if I didn’t, and don’t continue to, challenge expectations and conditioning, and make choices that feel intrinsically right in the very core of me.
The five regrets have come to mind recently because I realised that they all have a relationship with time.
When we don’t live a life true to ourselves and instead live in the way others expect of us, we spend our time doing what takes us away from our peace, our joy, leaving scraps of time for ourselves.
When we strive and push and work at full tilt – in a workplace, in relationships, at home – we’re spending our valuable time trying to make up for the past or scrabbling after certainty in the future, exhausting ourselves in the process.
When we bite our tongue, swallow our emotions, and smile and nod instead of expressing our feelings, we use up so much time and energy on the resulting resentment and on accommodating, pleasing, pacifying other people.
When we’re busy working and striving, making sure everyone else is okay, going along with what other people want to keep the peace, our precious time gets swallowed up and a casualty of that is often our friendships, because we don’t have the time or energy to enjoy or maintain them.
And when we feel pressed for time, we’re trying to keep up, we’re putting other people’s needs ahead of our own, we’re being who others need us to be, we’re waiting for life to magically calm down… we’re curbing our happiness, putting it on the back burner until we deem it valuable enough to pay attention to (and we could be waiting a long time).
Living in the ways that so many of us do and, it turns out, are the most common regrets people have at the end of their lives, is directly connected to how we think about, feel about and use our time.
Annie Dillard wrote, ”How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives” and it’s another quote that’s never far from my mind.
What we do with our time, how we spend our days, not only has an impact on how we think, feel and behave in this moment, in this day, but adds up to how we think, feel and behave in our lives, for years to come.
I don’t know what the future holds, as none of us do. I don’t know what regrets I may have when my days come to an end.
But knowing how precious life is, knowing that there is very little that we can be certain about, knowing how I spend my days is how I’m spending my life, knowing what the biggest regrets people at the end of their lives have – I know that I want to spend my time, my days, my life living in a way that feels good more often than not.
Obviously we feel many, many emotions which are all valid and part of the human experience, and life throws up a myriad of upset, heartbreak and difficulty so I’m NOT suggesting we only try to feel good, not at all.
I want a life that feels honest and authentic to who I am.
A life that allows me to be true to my values.
A life that enables me to love, care for and connect with people who matter to me.
A life that supports me to be the difference I want to see in the world.
A life that’s true to myself, where I play as well as work, where I express my feelings (the warm and fuzzy ones and the icky, uncomfortable ones), where I’m connected with my loved ones and where when there is happiness, I savour and relish and revel in it.
That sounds like a good use of time to me. What do you think?
Thank you for listening to Pressing Pause, you can find details of what I shared in this episode in the show notes at gabrielletreanor.com/podcast.
And as I mentioned at the start, my brand new course, Spacious – how to have more time, and feel calmer and happier too, is open to join but only until tomorrow Thursday 28 July.
In Spacious you will discover what eats away at your time and how to get it back, what and who your time sucks are and how to deal with them, how to claim the time you need and want, and so much more!
So that you can feel more space, peace and ease each day, so that you can feel more connected to the people you really care about, so that you can feel more content and satisfied with how you spend your valuable hours, and so that you can have more time, and feel calmer and happier too.
To find out more about my new online course, Spacious, go to gabrielletreanor.com/spacious. The doors to join close tomorrow Thursday 28 July. I’ll put the link in the show notes too.
If you have a question about Spacious or if you want to message me about the podcast feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
Thanks again for listening, until next time.
Throughout this website and my work when I refer to women I include people identifying as women.
If you have, or think you may have, a mental health problem that requires professional diagnosis or treatment, please consult a mental health care professional and your GP.
You can also talk to the people at Mind on 0300 123 3393 or SANE on 0300 304 7000 or Samaritans on 116 123.
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