Two months ago:
I’m standing in my mother-in-law’s kitchen and we’re doing that smile-nod-smile-nod thing you do when the person opposite you speaks an entirely different language and you’re trying to explain that you’re going to the supermarket and do they want anything while you’re there?
I throw some German words in, like “Supermarkt” and “Ich gehe” while pointing at the door and attempting a terrible mime impression of me pushing a trolley around a shop. I start speaking louder and slower and elaborately pronunciating each word, because hat tip, that always works*.
She smiles and nods at me. And yet she’s clearly not understanding. I can’t find the words. My mind is blank and my heart races. Why is speaking another language so scary? AND WHY IS IT SO HARD?
10 minutes later, as I drive to the supermarket, I turn down the volume on the German radio station I can’t understand, and I start to cry. The big, wailing sobbing, red puffy eyes kind of crying. I feel frustrated and isolated and tired of not understanding anything or being able to, you know, talk to people.
Two months later (just yesterday, in fact):
I’m standing in my mother-in-law’s kitchen again. She’s admiring my new shoes and asks me where I bought them. And—although a little stilted and back-to-front—I find the words to tell her. About where I bought them and all the different colours I had to choose from and how much they cost. And it hasn’t stopped there either. In the last few weeks, I’ve been able to have full conversations with her about all sorts of things, including whether or not she’d like me to pick things up for her at the supermarket. (Things like weird German ham and questionable pickled vegetables in jars).
By learning German for just 10 minutes a day on an awesome language learning website called Memrise.
10 minutes! A day! That’s it.
A lot can happen in just 10 minutes a day.
It’s something I always remind my clients.
Our days are so full, aren’t they? We’re always too busy and we never have the time.
And yet…….we do have the time.
We all have 10 minutes a day to devote to something worthwhile. We don’t need to put aside hours a day to learn something new, or exercise or write (or whatever it is you really want to do).
One client now meditates each morning for 10 minutes. It’s given her space to move around in her brain more freely, as well as bringing some much needed calm to her life.
Another client writes for around 10 minutes each morning. By the end of the week, those 10 minutes of writing produce a weekly blog post.
For a busy yoga teacher I once coached, 10 minutes of sun salutations each morning is the difference for her between having—and not having—a daily yoga self-practice.
10 minutes of tidying and organising the big piles of mess that had piled up and overwhelmed her for such a long time, has given another of my clients a brighter, less cluttered and happier home-office to work in.
How about you?
In just 10 minutes a day, what can you learn or create or tidy or start reading or writing? How can you move your body or sit still or do something you want to do but just don’t seem to get round to?