The Illusion of Time

Today I was thinking about something called the illusion of time. Hearing that, many people might think I have lost it. But seriously, I have been giving this topic some thought. In reflecting on how my days go, I often find myself caught up in rush mode. Rush to work, rush while I am at work, and rush home, only to rush to cook dinner, do housework, bath the kids, and then, if I am lucky, to spend 30 minutes of “relaxation” by myself or with my husband just prior to going to dropping into bed. Even worse, this often comes late at night when I have to get up early the next morning. What is this doing to my health? What type of  quality of life do I really have? These are just a couple of the questions that I ask myself on a regular basis.

Despite my feelings, I still have difficulty breaking  this cycle. Why is it so hard? Part of it lies in my perception of time and how much I have of it in a day. But what if I could get rid of the whole concept of time and finally live life on my terms? Get up when I want to? Go to bed when I want to? Work and play when I want to? How luscious life would be on those terms!

But also, what if time is not all that it seems to be? Maybe the clock has been made to serve man’s purposes but somehow in the midst of the madness man began serving the clock, literally becoming a slave to time. Just for a moment, picture this scenario: Imagine standing on the north pole of the earth, with time below you and you above it. Imagine that time is the equator. From your vantage point, you are able to look down on time, seeing “past”, “present” and “future”. Maybe there would not be a past, present, or future from this vantage point, as you could look to your left to see the “past” and look to the right to see what is coming ahead of you.In this instance, there would not be a past or future, everything would be the here and now, because everything would be within view. You could probably let go of some judgements regarding the past and not be so anxious about the future as you could see how the universe is lining up all events perfectly.

Could it be that because many of us view time from the equator perspective, or otherwise standing in the middle of it, that we cannot see how closely the “past” and so-called “future” are connected. We perceive them to be separate when they really are one. Maybe what we perceive as time passing is nothing more than waiting for circumstances to align as we journey through life.

When I think of looking down from the top and seeing past and future as one I feel refreshed and empowered. I then know that everything that I want is waiting at my fingertips for all things to line up perfectly. It is just a matter of me being patient and waiting for that to happen. I can also then relax and understand that even the little things are unfolding and as long as I get out of the way it will happen just as it should.

Today I choose to view time as one integrated whole and as a result I relax and life unfolds just as it should.

 

 

 

Making this relevant to my daily experience.

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The Illusion of Time

Today I was thinking about something called the illusion of time. Hearing that, many people might think I have lost it. But seriously, I have been giving this topic some thought. In reflecting on how my days go, I often find myself caught up in rush mode. Rush to work, rush while I am at work, and rush home, only to rush to cook dinner, do housework, bathe the kids, and then, if I am lucky, to spend 30 minutes of “relaxation” by myself or with my husband just prior to going to dropping into bed. Even worse, this often comes late at night when I have to get up early the next morning. What is this doing to my health? What type of  quality of life do I really have? These are just a couple of the questions that I ask myself on a regular basis.

Despite my feelings, I still have difficulty breaking  this cycle. Why is it so hard? Part of it lies in my perception of time and how much I have of it in a day. But what if I could get rid of the whole concept of time and finally live life on my terms? Get up when I want to? Go to bed when I want to? Work and play when I want to? How luscious life would be on those terms!

But also, what if time is not all that it seems to be? Maybe the clock has been made to serve man’s purposes but somehow in the midst of the madness man began serving the clock, literally becoming a slave to time. Just for a moment, picture this scenario: Imagine standing on the north pole of the earth, with time below you and you above it. Imagine that time is the equator. From your vantage point, you are able to look down on time, seeing “past”, “present” and “future”. Maybe there would not be a past, present, or future from this vantage point, as you could look to your left to see the “past” and look to the right to see what is coming ahead of you, the future. In this instance, there would not be a past or future, everything would be the here and now, because everything would be within view. You could probably let go of some judgements regarding the past and not be so anxious about the future as you could see how the universe is lining up all events perfectly.

Could it be that because many of us view time from the equator perspective, or otherwise standing in the middle of it, that we cannot see how closely the “past” and so-called “future” are connected. We perceive them to be separate when they really are one. Maybe what we perceive as time passing is nothing more than waiting for circumstances to align as we journey through life.

When I think of looking down from the top and seeing past and future as one I feel refreshed and empowered. I then know that everything that I want is waiting at my fingertips for all things to line up perfectly. It is just a matter of me being patient and waiting for that to happen. I can also then relax and understand that even the little things are unfolding and as long as I get out of the way it will happen just as it should.

Today I choose to view time as one integrated whole and as a result I relax and life unfolds just as it should.

Making this relevant to my daily experience.

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Thoughts on Discipline

What does this word mean? Discipline has many connotations, in many minds most definitions are not very pleasant. Some think of it as what a parent does to keep a child “in line”. Other times it means having the focus to stick with something. I define it as the ability to stay focused on a particular goal despite environmental distractions. It is having the internal fortitude to continue doing something for the greater desired outcome despite that the payoff may not be immediate. It is continuing to do the desired action while the universe grants the knowledge needed to acheive mastery. It is the ultimate knowledge that with this holy intention the desired outcome will arrive in perfect timing, opening doors of divine wisdom in its wake. For sure, discipline is something that is needed if we are ever to accomplish our goals, whether big or small.

But let’s take a closer look at what is underlying discipline. For me, this was often a mysterious concept. I mean, I thought that it was one of those things that you either had or did not have. Now I am learning that the ability to have discipline is an acquired trait, something that must be practiced over and over until it is perfected. Attaining discipline is a sacred  journey in itself.

To acquire and practice discipline in any one area, one must be willing to be highly introspective. By introspective I mean willing to look within and examine one’s thoughts, actions, and ideas. For it is the internal world of the individual and his /her beliefs that determine one’s ability to stay focused.

One must also stay grounded in the moment. Distractions come carefully packaged in small, unassuming moments. It is as simple as answering a phone call at the wrong time, running an errand when you already agreed to do something else, or simply mismanaging your time. Discipline allows you to override these distractions long enough to stay focused on your goal.

Have you ever heard the saying that one must do something for 10, 000 hours to become an expert? This means that the action must be practiced over and over in order for it to become automatic. The repetition gives it time to incubate, expand, and blossom into its fullness. Without this repetition, which offers room for expansion, there is no mastery. You may ask, what does this have to do with discipline? Well, without discipline, you cannot even get to the point where the repetitive action can occur. Discipline is the key to mastery. Many people want to accomplish things,  but do not have the internal fortitude to see it through to the end, in other words the discipline. Therefore, they do not become masters of their craft. It is not sad or nor amazing that they never acheive the mastery that they hope for,  the saddest thing is that they never know why.

 

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Trust Is The Key

A thought came to me out of the blue the other day. It was one word: Trust. Well, maybe, now that I think about it, this thought was not entirely out of the blue. I had been pondering the idea of resistance and how I am still encountering resistance in some of the endeavors I have decided to undertake this year. One of those endeavors would be starting my coaching business, for example. I mean, I know all of the things that I need to be doing, I know that I must be willing to step out and do these things even when I  am fearful and don’t know the end result. And I even know that Divine Creator will support  me if I just stick my toe in the water and try. So why on earth am I still stalling if I know these things? It was a moment I felt like screaming. That is when that word came to my mind, the “T” word. Trust. There were no words preceeding or following this word in that moment in my mind, just this word alone. I stopped for a moment and grappled with the meaning of this word and why it was is my mind so strongly at this particular time. Then it became crystal clear: All forms of resistance are tied to a lack of trust, specifically a lack of trust that the outcome that happens is the best one for that particular circumstance and time frame. Could it be that I had been resistant in moving forward with my goals because I was afraid that the outcome would not be what I wanted, would be not good enough, would be too scary to handle? Me, who felt I was pretty spiritually advanced and already trusted in my creative energy? Despite of all my desires to say that this was not true, I had to be honest and succumb to the truth and admit that I too had fallen victim to this elusive syndrome of mistrust.

Do you remember as a kid playing a game where you had to fall back in someone’s arms and let them catch you? The rule of the game was that you had to fall straight back and could not step back at all, but had to believe 100% that the other person would catch you? The name of this game eludes my mind, but it is what I think of when we are called to step out and perform our craft and see what the outcome brings. There is only a certain amount of preparation that one can do, we can only read and study so much, and then one must “fall back” and wait to see what the end result will be. When playing this game as child, it was always delightful when I landed safely in the arms of a trusted friend. How much more delightful would it be as an adult to fall back and land safely in the arms of my Divine Creator?

This safety will be, I realize, open to interpretation from time to time, as sometimes the end result will NOT be what I always expect.Sometimes this safety might even look like failure. But I have to know that if this “failure” (I don’t believe in failure, as I believe so-called failure is just another opportunity to try it a different way) happens, it is in my best interest, directing me that what was not successful is like a dead end road to nowhere. If I can get away from taking this personally, I can realize that it is Divine Love holding a big sign with an arrow that says GO THE OTHER WAY, THIS WAY WILL NOT WORK. Trust comes in when I face squarely that the end result is ALWAYS WHERE I NEED TO BE AT THAT MOMENT AND WHAT I NEED TO LEARN AT THAT MOMENT BECAUSE THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS MISTAKES! If I can embrace this truth then there is no room for fear. And the truth is that many more times the end result will surpass what I imagined in my wildest dreams. But I will never know the joy of this feeling if I never step out on trust.

So I have come up with a simple equation because I love illustrating my thoughts with something visual. Here it is:  Willingness + Trust / Courage = Success.  Is success worth the willingness and trust it takes to get there? Oftentimes, the hardest part of getting to success is not doing the craft, the hardest part is exercising Courage, the common denominator that allows us to walk in willingness and trust,  to overcome the demons that prevent willingness and trust from being activated in the first place.

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Everything I Need Is Already Within Me

Often I run around at work in a frenzied panic. Did I do this? Did do that? Did I call this person back? What should I do in this situation? These are thoughts that go through my mind on a regular basis. Recently I took the time to thumb through an old notebook, one of the many I keep, where I often jot down phone messages, to do lists, and any number of odds and ends. Usually when I return a call or complete a task, I cross it out which is a note to myself that I did what I set out to do and I no longer need to think about it anymore.

In thumbing through this old notebook, I realized that most of the tasks, probably 98% of them, were completed.  What occured to me was that these old tasks were ones that I had spent a great deal of energy immersed in doubt, uncertainty, and yes, as bad as I hate to admit it, just plain old fear. Now that these  tasks were in the past, they seemed insignificant. What had been so urgent passed by so quickly and was forgotten. I questioned myself, “Why had I spent all of this time second guessing myself and my abilities?” Or was it really me and MY abilities alone, or something more?

Looking back even further, it dawned on my that I had accomplished even more, much more. To others this “more” might not be even a blimp on the radar, but for me it meant something. And then something I had heard many years ago in my early years came back so clearly: Everything I ever needed, now need, and will ever need is already within me. This simple truth rang as clear and crisp as a bell. EVERYTHING I EVER NEEDED, NOW NEED, AND WILL EVER NEED IS ALREADY WITHIN ME!

Upon reflection of this simple truth, a sense of liberation washed over me. Maybe I didn’t need to try  so hard but rather do a better job of staying tuned into the direction in which things are moving. In this direction is the answer to many things, all without me having to put in the overwhelming effort to have to come up with the answer on my own. Trying to come up with the answer on my own only set me up for struggle and internal turmoil rooted in my limited knowledge of a situation. Minus the effort to have to have all the answers, I am freer to enjoy life and to be more creative when a situation does arise.

When I am relaxed Divine creative energy is invited in. I envision this Divine creative energy  flooding my entire being, and the path to the answer is revealed. The path to the answer is not always the answer itself, and I am OK with that, because the more I relax and get into acceptance with where I am in the present, the closer I get to the answer. But this ONLY happens when I make the choice to tap into the Creativity that is always present and waiting to become activated by my choice.

Everything that I ever needed, now need, and ever will need is already within me as soon as I open my mind to the possibility of creativity and make the choice to get out of it’s way.

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Willingness in 2012

Wow, it has been awhile. 2012 is here. This year means a fresh start for my writing. I don’t where my writing will go, but I have made the commitment to allow my writing pet to come out and play. I have been  holding my writing captive like a caged animal, not letting it develop and become what it wants to be. 

I sit here on a Sunday morning, halfway hungry and in my pajamas. My children are to my left, having a conversation with their dad. I am trying my best to focus. I wish they would be quiet. It has been so long since I have written on my blog page, and honestly I am a little afraid. Afraid of what might come out. I told myself I will just open the page, see if the password and login information are still good. This year my theme is to be willing. To simply stick my toe out in the water and go there. There are many things I have been meaning to do in my life but have not gotten there because I have been standing in my own way. Been meaning to get that certification, or to read that book, or to write that book, or to visit that person, or to go back to school, or any other number of things. Somehow, despite all good intentions, I never get around to it. And then come the excuses. Oh, I didn’t have time because of my kids, or I was too tired after work, or I just plain didn’t feel like it. But once I peeled away all of the excuses there was one common denominator; FEAR. Yes, fear, sickening, disgusting fear. 

Now, I like to think of myself as courageous but truthfully I am not. I fear not being good enough, being less than, not being able to follow through, and any other of a million of the aforementioned combinations. But I told myself this year, in 2012, if I can just stick my toe in the water, and TRY, that I am doing good. Once I stick my toe in, it might at first be uncomfortable, but if I can just leave it in for a few minutes, then I will get used to the temperature of the water. Once I am used to the temperature, then I might want to stick my whole foot in. Then I might put both feet in and really begin to enjoy the water! Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Then, who knows, I might want to go for a swim. That is how I envision being willing in my mind: If I can just get past the initial discomfort, the unfamiliar, then I just might like  what I am doing. 

You know, humans are funny like that. We really don’t know what we like. That is why it is so important that we be willing to try something new. When we aren’t willining to try we deprive ourselves of rich experiences. And more often than not it takes more than one try to know if we truly like something or not. Have you ever listened to a new song before and swore you did not like it? Lo and behold, once you listen to that same song ten more times you find it growing on you? Strange, huh???

True talents and gifts are lost too many times for lack of willingness cleverly disguised as fear. In 2012 I am going to be willing, letting go of the need to know the outcome. As long as I am willing, and give whatever I am doing an honest shot with an open heart and mind, the path will unfold as it will. 2012 is a year to be willing. Willing means:

    W on’t 

    I   nvite

    L  imiting

    L  ackful

    I   deas

  i N  

    G oals [getting to my goals]

Be willing, be willing, be willing!!!!!

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Art on Purpose

The day was unusually warm for February. How refreshing, I reflected while driving back from a two-day work conference. I enjoyed being away but I missed my family. The country road back to Atlanta meandered endlessly as I made the much desired but dreaded 2 hour car trip. At least the route is scenic, I thought, as I shifted to a more comfortable position behind the wheel and settled in for the trip.

Thoughts poured through my head, some about my trip, some of my life, some of my family. The trip had been a pleasant but very insightful one, reminding me of why I’d taken this job at this time in my life. A change of scenery and break from the usual events has a way of taking me (and probably you) to those crevices in the mind made for reflection. I’d gotten to interact with my co-workers, through the good and the bad (when you are staying in a cabin in the woods, at least an hour away from the largest town, you will have some very memorable experiences!) and we’d learned about each other in a new way. The workshops were intriguing, for the most part, calling for creative, and yes, sometimes bordering on embarrassing interaction (when called upon to do an impromptu skit in 5 minutes it is amazing what people will come up with!). My mind, however, kept drifting to one activity that we did on the first day of the conference: an activity that required us to color our “personal flag”.

The flag was supposed to be about drawing anything that we felt represented us. Talk about catching one off guard. Imagine the scene: a room full of 50+ adults who have traveled from all over the state, notebooks and pens in hand, ready for a Powerpoint presentation or the latest workplace mandates, when the facilitator begins to hand out blank paper and colored pencils. We were magically transported from professionals to kindergarteners in the blink of an eye!

The room was pin drop quiet for about 5 minutes as we struggled to grasp the magnitude (or in-magnitude) of this strange project. Some of us began to work, while others appeared mentally stranded. Some gave up all together after just a few minutes. Sighs of “I don’t know how to draw”, or “how do you draw that?” punctuated the room. I was one of the fortunate few who was able to draw what was in my heart, what I believe I stand for. I wouldn’t say the finished project would be approved by Picasso, but I sure felt proud of my work at the end.

Have you taken the time to think about what you would draw if the next moment you had to put down what you stood for, what your life represents to you? Clearly, (and sadly), it was apparent that many people hadn’t. When called upon to make (draw) such a seemingly simple statement, what might be perceived as a child’s task became impossible. In my mind, it is always important to think about what the most important things in your life are. Some refer to it as your life purpose, or your life mission. Whatever you call it, take some time to figure out what this is. Knowing what is most important to you and what you stand for can make all of the difference in times of challenging decisions or in simply keeping you grounded in your everyday life. Clue: Purpose or mission is not what you are trying to get to, but what you have been living all along, it is found in what is most fulfilling to you.

If you are not sure how to figure out what you is most important to you in your life (doing and being), take some time and ask yourself the following questions: What do you like to do that does not feel like work? What places do you like to go that fill your heart with joy? What activities make you smile? What things over the years bring back good memories? What would you do everyday that you like so much that you would do it without being paid? Make a short list in each of these areas and connect the dots, then look for the patterns. You might be surprised what you find!

I smiled when I thought about my “flag”.  I liked it, I felt it represented me. Most of all, it felt good to know me beyond just what I see on the outside.

Comments welcomed!

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