Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Art of S L O W I N G D O W N!

Hello Cherry Blossoms!

Crazy Sexy Guest blogger Terri Cole coming at ya! Have a fantastic holiday loves. Take it away T....

"At the start of a holiday weekend it’s a perfect “time” to reflect on our relationship to time and what affect it has on our lives (as Kris would say, talk about a potential acid bath!!) The fast pace of the American lifestyle today is a well-known fact, as is the profound effect nonstop hurrying has on your health. Think about the way you go through your daily activities. Do you allot plenty of time to get them all done? Do you do them with ease and enjoy what you are doing? When you are driving somewhere do you see the trees or the architecture around you? Do you appreciate the sun or the clouds? OR do you rush through the task feeling totally stressed and like there is NEVER enough time? Are you somewhere in between?

One important question to decode the time crunch mystery is; What is your personal relationship to time? Are you always late? Always early? Which are really different sides of the same coin, as they both cause STRESS. Do you see time as your enemy? As something that happens TO you? That you have no control over? Or do you concur with Mick Jagger and feel that tiii-ah- iiiime is on your side? (Let’s be honest time is catchin’ up with ole Mick-put some real pants on would ya?) So how is our relationship to time determined? A plethora of psychological and environmental factors combine to create your specific time dynamic. The good news is that none of that matters if you really want to change it. Awareness is the first step. Desire for a different experience is the next.

Part of what we are exploring here is MINDFULNESS. That is clear moment-to-moment awareness of what is actually happening. When we are thinking about what’s next, we are robbed of the moment we are currently in. Living in the future, immediate or long term can be a trap for inaction. Eckart Tole, THE POWER OF NOW author would have a field day here. There are so many clichéd sayings about time waiting for no man/woman that I could write nothing else and fill this entire blog with them…but I will share my time transformation tale instead.

In January 2007 I saw the documentary film, THE SECRET for the first time. While watching the film I had a shocking epiphany about my relationship to time. I was always proud about NEVER being late to anything. I had very little tolerance for tardiness from anyone in my life. I left restaurants, fought with people, and self-righteously judged latecomers. My friends fell into two categories, the ones I could count on and the flaky ones (AKA time challenged). I rushed everywhere…all the time…even when there was no good reason. The act of constantly hurrying is physically stressful. For me, rushing made me short tempered with people. NYC tourists walking slow in Time Square could send me into a tizzy of anger and negativity. The sweeping generalizations would start and the rest of my day could be colored. I never thought about this dynamic until that night. The amount of self-induced stress I was creating was embarrassing once I realized what was happening. For all those years I thought time was happening to me. Only to realize it was all, quite literally, in my mind.

The first thing I did with my newfound knowledge was to pledge: No rushing anywhere, anymore. When I did that, my world changed. I started affirming everyday that I had exactly the right amount of time I need. My husband Vic would remind me in a loving way when I forgot. Our dynamic changed completely around time. My typical, you are going to make me late rant ended. We used to be polarized. I would expect him to make me late and he would not disappoint. We have a great friendship and a great marriage and yet things would really turn acrimonious around this issue. Removing that dynamic from our lives has been a blessing. (Who says you can’t teach 2 old dogs new tricks ☺).

Another major change that happened for me was my ability and desire to BE HERE NOW. No matter what is happening I want to be here to experience it, mind and body. My weekly time in NYC has become a joyous adventure. I stop for tea, made time for a Bikram Yoga class or just leisurely people watch from a café in the village. The main shift internally is near elimination of a boatload of daily stress. I consciously choose not to stress about time even if Amtrak is going to make me late. The world will not end. I will not spontaneously combust into flames.

How can you figure out your relationship to time? Start by honestly assessing how you behave in time related situations. Then ask the people in your life. Does your relationship to time cause you any stress at all? Are you present in your life most of the time? Some of the time? Not much of the time? When you are driving are you hypnotized or are you seeing the landscape or the cityscape? Once you have figured out your time style or dysfunction as it may be, journal about how it makes your feel. Recall instances where it has created a problem in a relationship or a work situation etc. Now think about how you want to be. Make a list of bold statements in the present tense…and then change your mind about time. I did. You can.

I would love to hear how you do and what epiphanies you experience.

Love love love,


PS check out a cool website all about the benefits slowing down where multi-tasking is considered a “moral weakness” (all in fun but you get the point)."

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