Archive for September, 2013


Time: It’s all in your head

timeWhere do you find the time?! If only I had enough time! There’s only so much time! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Chances are you can’t get thru 1 day without hearing one of these statements, and likely, you’re saying them yourself. Well, maybe not that last one…. This is our reality. We live a short life, we have jam-packed schedules, more responsibilities than ever before, and we are freaking out man! We have more conveniences than we’ve had in the past (you can find an answer for anything on the palm-sized device you carry in your pocket), but we also have more distractions than ever before (you can waste an hour watching Vines or cat videos or reading self-important blogs…. hey!) And, at work they just keep piling it on you.

Big Bad Time just keeps ticking away. What a dick.

But, I’m a believer that time is all in our heads. Think about how your relationship with time changes depending on what you are doing. “Time flies when we are having fun”, right? That’s because we perceive time differently based on circumstances. Put me on the ledge of a building and 1 minute will feel like an eternity, but when I am writing, a half-hour could disappear in the blink of an eye. When I am on the ledge, I am resisting; I am wanting things to be different than they are; I’m suffering. Same thing with traffic, or a boring meeting, or music lectures in college. We are resisting what is showing up in our lives.

For the parents out there, this is also why you can’t walk a block without an older person threatening you with, “Enjoy every second, it will be over in the blink of an eye.” They perceive the time of parenting different because of their distance from it. They are remembering the highlights of parenting. They are looking back and condensing 20 years of work into the 90 second movie trailer. Let me tell you, the 15 minutes before my husband came home when I was on maternity leave felt like a million years. But, our week-long trip to Ocean City last summer was over in a flash.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what’s my point. What if I told you that you had enough time to do what ever you wanted? What if I told you that there’s always enough time? What if I told you that time doesn’t really exist anyway? Whoa, deep man. My point is, if we changed our relationship with time, we could stop suffering at the affect of time and therefore master time.

Here is my massive over-simplification:

Step 1: Live in consciousness. When you are staying present and you are having a happy moment, you won’t feel like you ‘missed-out’ on anything. You will know that you got everything you could out of that moment. Example, weekends are amazing but go by so fast. If you live in consciousness, and don’t get bogged down by energy drainers, ‘bad’ choices, time ‘wasters’, you won’t feel like you lost your weekend. It will still come to an end, but you won’t have the same feeling inside.

Step 2: Spend your time in a way that you choose. If you are actually choosing everything you do with your time, you won’t feel like you’re wasting it. We say yes to people all the time when we would rather say no, we mindlessly waste our time because we aren’t actively choosing. You be the decider. We lie to ourselves constantly about time. It is much easier to say ‘I don’t have time to work out’ than it is to say ‘I have time to work out, but instead I watch American Idol because it is easier and I’m afraid of actually trying to accomplish my goals because I might fail’. Ouch, I know….

Step 3: Stop resisting. If you could come to acceptance with a task or situation that you don’t want, it won’t have the same affect on you. Let’s say, you have a 45 min. commute to and from work. Every fricking day you sit there on your way home suffering. You bitch and moan and complain because it sucks. It’s a huge waste of time! But, what if you simply gave up the suffering? What if when you felt the rage building up, you acknowledged it, took a couple of breaths and loved yourself for feeling that way at that moment? What would happen? You would still be in traffic, but your relationship to the time spent in traffic will change. That shift might free your brain to focus on something else. Maybe you start planning your wife’s birthday party, or think of a great idea to share with your boss tomorrow. Next thing you know, you’re pulling in your driveway. I know it sounds pretty ‘out-there’ but it really does work.

This is a crazy idea to try to wrap my brain around. I still struggle to actually understand the concept. This is actually referred to as ‘Einstein Time’ based on his theory of relativity which basically says there is no such thing as time. I don’t begin for one second to understand physics or Einstein or how he figured all of this out. All I know is that since I was first exposed to this idea, it has changed my life. Here are some resources if you are interested in learning more.

I first heard of this concept through the book: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I have mentioned this book before. Highly recommend. http://www.thebigleap.net/

Here is a link to a youtube video. This guy explains it way better than I do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xqmJgo-l6k

What do you think of all this? It sounds pretty crazy, right? I’m curious how many of you think it is non-sense and how many of you think we are on to something….

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Uni-tasking

160A few days ago, I was sitting at the table talking to Will about kindergarten, checking facebook on my phone, watching Ellie out of the corner of my eye hiding behind a chair (this is how she poops now, hiding behind a chair for privacy. The parents reading will understand this), and I had breakfast on the stove. I was the definition of multi-tasking. I am super mom, hear me roar! So, why then, do I feel crummy about it?

Have you noticed how much we value multi-tasking in this country? At work, one must be a good multi-tasker. It is a standard interview question now, “Are you a good multi-tasker? Give us an example of a time….”. We have become obsessed with how much can you get done in the least amount of time. We all have so much going on in our lives and it seems like we never have enough time to get it all done.

But at what cost?

When you are doing 4 things at 1 time, chances are, you are not doing any of them very well. I probably wasn’t giving Will the attention he deserved, I certainly could have used the opportunity with Ellis to get her to sit on the potty, and I probably over cooked the sausage. I really nailed my facebooking though!

Multi-tasking has become such an obsession that I actually now find it harder to uni-task than to multi-task. How often are you just truly engaged and focused on the task at hand? Go to a park and look around. You’ll see mom’s every where on their phones. Go to a bar and look at a group of friends. They are all probably ‘checking in’ and tagging each other and seeing where everyone else is and…. You get my point. We are never ‘just where we are and with who we are with’.

People hearing their text message alert while they are in the middle of a conversation is the human equivalent to the movie UP where the dog goes, “Squirrel!”

squirrel
As a parent with young children I feel like this is my chance to teach them a valuable life lesson. If I don’t want to raise kids that stare down at their phones while they talk to me, I can’t do that to them. I don’t want to teach my kids that getting a lot of things done is more important than the quality of what you create.

I want to teach my kids that it is possible to prioritize their lives in a way so that everything that is important can get done.

Time is not our enemy, WASTING time is our enemy. A lack of prioritizing is our enemy. A lack of consciousness is our enemy. (more to come on our relationship with big bad TIME)

My first step is to identify my ‘drifts’. In other words, the things that I do that suck me out of consciousness. Things like facebook, television, alcohol, staying up too late and subsequently sleeping in too late. Once you know the things that cause you to drift, you can be more aware of when it’s happening. This doesn’t mean I am giving up TV; I am certainly not giving up alcohol! But, I’m going to try not to slip into these drifts without consciousness.

And I am going to practice my uni-tasking! If I am with the kids, I’m going to put the phone away and focus on them because they deserve it. If I am writing, I am going to go somewhere away from the kids and television because I deserve that. If we are eating, we are only going to be eating (no phones, no televisions) because my family deserves that. If I am out with my husband, I will keep the phone in my purse and focus on him because he deserves it.

I am going to start valuing uni-tasking as a skill. “Name a time when you focused on one thing and did a great job”

What about you? How do you drift?