A New Way to Look at Time

Travel is a great way to not only see the world, but to reflect on your own. Whenever I meet new people, my perspective shifts just ever so slightly, adding layers to my understanding of things.

It is the best education.

For years I valued the Teutonic view of time. It is a rigid understanding of minutes on the clock, of punctuality, of a no-nonsense view of the units that make up our day. The Teutonic view of time leaves no room for questions, for flexibility, or a fluidity that I have craved for more years than I realized. You be on time. Or else.

Gasp. Someone give me air!

Then one day, rather suddenly, I began to see the value in taking your time instead of always having to be on time. When we loosen the reins on our understanding of our schedules, it leaves room for the very creativity many of us have tried to foster all our lives. Of course, honoring others people’s time by being punctual is useful and helpful and wonderful. But there are also times when being late can’t be helped. And that’s okay too.

Today I was stuck in traffic due to a bike race through our town. I was going to be late, but it didn’t really matter. I had nothing to lose but my temper so why should I even lose that?

A dear friend of mine has a very Latin view of time. He says being slightly late is actually very freeing. So I tried it on for size today. And it felt good to be unshackled from the regiments of the clock, from the marching Germanic footsoldiers that clack to the rhythm of the second hand on my watch. I smiled as I slid into my driveway much later than planned.

So what? Time really is all we have. Why waste it being upset when you can enjoy the pockets of energy that get liberated when you ride easy in the harness?!

We will all get to where we need to be. On time or not. Dare to dance outside of time for just a little while. It will make you smile. I promise you that.

The Lessons of Carpe Diem

The weather is something none of us can control. It’s also a good example of how little we can actually influence certain things in our lives. We like to think we are in control, and certainly feel better when we have some semblance of it. But the truth is the only thing we can ever truly master is our attitude about what’s happening.

Central European weather patterns can be fierce, no matter what time of year. One day it is 24C, then next day it’s 12C. This yo-yo effect has given me ample opportunity to reconsider where I actually live. Because the weather isn’t something I can do much about.

But I can make a choice to live somewhere else. Or change my attitude while I live where I do.

Consistent warm days, which are rather rare, have become one of my best teachers in seizing the day for all it is worth. The notion of carpe diem takes hold when the sun actually appears. You start to appreciate its golden rays on a level you could not if you saw it all the time (I am told that people in California often rejoice when it actually rains).

Yesterday I made my kids go outside. They got as far as the porch, both lying together on the chaise lounge within reach of our inhouse WiFi. Well, at least the sun met their skin. It’s all a mother of teens can ask sometimes.

As we get older, we also start to shift our attention toward the days we have left. Reaching middle age gives us time to pause and reflect on the first half of our lives. How will the next half look?

If we embrace each day for the goodness it can hold, my guess is the second half will be amazing.

Seize the day, my friends. Today is really all you will ever have.

 

The Healing Powers of Restoration

Life goes in cycles. Sometimes you are on a high; sometimes you are way down low. Sometimes you’re busier than a bee; other times you are not.

What I have learned is no matter what phase you are experiencing at this moment, it is important to retreat to a quiet place. Like the cells in your body, you need a mental health break every now and then to reenergize yourself. Doing so will actually make you more productive, engaged and happier than if you run at full tilt all the time.

Sleep is one of the most restorative things you can do; yet so many of us sacrifice our nightly rest without a thought. If you have trouble sleeping, write down your thoughts right before you go to bed. Doing a mind dump can help your brain repair itself overnight without all the mental detritus that fills our heads at 3 am.

After a particularly stressful time, grant yourself the gift of restoration. Remove yourself from your every day life.

Frolick.

Play.

Enjoy yourself.

Challenge yourself to a worry-free day in which you go into the full release of all things. Give yourself permission not to doubt your future or regret your past.

Develop a morning mantra. For instance, every morning when I wake up, I repeat this prhase:

I embrace this day and all the possibilities that it brings. And so it is. And so it shall be. I go into the receiving of love and creativity that I may meet my ultimate purpose with ease and grace.

Even something as simple as a daily affirmation can restore your soul.

Give it a try. You deserve to be uplifted this day and always.

 

When You Forget to Do What You Love

It’ll be a sad day when I have forgotten to blog simply because I had other things on my mind.

It’s been a while, people, but I beg for forgiveness. I’ve been writing. A lot. Just not here. And quite frankly, you readers are on my mind more than you know.

Blogging is my passion. So why haven’t I been doing more of it?

Sometimes life gets in the way.

How often do we resist doing what we truly want to do in the name of reason? We argue that we will find time for it later, whether it’s playing with our children, spending a moment on the phone with a friend in need or exercising to keep our bodies and minds fit.

When you forget to do what you love, you forget the greatest part of yourself.

Has that ever happened to you?

If so, do you remember a time when you used to have all the time in the world to pursue your passion? Perhaps it’s as far back as childhood. But there was a moment in your life when time fell away and you were in the Zone.

You can get there again.

If you are feeling uninspired, look to Nature. Or Art. Or Music. Look to your friends. And most importantly, look to yourself.

What is most important to you? Can you answer that question? Most people would say it’s their family or their loved ones. But how much time do we really spend with them? How often do we make everything else a priority instead of what we say we love most?

Value isn’t measured in the minutes you spend. Sometimes it is more meaningful just to drop a line when you are thinking of that person.

And please remember to be careful with your word. That means if you say you are going to do something, do it. If everyone did that, we would have enough time to do what we love.

And that love would shine through and heal the world.

Believe

Do you believe in the power of goodness?

Do you believe in the mysteries of the Universe?

Do you believe something amazing is about to happen?

Belief is the bedrock of our existence.

When we lose our faith in someone or something, we get deflated. It’s discouraging, disappointing, despairing. We start to question everything, including our own ability to assess situations or circumstances. We are plagued with doubt, that killer of dreams that shakes the very foundation of our belief system. Doubt destabilizes us. It weakens us. It can even kill us.

We all need to believe in something. It’s what gives our lives meaning. Whether it is a higher power that you call God, the Universe or something else, we need to feel connected to All That Is.

When that tie is broken, we are lost. Shattered. Completely unhinged.

If you are toddling along the precipice right now, you are not alone. We all totter at times.

There is truth in this English proverb:

“A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.”

Everyone experiences challenges in life. It is what makes us amazingly resilient. Let’s face it. It’s also what makes life so interesting. Nurturing a belief in yourself is a great insurance policy when you get to those bumps in the road. Or those tidal waves in the ocean.

We are all connected through a common human experience. If you are feeling disconnected, reach out to someone. It doesn’t matter if it is a stranger or a friend. Show love. It will come back to you a thousandfold.

If you live with great expectancy that magic is in the air, guess what? It will be. You can create whatever you want.

You really can.

Through it all, remember to breathe.

And oh yes! Believe!