Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Gifts of Taking Time For Yourself

Having a snow day here in Montreal, yeah! good for those moms who can't go anywhere and good for those kids who wanna stay home and play games or build snow forts, but boo hoo, my Creative Circle class was cancelled! We still had yoga this morning at my house, which felt like being wrapped in a white cocoon, the window and the lake outside are all white! The Green Spring we felt yesterday has been covered up.

So afterwards, over lunch, I picked up a book from my pile of books to read, since the driveway hasn't been ploughed yet: Finding the Deep River Within, and re-read it, looking for an exercise we are going to use in class next week on Doing what you love. And lo and behold, the same message I just blogged about yesterday, came shouting back at me: "In order to take time-in, we need to choose it." Alone time without distraction is what author Abby Seixas calls 'time-in'.  Slowing down, watering the root of your soul with some down time, is so nourishing, but you have to make time for it.

Her point in the first few chapters is well taken - that until we recognize how pressured we are by the culture, how aligned and in synch we are with technological speed and multi-tasking (a computer term by the way), it's hard to disengage and slow down without feeling we're going against the grain. Usually it takes an illness or a deep sense of fragmentation or falling apart before we even consider slowing the pace (without feeling guilty). Unless you are a gardener, or a person who loves to cook from scratch...then you know what I'm talking about.

As far back as the sixth century BC, Lao Tzu was dealing with this 'running around', so it may not be something 'new' per se, the need to get back to a rich inner life:

There is no need to run outside
for better seeing,
nor to peer from a window. Rather abide
at the center of your being;
For the more you leave it, the less you learn.
Search your heart and see
If he is wise who takes each turn:
The way to do is to be.

Not surprisingly, one of the six tools for getting back in touch with that inner river within is Journaling. I know, I know, the excuses we all come up with...the feeling of never having enough time, or not being 'good' at it.  But just sitting down to untangle my thoughts, and hear myself muse out loud or on paper about what's going on underneath the ruckus on the surface is really healing.  It helps me sort through my feelings, and even begin to acknowledge some of those feelings. It doesn't take an hour, even ten minutes feels good.

Of course, the best way to make time for either journaling or time alone uninterrupted is to write it in your agenda. I just made a hair appointment for Thursday at 1 pm. Why can't I also write in 'meditation, 7:30 am, followed by Journal writing 8:30 for 10 minutes'. There, done. Morning is not always the best time for people (especially busy moms) to take time alone in. You can do it over tea at lunchtime, you can take a walk alone during a break. Or you can write in your journal before bedtime.

Get creative about feeding this deep need of your soul to have a long conversation with you!  You will actually find yourself being more productive, you'll have clearer vision, and feel less bone-tired, once you get in touch with that soul energy slumbering underneath your busy schedule....try it.

Take small steps and make it doable, so you have a better chance at success!

take care

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