The time in between is where the magic is. It’s what I am learning to live for and be present for. It’s hard, though. It’s hard to get there. Now more than ever perhaps.
In fact, for me, writing is one of those things that fills a need for my mental wellbeing. It’s how I process ideas. Some of it you get to read, some of it never sees the light of day. I go into the zone where my heart and brain are in full coherence. I am in flow. You know this feeling, but perhaps haven’t given it the acknowledgement and appreciation it needs. If you have young children, it’s an absolute joy to witness them in this state. They’re focussed, calm and often can be found humming or singing, or even talking to themselves as they go about doing whatever it is they’re doing.
As adults we’ve been trained (and perhaps conditioned) to fill all the time we have. We fill it with perpetual busyness and when we don’t have something to do, we get twitchy. Hello phones! We scroll, we click, we formulate comments, we scroll and click some more until it’s time for us to do something else. More time filled.
With what? Every moment that passes us by, where we fail to be present is a potential wasted opportunity of just being; of enjoying that time in between where we experience absolute joy and happiness.
Look around yourself right now. If you’re in your home, consider that everything that surrounds you, all the stuff, was once money. And that money was once your time. Is it all worth it? It might just be. The next question of course is if you’re mindfully enjoying what your time and effort has provided for you, or have you already moved on to the next distraction? The next need?
As the weight of the world continues to feel heavier and heavier upon all our shoulders, it becomes ever more critical to create the headspace and the physical space in our lives to be able to be present for the time in between. We cannot do this if we are overwhelmed by jumble in our minds and homes.
When it can be exquisitely easy to be consumed by the chaos, the fear, the tragedy and the overwhelming feeling of helplessness, we can also choose joy. We can choose to find the times to be present with the big and small joys in our life. It always begins in our mind. Yes, some moments will be easier than others.
Here is what I can promise you: with your effort, you will reap the benefit. Maybe today it’s two minutes of just walking hand in hand with your child. Maybe it’s looking up from your computer to watch a bird on a tree. Maybe it’s that first embrace with someone you haven’t seen in a long time. And maybe it’s taking a half day off of work to sit and read a book on the grass.
Stopping to enjoy the time we create to be still might just take the most discipline of all. But for those of you who are productivity junkies like me, here’s a tip – when you take those breaks, everything else works more efficiently. Your body, brain, and whatever it is you seek to create.
Take a pause.
And when you’re done, if you’re still reading, you’ll want to take a moment to look at how I’m working to help guide people to more peace, calm, and compassionate leadership. It takes time between the doing to do it all with heart.
On My Mind Episode 30: The Time In Between: How To Be Present
Photo Credit: Nilkki McKean