Timing is everything. So many of us are living our lives within the constraints of our schedules, appointments, oven timers, and even traffic lights. We look at our calendars and day planners in order to organize our daily activities. We plan for the future, look back at the past, and try to get through our days with a sense of purpose and productivity. All this happens within the matrix of our linear time template: 24 hours at a time.
Throughout this, there are moments when we recognize that not everyone (or everything) operates in this way. Babies live strictly in present time. They laugh, cry and experience everything without any understanding of what’s ahead of them in their next few minutes or hours. Our pets demonstrate the same experience of timeless embodiment. Dogs are great examples of this. How many times do we run in and out the door in one day and *still* get greeted with enthusiasm and love upon each return? It’s really a beautiful thing.
Yet, we have a much different orientation toward our own process of time management. Each of us has a unique internal wiring that drives our patterning with regard to how we move through our daily routines. We are all creatures of habit. Personally, I can become very comfortable in organizing the particulars of a day, week or month I am in, given the parameters of the phase I am experiencing in my life. Becoming a mother years ago shifted my experience and taught me that just as my children were growing within a fast burn rate of change, I also was doing the same, but within my interior life. This was occurring within my Soul’s schedule. I could just feel it. I would be growing and changing, in tandem with them. Although I have, for most of my life, been someone who would question the purposes and relevance of my experiences as they related to my life’s events, there was a different feel to how I started approaching the circumstances of my life and the ways I could leverage these experiences and move myself into a greater sense of personal empowerment. Parts of myself that I had been mildly aware of were becoming more obvious to me. I was beginning to really own the whole of myself.
The phrase, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” comes to mind. Sometimes the “teacher” comes in the form of a person that makes a great impact on us. Other times, the lesson is an experience or relationship dynamic that keeps appearing in different forms –forcing us out of our comfort zones in how we respond to the situations that arise. Interestingly, just as we may start to think we’ve slayed a particular dragon, it will show up again in a milder form of the same scenario. Lather, rinse, repeat. The evolution of the soul is such a complex and respectful process, that I believe we are given these opportunities to re-engage in these dynamics (repeatedly) in order to refine them in an authentic way. It reminds me of when my daughter started elementary school and her teacher explained how the math program they were using would work. “It’s a spiral,” she said. “We’ll be teaching certain concepts that will be touched on briefly and then move on to other chapters. But we’ll return to the same concept again, although it may seem redundant. This is to help fully integrate the material they’ve learned. Trust the spiral!” I really love this analogy as it applies to our lives and processes of growth. It can be frustrating to think that we’ve been through the trenches of change and growth, clawed our way back, (from the underworld!) and gotten to the other side, only to face the same challenges or people. Yes, they might look a little different. However, I no longer believe that this reflects poorly on our ability to have grown, but rather that we can now experience these parts of life, that will continue to challenge us, with a sense of compassion and grace that we otherwise would not have had.
In order to fully appreciate the strides we have taken along the way, I highly recommend the journaling process. I’ve found that being able to write my thoughts and reflections in a journal over the years, has given me a clearer understanding of how I have gently (or not so gently!) moved through the phases of my life in exactly the way I needed to. At times I moved full speed ahead. Other times, I needed to acclimate slowly. Still other times, I got into ruts and holding patterns—knowing that I needed to move, but not ready to do so. However, there were no mistakes in how the timing of the events of my life has served me.
I’ve recently started working as a personal fitness trainer. I have a limited window of time to work with my clients (30 minutes). However, my clients and I have learned to leverage that amount of time to the greatest amount of benefit possible, given their energy level and goals for that day. I’ve been able to work toward increased lower body strength some days, and upper body on others. I’ve done a “whole body” workout on a few of these sessions as well. All the while, as many of these women are integrating back into greater fitness levels, I have reminded them that I want to start gently, with lighter weights, and will gradually move to more challenging sets. Life allows us the same opportunities to gently flex our muscles through new circumstances –both in joyful and difficult experiences. As we gain strength and flexibility, we gain our stamina. Soul stamina. The most important thing we can do is honor ourselves through the journey. Life is truly a backpack journey. We pack for the trip, but take what we need from it moment by moment.
I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful season of harvest time