confinement

1 2016

It’s difficult to be present when we’re in a hurry.

There’s an acute state of hurry – when we choose to hurry – and there’s a chronic state – when we’re in a constant state of hurry, but don’t notice that we are.

There’s no time to stop and reflect in a state of chronic hurry, even when we’ve stopped.

In a this state of hurry, we feel we have to be somewhere else – maybe the past- we’re running late on things, maybe the future – we have too much to do and deal with – but it’s difficult to be here.

When we hurry, we miss things, or we miss things out, and something breaks.  It’s the reason why yoga and mindfulness are becoming so popular, because we’re realising we need to find some way of slowing ourselves down to be more present to our lives and those of others.

Presence isn’t the goal, though.

The goal is to be able to bring our greater contribution of art into the world, which presence makes more possible.

All of this reminded me of when I didn’t have time for any reflection, when I found myself in a time of confinement.  If we don’t choose it, life has a way of finding a way of forcing this upon us.  I was burned out, but, out of the confinement, I emerged with a new energy and purpose.  Ever since, I’ve been including a smaller time of confinement in every day.

A new year is offering itself to each of us, the opportunity for an adventure is within the grasp of each of us; you may already be experiencing the resistance you must overcome at the threshold.  I include a ten minute exercise, below, which isn’t about hurting reflection but about confinement.*

I began 2015 with the following words; they’re worth repeating because they’re exactly where we are:

‘The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky, yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.’**

Imagine where 366 days will take you when engaged with energy and purpose.

(*If you can gift yourself ten minutes today, then here’s something you can try (the ten minutes aren’t about hurry but confinement).  Take a notebook and pen, set a timer to ten minutes, then just write in response to: “A day in my life looks like …” and just write out what your day involves; “But what I want to include in my life is …” and write down everything which comes to mind; “Some small things I can begin to do towards this might be …” and put down everything which presents itself.  When the timer goes off, stop.  Do the same tomorrow, mindful of how, if you include the small changes, the responses to each of the prompts, above, will be different.
(**From Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces.)

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