Have you ever noticed how powerful messages that you really need to hear keep repeating themselves?
A few months ago, coincidentally right after I got a speeding ticket, someone at my acupuncturist’s office repeated a favorite – and profound – quote to me about the healing process. She said, “slow down to hurry up.” Meaning if you take the healing process slowly, it is likely to happen in less time than if you try to rush through it in a way your body isn’t ready for. By rushing, you will only cause more damage.
Then, today, the same message repeated itself, and, of course, the timing couldn’t have been more apropos.
I heard Allan Hamilton, M.D., a neurosurgeon and author of Zen Mind, Zen Horses, talking on NPR. One of the questions he was asked was about his quote regarding moving slow to move fast. It was the same sort of idea, telling patients that a treatment or therapy will take potentially a longer period of time than it really is likely to. By doing that, they don’t expect quicker results and they can be more patient with their bodies.
It occurred to me how many places in our lives this can be applied.
I am currently in a situation where I have a particularly hectic month coming up. I oversee special projects at the 24 hour news channel where I work. This includes political coverage. That means 2012, being an election year, would be quite busy regardless of other events. Now, add to it that the Republican Convention is in our city; and, suffice it to say, that ante just went up by a magnitude I can only begin to imagine.
There are plenty of people I work with who are excited about the event and the onslaught of 50,000 people to Tampa.
Me? I really want it over!
Don’t get me wrong, it will be exciting. But one thing I’ve learned about politics is that it can bring out the extremes in people. Politics, for all the good it is intended to do, somehow reaches deep down and finds the most emotional chord possible in people and tugs on it hard.
People get mean. And, thanks to electronic communication which allows for some anonymity – or at least faceless communication – people are not afraid to say what they think… forgetting that there’s someone on the other end hearing it or reading it.
It’s this part of politics that I really struggle with… and I can only imagine what that’s going to mean for the RNC coverage.
This has brought up in me a feeling of just wanting to get it over with. More than a few times lately I’ve uttered the line, “Is it Sept. 1 yet?” (for those of you lucky enough to not know, the RNC is Aug 27-30)
Then this morning, after hearing that interview it occurred to me Sept 1 is almost a full month away! 20-something days now. A lot can happen in 20-something days and by living with this mindset, I am living so far from the present and turning a blind eye to the possibilities and beauty in front of me. Instead, I am so focussed on these 20-something days being over.
The result of which is likely going to be:
1. A feeling like it’s really taking forever
2. Missing out on what’s happening in front of me
and, most importantly,
3. A reduced ability to really plan and put attention where it needs to be in order to create a good outcome.
Reality is, I can’t make those 20-something days go faster or slower. There are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute. The more I wish each one of those seconds gone, the less time I’m going to have to set myself up for success. The more I focus on getting past it, the more I’m setting myself up for something less than excellence.
Time is what it is. Every second is a gift and only by being present in each and every second, can we really make the most of it.
Time is fragile. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and you can’t bring it back.
Nobody ever said being present is easy. It’s why we practice yoga… and then practice some more… and then practice some more, because being present will make the future that much better.