Stealing Time

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“Plant you own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.” ~ Veronica Shoffstall

As I type I’m listening to Lisa Gerrard, one of my favorite artists. Her resonant voice has a way of reassuring me that everything is okay and that I’m aligned with my intended purpose and course.

When you’re in the thick of things, it’s hard to get much perspective. Perhaps you’re struggling with a particular decision or you find yourself putting off decisions or making hasty choices if you don’t intentionally pause and reflect. When you’re engaged in any creative activity – writing, designing, running a business – it’s important to create space (some may call this down-time). You need to get away from the constant busyness in order to do the best work that you can.

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Not even a decade ago we weren’t exposed to nearly as much information as we are now. Compare today to a short 50 years ago and the change is mammoth. Processing all this information can be overwhelming, measurably because much of it is useless to us. We need to use our developed cognitive abilities to cope and survive. With so much information having little to do with our personal lives… our well-being, stealing some time away from the helter-skelter can be incredibly relieving.

So I am. I’m going to take some time to decorate my soul. I’ll be offline (and in an undisclosed location) for the next week. Some of us know when time for a break is important.

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I’ll leave you with three reflections tied to solitude, as shared in this post. Some people are blessed with an abundance of time and have the luxury of its being discretionary. For those who presently have less time, consider claiming an hour, a day, or a week, whatever you need to decorate your own soul.

  1. Avoid mindless consumption. When you’re alone you have beautiful opportunities to think clearly about your life and the direction you want to take it. In the “mitote” of today’s world, you’ve earned quiet. If during that time you gain clarity about your path, what fulfills you, or how you’re feeling about what you spend your days doing – then it will have been time well spent. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose epiphany; simple glimmers and insights are valuable too!
  2. Quiet time is often lucid time. Simply sitting down and thinking through a problem can result in very effective solutions. Yet even if a solution isn’t immediately forthcoming, just thinking things through and understanding a problem can bring peace and a certain courage to carry on.
  3. Find a good spot for contemplation. During the week it’s often hard to make time and reunite with nature (or whatever setting works for you). Yet even time for simple walks in fresh air, maybe a very local visualization outing, can bring some clarity and lend a new perspective. Try to find a ‘place of power’ that gives you true inspiration.

72 thoughts on “Stealing Time

  1. Can’t agree more Eric. Like you, I have my solitary get away planned out – just a quiet weekend at a nearby island. And am plotting a one-month sabbatical of sorts. With the information overload, it really helps to have down time to gain the much needed perspective. Knowledge without perspective is futile in mg opinion. Enjoy your getaway!

  2. Eric, totally agree with you on the loads of information that jams our minds – so enjoy your break.
    I follow the second step more often and it helps me a lot.

  3. ” I’m going to take some time to decorate my soul” (Love this line)

    I am going to read this post a few times…. (thanks) Every night I walk out onto my deck look up at the stars and marvel in the spender of how we are all connected in this vast experience called life.

  4. Enjoy the time you are choosing for the purpose of “decorating” your soul. Listen, undistracted….aahhh….have fun!

  5. enjoy your time. Love the quote, very wise. So many have been discussing the onslaught of information lately and I often get sucked in to my laptop. However, I rarely use my cellphone. It is usually turned off. And I typically leave the laptop at home. This issue leaves me so ambivalent since blogging is my new passion and I am so thrilled to have made so many magnificent friends. It all boils down to balance, discipline and awareness of one’s needs. Have fun Eric!

  6. Reblogged this on Running with Buddha and commented:
    Like many commented on this posting, Eric’s points echos with me on many fronts. The only thing I disagree with is the title. We should not have to steal time for ourselves. Understand and appreciate Eric’s point that in today’s digital age, so much compete for our attention and it feels like we need to steal the time.

    • Whether we steal the time, borrow the time, or rightfully take the time, Terry, it’s vital that we do. Thank you for choosing to share the post with others via your reblog and for your thoughtful comment.

  7. Enjoy this time. It’s so important to take downtime. It helps me come back with a fresh perspective and not just more energy but positive energy. Often I find I am able to continue something in which I’d previously been “stuck”. Lift your soul and spread your wings…fly, baby fly!-this of course, is after your rejuvenation period!

  8. Eric, enjoy your quiet time. It’s not that we have too much information but rather that we have too much data and we look at it too frequently. The more frequently you look at data the more noise you get. For example, it’s a waste of time to watch the stock market on an hourly or even a daily basis. Personally, I never read newspapers or listen to the news. Far better to read a weekly or monthly magazine with some perspective, or better still a book.

    • Good to have you back in the blogging world, Malcolm. Thanks for stopping by. I hear and agree with you, regardless of what people are calling it — information, data, knowledge — seems more a matter or semantics. And while many see ‘it’ as a waste of time, they still find themselves sucked into it. Time out with a good book(s), indeed!

  9. Ive been blessed with time. Although sometimes I abuse it. Time is gold. 🙂 We also need to be reminded not to use free time too much, or better yet, not think too much.

    • I like “Time is gold,” Rommel. In many ways it is comparable precious. I, too, am a fan and practitioner of trying to use time wisely and ditching the assessment and analysis that my left brain finds me doing more often that I need and desire. 🙂

    • It was, indeed, restful, Christopher. And the week offline (and away) was followed by a second (unplanned) week offline. I just didn’t feel the need to rush back into a lot of digitally related activity. I’m getting soft. 🙂

    • In ways I hadn’t planned, Helen, it was unusually productive. I didn’t see considerable ‘work’ on the radar yet I addressed and even completed some open-ended tasks. Here’s to our next, respective “off the grid” initiatives. Glad you created time for yours.

  10. Hello Eric,

    A facilitator once told me that even doing nothing is a choice – an option. Thought is real and it takes time; getting lost in thought can be a salve, especially if done in peace. ❤

    Jackie

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