Hello friends! I hope this finds you happier than you were yesterday. Today we’ll explore the connection between home repairs, time travel and your happiness. Stay with me:)
Yesterday I went to visit a friend in San Francisco and her neighbor was doing some work on the house next door. He stopped to let me in the side gate, and, upon my noting his housework, off-handedly commented “It’s always something when you have a house,” I replied as I walked down the path between houses, “Houses need love, too!” He chucked and mentioned something about having to muster enough love to deal with his partner, leaving little left over for the house (ouch!).
It’s something that has been on my mind quite a bit lately, this consistent effort, the patterns and rhythm it takes to maintain a whole life (the relationship and the house;). As I walked away I thought about the energy we give to the many things in our lives, how that energy & effort keeps life at large going, and how it can keep us interdependently happy.
Here is where the Yoga of Time Travel comes in (title of a very interesting book I am in the thick of) to help us explore alternative conceptions of time. We tend to understand and experience time as linear – broken up into beginning, middle and end, containing a start, a journey and a finish. While this is a valuable analytical approach, it can become a bit dry and fail to capture the pulse of life we all experience in our daily rhythms. The downside of a linear sense of time is that we are chasing some end, or that at some distant point in the future things will all come together – that we can’t be happy NOW, but we will be happy THEN.
What if, instead of a line, we saw loops or spheres? Trippy, I know! I promise you , I am not high. But I do get high on this book, it’s freakin’ incredible.
There are, for sure, pivotal meaningful moments in life (1st day of college, marriage, moving day, new job, etc) as well as the more subtle moments of peace and contentedness. Rather than being in the habit of chasing these moments of peace and of pause, why don’t we find pace with them? Like keeping pace with repairs on the house, or keeping connected to an important person in your life, this is a much more sustainable approach.
When we look at these loops or cycles of time, we can see small things like a heartbeat, and bigger things like relationships or even larger systemic patterns as they create, strengthen, refine, fade, and recreate. This is the pulse of all life. It comes, it builds, it fades, it starts again. There are endless opportunities, always more loops, more cycles.
Even my *AWESOME* 98 year-old Grandma agrees – “Oh a house, it’s never done! If it’s not the curtains, it’s the floor, if it’s not the floor, it’s the door, if it’s not the door..” you get the idea:) If we look to the physical world to teach us, we learn that our things are always in need of care. In fact, in his book, The World Without Us, Alan Weisman discusses how quickly the roads would return to rubble and the physical things we have created would disintegrate if not for our consistent energy and effort. Life is more about habits, routine and consistent upkeep than we like to think.
So, if we look at the rhythm of our lives and see where we’ve lost pace (this is often where we feel pain), we can decide where to put our conscious effort and attention. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the truth of many things in life is this:
If you don’t take care of it, it will go away.
Sure, there is that friend you can call after nine years and feel like no time has passed. But she’s a (timeless!) damn valuable exception to this rule. It is a rule that applies to physical, mental, neurological, emotional, relational, even energetic and spiritual structures in our individual and collective lives.
Think about it – if people don’t care for a store (owners or customers), it will go out of business. If I don’t write any blog posts, you will have nothing to read and your thoughts of reciprocal transformation will start to fade (whaaa!) If I don’t contract my quadricep, it will weaken and atrophy. If I don’t continue learning, my memory will fade, and if we don’t learn from history we will, sadly, repeat it. When we see life through cycles, we can better understand: if you build it, you’ll need to maintain it.
Time for you to ask yourself some questions… 😀
1. Where do you feel your life is out of rhythm? Scan through your physical (body, home, etc) mental, emotional, and relational life and pick one thing that is heaviest on your mind today (you can always come back and do this again for other things).
2. What do you need to maintain this health on a daily, weekly, monthly basis? What do you need to get the rhythm in motion, to realign with the pulse of life?
3. This may be the most crucial – How do you ensure this happens when life gets busy or stressful? What reminders and supports have helped you in the past, or what have you seen work for others? Look for environments, thoughts, people, and practices that can support you in tough times.
4. Pick one thing that you can commit to TODAY to keep up – a room in the house that needs care, a positive thought you want to strengthen, a relationship you want to develop, a practice that helps you stay sane. Start simple and small so you can build some momentum! If you’re feeling brave, state your commitment in the comments below (this will make you more likely stick to it!).
You shower every day, right? You don’t wait until you’re as dirty as you’ll ever be to shower. So don’t wait until a relationship is falling apart to voice your feelings. Don’t wait until you feel crappy to build your health. Don’t wait until the world sucks more to engage with it and create something awesome. The best part is, you being happy and in pace with yourself makes the world a better place in & of itself. Even strangers walking by can feel your good vibe. So do what you can today to step into your own personal beat, your own rhythm of life and rock it.
Thanks for being here! Drop me a line if there is something on your mind you’d like to share, and do share your commitments & thoughts in the comments below.