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Jun 28
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Living Now

PragueClockCroppedOn Creating Time
by Jim Koehneke, MA from Burlington, VT

For a good many years I was not aware that life happened in the present moment. Then gradually I became aware that my thoughts most often “rested” in the past and future, or as one of my mindfulness teachers called it, doing time travel and going nowhere. And most importantly — away from living in the ‘Now’. My sitting meditation practice of noticing my thoughts and bringing them back to the present moment, did help. But I knew there was still more to learn.

Earlier this year, I was offered the chance to teach a graduate student a semester-long course from a local college. Together we chose her learning goals, one of which was to discover a way to become more organized. One book we chose to review was Creating Time — Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by Marney K. Makridakis. Creating Time offered me the chance to view life from a whole new perspective, for which I am quite thankful.

Here’s the deal. For the past decades I have been thinking of life as a kind of box in which I needed to accomplish a bunch of things within a certain period of time. The pressure was to achieve, as it is for many of us in today’s busy culture of ‘doing’. From our early school years in which we are tested to achieve and learn what others think is important, to adulthood where many of us strive to perform for the boss at work, and finally to appear as a success in the world, many of us operate within ‘clock time’ to get things done.

For years, I was rushing ahead to achieve something, even when I didn’t know exactly what it was . . . or maybe to avoid feeling my underlying fear of insecurity. I once thought it was to keep one step in front of the demons at my heels, which now seemed no different than the self-imposed pressure to stay ahead of the clock before it struck twelve when I would turn into a pumpkin! This pressure I would gladly do without, so I set about to find a more peace-filled paradigm that would help me stay in the present moment without being a slave to achieve as much as I could.

Having recognized that I had been reactively choosing how to respond to life, based on my need to perform, the culture’s pressure to succeed, and the overwhelming speed at which information and choices were passing before me each day, what was I to do to slow things down? In her book, Makridakis suggests choosing a new paradigm to hold in consciousness and from which to act in the world, such as focusing on one’s authentic life purpose. But since I felt I was already fully engaged in doing that, I needed to discover a new paradigm to slow things down and find the moment-to-moment peace in which the author suggests ‘time expands’. Or at least seems to. Obviously, there is the same number of hours in each day, but how we perceive and experience those hours can change dramatically if we shift from being a slave to ‘clock time’ to a more purpose-filled paradigm of our choosing.

I needed to choose ‘new glasses’ through which I pictured life unfolding in front of me in a way that resulted in ‘peaceful doing’ in the present moment. What came to me was Health and Wellbeing, as a way to s-l-o-w down and experience the Now of life more fully. And it feels wonderful! The old ‘time box’ seems to have temporarily disappeared, and I am experiencing greater freedom and being more in charge of my life, rather than being ‘run’ by life’s pressures.

If you find yourself acting, at times, as a slave to clock time, just step out of the rush-about-rut, breathe, and take a view of life through new glasses. You can slow down the crazy-fast pace of life and discover the richness of the present moment by choosing a new paradigm that will lead to greater fulfillment and being in the here and now.

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Jim KohenekeJim Koehneke
is a teacher and coach who assists others discover their passion, overcome limiting beliefs, and be that person who lives from purpose, acts with power, and manifests their dreams. Jim has published two books, “Creating and Living Your Purpose” and “Take Charge of Your Life“. To learn more about Jim or to contact him: www.loveyourworktoday.com.

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