How About Trying Timeless Presence This Holiday Season?

How About Trying Timeless Presence This Holiday Season?


Are you a TO-DO’er?

I am. Times 10.

Every week, one of my favorite things TO-DO is create my TO-DO list.
I write down (old school!) each task — big and small — that I’d like to take care of in the coming days.
When I finally get to X off an item, I feel so accomplished.

Productivity is in my nature.
When there’s a space of time I’m always trying to use it well — do one of my TO-DOs.

So it was quite timely when I went to listen to a podcast that addressed the adversarial relationship many of us have with time.

The pressure TO-DO — to be busy — is a symptom of getting caught up in there’s not enough time.

Boy, do I know this one.

From the hurry-up-and-get-out-the-door-so-you’re-not-late-for-school to the hurry-up-and-brush-your-teeth-so-you-can-go-to-bed, not to mention the incessant nagging I feel TO-DO more, or it won’t get done. I’m constantly racing the clock, aware of the tick-tock that’s in front of me.

Then something strange happened.

I mixed up the time for my yoga class, and arrived 45 minutes early. The lady at the front desk said,

You’ve got some time.

It was kind of shocking to hear, actually.

I had already meditated that morning. I was about to practice yoga. What would I do with that extra time?

My first thought, I wish I had my laptop, which is my customary way to fill time. (And the reason I carry it around with me most of the time.)

I decided to hang out in the studio, and see what transpired.

Selfie self-timer is a fun way to fill the extra time.

As other early birds arrived for class, I noticed they immediately started doing something — stretching, setting up their props, looking on their phones. I ended up playing around on my phone’s self-timer. (Forty-five minutes was a long time for me to just be—I’m taking small steps.)

It’s rare (especially in NYC) to see someone just be with their time. (And when I do see this…I wonder — what is s/he doing?)

With the holiday kicking off a seasonal frenzy,  it could be good timing to try timeless presence– just be with the time; let that fill the space. It’s a little like listening to hear what’s being offered except when you’re open, you’ll get your answer in all five senses.

Here’s a nice meditation to help practice.

What do you do when you realize you’ve got extra time?

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12 Comments

  1. jillcampana@gmail.com' Jill Campana says:

    Wow, for some reason I didn’t know you were in NY!!! Cool. Yes, I’m a to-doer too. Always making lists…checking them twice…making more lists. Gotta be doing something. I’ve decided to go back to my yoga practice, at least attempt to get back in to some discipline with it. I teach Nia which embodies the energy of yoga (one of the 9 movement forms of Nia), but it’s not the same as really slowing down and focusing on my posture, my pose, my breathing. Love your message about priceless presence. Thanks!!

  2. girlgatheringwisdom@gmail.com' girlgatheringwisdom says:

    I love your phrase “timeless presence”! I find it hard to “just be”. Maybe it comes from people asking questions like: what did you DO today? Once I had a phone call and the person said when I answered the phone, “Oh, I’m surprised you’re home.” Well, 1) Why did you call me if you thought I was out and 2) I don’t need to explain what I am doing or not doing with my time. Maybe I am just being in timeless presence.

  3. chloedance@comcast.net' SirenaTales says:

    Heh. Thanks for the chuckles from both your honest observations of your highly motivated and productive modus operandi and their familiarity to mine :). Yep, my go-to for a very long time was “What? An extra 60 seconds-what can I accomplish?” Thankfully, I now, sometimes, follow the path you describe beautifully as “timeless presence. I believe you have a tougher challenge living in busy, fast-paced, high-energy New York City. Yay you for keeping your awareness and boundary and savoring those timeless gifts of time and presence. Here’s hoping you and your family have a gorgeous Thanksgiving–full of comfort, joy, love. xoxo

  4. ST, in that podcast she spoke about showing up to a situation without an agenda…just presence.This is a toughie! I’m so happy to know you can relate, and even happier that you sometimes follow the path! Yay You!! You rock!! Happy Thanksgiving!! x x o o

  5. GGW, I think we should all start using that reply whenever someone asks what are you doing, “Oh, I’m just hanging out in timeless presence!!”
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday celebration!!

  6. sara_foley@bigpond.com' sara says:

    I wonder if it’s a mother thing, this desperate feeling of needing to squeeze every drop of juice out of any given moment. I didn’t do it before I had kids…and I haven’t noticed men doing it either. When I was waiting for the man to come fix my car the other day, I had an hour. No iPad, which is my go to toy, no nothing. So, I just sat, grounded myself, listened to the sounds, thought idle thoughts and relaxed. You’re going to laugh, but I fell asleep, for just a minute 🙂

  7. Jill, I didn’t realize there was a movement of yoga within Nia — I bet I would love that. And that’s great you’re getting back to your yoga practice. That’s one of the wonderful things about having a practice…you can always come back to it! Thanks for your comment — I love hearing from you!

  8. Sara, I think you’re onto something with this mother thing–since having kids I’ve gotten so greedy with my time. And you’re right, I did laugh about you falling asleep…were you actually in the car?

  9. sara_foley@bigpond.com' sara says:

    No! I was waiting at the pub just down the road and I lay down on a shady bench…I didn’t put that bit into my post – Sara’s out takes 🙂
    yes, I’ve been reading Women need wives and Men need lives, and it’s making a whole lot of things much clearer. I think it’s essential reading for any working mother…and father.

  10. Good advice! I’m always making lists too, and sometimes make another list to add to the list I already made!

  11. Ok, the image just got better — you asleep on a shady bench. Amazing. Haven’t heard of the book, will look into it. Thanks, Sara!

  12. Michele, I love my lists! Just the whole process of creating them is so fulfilling– so I understand adding one list to the other!

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