Changing Time


Drawing of Animals on School Bus - Changing Time

Summer is over!

School buses crowd the morning streets. Remember how that felt when we were children? Paradise lost! Similar feelings arise in me as I mentally gear up for the faster pace of Autumn.

“Wait!!!, My soul cries, “I am already moving at warp speed!”

This is the way of the modern world. Work time has expanded and playtime has shrunk. We work over the weekend and take shorter vacations accompanied by smart phones and computers lest we miss something or be crushed by the deluge of communications awaiting our return.

There was no drop off in highway traffic this summer. As late as 11am, cars filled the roadways throughout July and August. People don’t even take staycations anymore. They just stay-working.

Constant work is hard on the body and exhausting to the mind. It means we’re always on alert, moving with intention and focus – like a hunter. When things get in our way or break the focus, we feel frustrated and angry. That’s stressful. Stress lowers the immune system and makes us more prone to illness and accidents.

According Psychologist, Stuart Brown, play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships.

Play is as important as sleep. It revitalizes the body, mind and spirit.

Our daily life is so ramped up now that many of us have forgotten how to be otherwise. Last Sunday, I tired to relax by lying out in the sun on a chaise lounge. I felt agited as my mind pelted me with things I should do — and that was after 2 hours at my computer. I could hardly stay still. “Let me at least pull some weeds,” my body implored! I was only able to stay in place by allowing myself to think about writing this blog.

A major key fell into place at a workshop I went to last week. The speaker asked us what percentage of our behavior is motivated by fear – fear of not belonging, fear of loyalty to family or work, fear of getting hurt, fear of being out of our comfort zone. A LOT! I realized.

My inability to relax on the chaise lounge was fueled by fear.

I was afraid of not getting enough done, of not having enough time in the week, of letting something slip through the cracks. The underlying belief is that if I don’t keep busy, if I don’t push, my goals will not be achieved. I will fail and have to go back to a J_O_B.

However, what I’m discovering is that the busier I get, THE BUSIER I GET. It isn’t leading to the results I’m after, e.g. more clients, more money, more help, more spaciousness, and more happiness. Instead it begets exhaustion, frustration and mistakes that require more time to fix.

One of the top regrets reported by hospice nurse Bonnie Ware in her book, 5 Regrets of the Dying, is “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”

The main obstacle to changing this pattern of busyness is the mind.

Busyness has been programmed into the neural networks of the brain from years of repetition. I am actually conditioned to feel good when I’m busy. It is very like an addiction.

The first step to change is awareness — noticing when I am pushing and when I’m acting from ease. It also requires a willingness to be a little uncomfortable in the process and to face the fears.

Here are some of the things I’ve started playing around with to break the pattern:

  • Staying in bed a little longer than usual and luxuriating in the feel of the sheets.
  • Slather my body with scented almond oil before dressing and noticed the sensation of my fingers.
  • Switching my yoga routine so it’s not automatic. Letting it be more directed by my body than my mind.
  • Walking without my ipod so I notice my surroundings — the trees, the bay, the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Treating traffic jams and slow drivers as the universe’s reminder to slow down and breathe.
  • Sitting on a medicine ball rather than a chair so I take more breaks from my computer.
  • Relishing the process of writing this blog instead of worrying about how long it takes me.
  • Putting on some music and dancing.
  • Keeping a happiness journal.

What are you doing to slow down and play more? Please share your ideas in the comment section below. We can all learn from each other.

Let’s make sure that when we face our inevitable end, that we feel gratitude for a life truly enjoyed and wholly experienced.

Be easy.



WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Grief, Loss and Death Expert Michelle Peticolas, Ph.D. helps professional women struggling with grief and loss to have peace-of-mind, closure and a life worth living. If you’re ready to shift into a whole new way of being with death and loss, a new way of living your life, get Michelle’s complimentary guide, Essentials for Grieving Well at


Speak Your Mind