Betty-Ann's Both Sides Blog

Summer Lessons

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Summer provides the perfect environment to rethink your modus operandi. A long afternoon laying in a hammock feeling the gentle breezes play on your face, is an ideal time to step out of your busy routine of ‘doing’ and experience the beauty of just ‘being’. The outer world requires immense amounts of frenetic activity to manage our homes, families, jobs and gadgets. But pausing to enjoy our inner world is something we often forgo and the lazy, hazy days of summer can lull us into an experiment with how very good it feels. It is an opportunity to not only experience the beauty of slowing down but also to revaluate how you want to live your life and your measure of success.

The Huffington Post recently sponsored a conference called , “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power”.  It questioned the current definition of success where people drive themselves to the point of exhaustion at the expense of their health. They said that men created this production-driven model, considering it a badge of honour to live life on overdrive and it’s not working. Companies are losing billions of dollars each year due to employee stress, which compels poor decisions. Then they encouraged women to lead the way in determining a new definition for success.

The conference materials stated that humans aren’t meant to be in permanent ‘flight or fright’ mode, any more than the gazelles on the plains of Africa. If gazelles ran all the time they would keel over- they only run when they are in danger. We need to do the same and get out of our ‘high alert’ lifestyle. It is time to quit rushing around like we are escaping a predator. We should sleep longer, take more time off and meditate to calm our active and overly excited minds.

Although the conference didn’t call it as such they are encouraging the characteristics of Feminine Energy. And the answer will indeed come from women as we naturally carry more of this vital energy. Although it may have been ignored since the advent of the industrial revolution it is time to reclaim this part of ourselves and treat it as an important part of our daily lives.

It starts by letting things come to you. Life doesn’t always have to be about ‘making things happen’. Trust the flow and find an easier rhythm. Believe that where you are now is where you were meant to be and that things will come when the time is right. Life will be more effortless ‘in the flow’ than it is when you are on the ‘go’, pushing the river. When you quit fretting about the outcome, you can more thoroughly enjoy the process.

The next thing we can do is s-l-o-w down. When I was working in a corporate job with two small children to get off to school I was a hurry addict. Everything in my life was planned for maximum efficiency to enable me to forge ahead. When getting dressed in the morning I would move purposefully to the chair in my closet with my slacks, socks and shoes to put them on in one continuous motion. If I forgot one item and had to make a second trip I would get angry with myself for the loss of precious seconds.

Eventually I discovered my Feminine Energy and re-established my relationship with time. I came to realize that if you are always in a hurry your biological clock speeds up and it ages you. It robs your heart and your soul. As I recovered from ‘hurry sickness’ I created more ‘moments’ in my life. A ‘moment’ is when it feels like time stops and it happens when you listen to music you love or are moved by nature.  When you are always rushing around you don’t experience that. While I am still prone to jump into the Masculine Energy of action I am more conscious of stopping to smell the roses, (ginger or jasmine) now.

Making time for pausing and reflecting amidst our action should happen as naturally as the change in seasons. Nature is illustrating an important lesson for us. There will be a perfect time for every activity- we just have so slow down and let things come to us, just as the summer does. When we do that we will make space for new ideas to come in. Old ways of thinking and doing things will pass, just like winter. I encourage you to clear some time, let your imagination free and ideas of the new metric for success will come to you.

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