For those that have been reading my blog posts for a while, you will recall that I start every year off, not with a set of resolutions, but with a word of the year. I do not make resolutions because as soon as you miss the mark once, you have failed. I will go to the gym 3 times each week becomes the source of self-shaming, frustration, and guilt as soon as you do not make the mark (and I venture, that moment usually comes before the end of February.) Instead, I choose a word that becomes a perspective to set context for the different journeys I will take for the year…
As we slide from spring to summer in this scary season of uncertainty, I find myself thinking a lot about Horticultural Time. As a society, we are very used to living by Clock Time: the agreed upon measurements that break up our days, our weeks, our months.
We know this is our third month of social isolation, we know we have to be at that Zoom meeting at 3pm, that on Monday it will be June, and that if we stay up past a certain hour it’ll make tomorrow morning tough. These are all important things to know. These are facts based on Clock Time.
The simple truth is that we aren’t designed to be glued to a computer screen or in an office all day. Our brains have evolved to thrive in sunlight, in lush green surroundings, and by the water. Since I think we’ve seen the last of snow in Boston (fingers crossed), it’s time to jumpstart our cognitive batteries and kickoff this spring with a plan to leverage our local resources.
People come to see me to create change in their lives, their relationships or their career. Usually after the first session, I have heard them talk about their frustration and failed attempts to create the change they long for. Why? Why can’t some folks create the change that just seems to be a logic process? They try and try and try.
Six months ago, my 8 years old niece announced that she wanted to learn how to sew. Every one of us became so excited about it because rarely does she declare an interest or passion for something that is new to her. Her dad went out and bought her a sewing machine, luckily he has some basic skills with sewing and he taught her the basics. For the next three months after that, she watched YouTube videos of sewing and will tell me who her favorite seamstress is. She will even tell me what thread colors she had bought, and so on. However, I had never seen her attempt to make anything.
We all go through changes as we move through life. Some of these are minor and not that impacting. For instance, you might gradually stop frequenting places you used to visit or lose touch with casual friends. Other changes are major, such as graduating from college, changing jobs, or beginning and ending serious relationships. Some other changes, however, are not only major in terms of outward effects, but also in terms of how they affect our world view and sense of ourselves. Have you ever experienced a profound change such as this, one that rocks you to the core and causes you to question core beliefs that once seemed certain to you?